Passariello’s Pizzeria & Italian Eatery, a Moorestown mainstay for more than 16 years, will be undergoing major renovations over the next several months.
According to Pasquale Passariello, who founded the restaurant he now owns with his three brothers and sister, the need to renovate the 112-year-old building is not just due to the facility’s age, but also out of a necessity to expand the restaurant’s year-round seating capacity and increase, as well as modernize, its cooking and pizza production capabilities.
Jean Altenberg, a spokesperson for the eatery, said at least part of the outdoor deck in back of the restaurant will become permanent indoor seating. She said the owners are “still debating” whether to keep some outdoor seating.
To improve delivery times, additional ovens will be installed for takeout and delivery. A new catering kitchen will also be added, as well as a special glassed-in display area where patrons can watch the restaurant’s homemade being made, Altenberg said.
The restaurant facade will also be redone, though Altenberg said it will still blend in with the rest of Main Street.
“It’s going to look more authentic Italian,” she explained.
Prior to Passariello’s, the 13 W. Main St. location was the home of Marcello’s Pizza, the Manor House and Newlan’s Restaurant.
The construction contract for the project was awarded to Moorestown-based Grace Construction out of a field of eight bidders.
“It was very important to us that we give this project to a locally-owned contractor,” Passariello stated. “Moorestown has been very good to the Passariello family over the years and it was nice to award this to a ‘neighbor’ in whose management we have the utmost confidence.”
The design team is led by Thomas B. Wagner Architects, PMH Engineering, JTS Civil and Theodore Barber & Company, Food Service Designs.
The renovations won’t cause any interruption in restaurant operations during the two construction periods; the first will soon be underway and will last through the end of the year, and the second will pick up in mid-February through early spring.
During the first phase, the rear of the restaurant will be under construction—reducing the amount of available parking in the back lot—but patrons can still find limited parking there, as well as ample parking in the municipal lot just a few doors down (behind PNC Bank).
Passariello stated the renovation is the next step in what he called “big plans” for the family-owned establishment, which currently boasts a second location in Voorhees.
“The Moorestown renovation is a stepping stone for the further expansion of the company,” he said. “We know our father would be proud of our vision to grow the brand.”
Altenberg said the owners are looking at possibly opening a new location in the near future, but couldn’t provide any more information.
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