Vinnie's Italian Eatery is back and bringing the same Italian menu - with some variations - that customers of the downtown Williamsport restaurant long have enjoyed.
"It feels good to come back," owner Vinnie Guercio said this week, as he stood inside his recently restored business at 44 W. Fourth St.
Nearly two years ago, a fire swept through the business, forcing him to close.
Vinnie’s Italian Eatery owner Vinnie Guercio stirs a pot of sauce as final construction is being done to prepare the downtown Williamsport restaurant for its grand reopening next week.
Electrician Jarod Engel, of Doug Lundy Electric, installs the final light as last-minute work is completed at Vinnie’s Italian Eatery.
On Thursday, Vinnie’s Italian Eatery prep cook Jon English tenderizes chicken for the restaurant’s grand re-opening next week.
Now, he's ready to offer up a new and improved version of the eatery.
He's eyeing an opening next week.
Once again customers will be able to sit down for meals and enjoy New York-style and gourmet pizza and many homemade specialties such as lasagna, spaghetti, manicotti, stuffed shells and ravioli.
There also are Vinnie subs and sandwiches, including Philadelphia-style steak sandwiches, salads and chicken wings.
"We built a brand-new lunch (menu)," he said.
Among the new offerings will be an authentic gyro, homemade hamburger patties and fresh-made soups.
Guercio bills his pizza as the best in town.
Right on the menu, it says, "The difference between Vinnie's and franchise pizza is the size of our pizzas and better quality."
Customers will see a new look to the restaurant, both inside and outside.
The fire in April of 2011 destroyed virtually everything, including most of the restaurant equipment, according to Guercio.
Four apartment units upstairs also were lost in the fire.
However, six luxury apartments now are being included with the new construction.
Guercio said those apartments should soon be available for rental space.
Two years ago, he sold his other restaurant, Vincenzo's Italian Cuisine, 99 Maynard St., Williamsport.
"It's a whole new building," Guercio said of his "new" eatery. "The place looks like Italy. It's a piece of Italy."
Gone are the steps inside the restaurant and the white tile flooring.
The ovens and serving area now are on the west side of the restaurant.
The seating capacity is virtually unchanged.
Guercio pointed to the walls he described as "rustic design" and new flooring.
Vinnie's has been a mainstay in Williamsport since 1987.
"I'm looking forward to another 25 years," he said.
The restaurant offers pick-up and delivery services.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday.
The restaurant is closed Sundays.