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Bill Bellucci understands the disappointed looks on the faces of potential customers when he tells them his nearly-finished Bada Bing Pizza Co. restaurant isn’t open yet. The Cape Coral resident is excited as well for the spot that specializes in by-the-slice New York-style pizza to open Feb. 25 at the Publix-anchored Gladiolus Gateway shopping center in Fort Myers.

Located at 11600 Gladiolus Drive, Suite 316, Bada Bing Pizza Co. is Bellucci’s first restaurant in Florida after previously owning and selling three in New York. The Brooklyn-born Bellucci moved his family to Southwest Florida in 1990 and worked for the Fort Myers-based Kearns Restaurant Group for almost a decade.

“I felt it was time to get back into it,” Bellucci said. “I want to provide an affordable dining option with a great atmosphere for people to come. We’ve already had plenty of people knock on the door and ask us when we’re opening.”

The name of the restaurant, which may remind customers of hit HBO show The Sopranos, was one Bellucci settled on because “it just sounded good. We wanted a name that would draw people in.”

The spot features a vintage, rustic look with Bellucci and others doing all of the woodwork and brickwork themselves. It will have dine-in, take-out and delivery services of specialty pizzas, stromboli, pasta, salad and subs.

“We want to do a few things well instead of a lot of things OK,” Bellucci said.

While not comparing his restaurant to other pizza joints in the area, Bellucci believes his kitchen’s attention to detail and focus on using the best ingredients will speak for itself. For instance, the sauce on the pizza will be Bellucci’s grandmother’s recipe and the kitchen will use whole milk and fresh mozzarella cheese.

Bada Bing Pizza Co. will have outdoor dining and customers can place their orders and pay on their phones and have their order delivered to their table. Bellucci hopes the atmosphere will be a welcoming one where customers stay for a while to enjoy some wine and share a charcuterie board with friends.

Bellucci said he plans to employ 20 people starting at $15 per hour. As an extra incentive, he said if the restaurant exceeds its weekly sales goal, 20% of the overage will go back to the staff in their paychecks based on how many hours they worked that week. 

The restaurant hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Once this store opens, Bellucci will start scouting other locations.

“Hopefully, this is the beginning of more,” he said.

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