Grading is being done for a new Italian restaurant and parking lot along Route 30 in Irwin.
Amato's Cucina, which will be built at the western end of the plaza by the current Dunkin' Donuts, will feature northern Italian cuisine, according to owner Amato Pasquarelli.
He and his wife, Beverly Pasquarelli, hope to start construction in about a month. Mr. Pasquarelli anticipates the restaurant will open in nine months.
The building of about 4,000 square feet will seat about 80 people.
Bread will be made on the premises daily, Mr. Pasquarelli said. The menu will include veal marsala, veal picatta, chicken parmesan, lasagna, eggplant, lots of ravioli including spinach and lobster raviolis, a few specialty pizzas and calzones, calamari and shrimp, among other items.
Mr. Pasquarelli was formerly a partner with his brother in Luciano's restaurant in White Oak. He will be a partner with his wife in the new restaurant.
On the other side of Route 30 beside Dairy Queen, a brand-new Dunkin' Donuts store is being built on the site of the former Johnston the Florist greenhouse.
Troy Berardi, who owns the existing Dunkin' Donuts, said the new building will be 2,100 square feet, about the same size as the current restaurant, and will have a 24-hour drive-thru window.
He said he expects to increase his staff from about 23 employees to 35 or 40.
"With the drive-thru and the new design and layout of the store, it will be much more efficient for the crew behind the counter," he said. "It will result in a better experience for the guests."
The lobby will close at 11 p.m. or 12 a.m., and will reopen at 4 or 5 a.m., depending upon demand, he said.
The new Dunkin' Donuts will have Wi-Fi, and an outside patio area.
The contractor has been somewhat delayed, but Mr. Berardi expects the store to open in the first or second week of December.
He also owns Dunkin' Donuts stores in North Versailles and Murrysville. His wife, Shelley, and parents, Agnes and Tony Berardi, will be his partners in the new store.
Anne Cloonan, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org. First Published October 10, 2013 1:09 AM