The property at 101 S. Hudson St. that ultimately lost its brewery tenant after a battle with the neighboring Miracle Hill Greenville Rescue Mission over the proximity of an alcohol-centric business has a new restaurant occupant.
Belladina’s, a new Italian specialties and pizza concept owned by Joey Leccese and his family, will open in late 2020 as long as permitting and construction go as planned. Leccese, a partner in Nautic Brewing, the former tenant, was going to be providing the food side of the business. Now that he’s pivoted to be the full operator of the Hudson Street space, he plans to still provide the food component when Nautic Brewing finds its new home, he says.
Leccese moved to Greenville a second time — the first was to try out for the former Greenville Grrrowl hockey team — to help his father, Potito, with Vito’s Pizza in Greer. They sold that business in January to focus on the new concept, which will also have a downtown presence at 9 W. Washington St. in the former Luna Rosa Gelato Cafe space for primarily takeout and delivery.
The Leccese family has used the recipes of Potito’s mother, who would visit from Italy and teach her methods, in the many restaurants they’ve operated along the East Coast. They’ll continue to do so with Belladina’s, Leccese says.
“My dad moved from Italy, and this is all he’s ever done,” Lecesse says of the family restaurants. “His recipes are real. Everything we do is fresh. We don’t skimp on product.”
The Hudson Street location will include a 1,300-square-foot Italian market where housemade mozzarella along with imported meats and cheese will be sold. Gelato will be another feature to draw in the future park-goers once Unity Park is complete, along with pizza and the family’s Italian specialty dishes.
In response to Miracle Hill’s previous concerns with Nautic Brewing’s plans about access to alcohol, Leccese says they will serve beer and wine but do not plan to become a cocktail bar and will remain open only until 9 or 9:30 p.m.