An Italian restaurant that is new to Middle Georgia is expected to open in north Bibb County in about a month.
Mirko Pasta with made-from-scratch Italian cuisine is moving into the former Starbucks site at 1693 Bass Road, said T.J. Heath, franchise owner with business partner Jimmy Goolsby.
Heath, a Jones County native, also owns two convenience stores in Gray. The restaurant will make pasta on-site, and while it is not a fast-food restaurant, it will provide quick service, Heath said.
Opening at end of July
It is expected to open at the end of July and will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays.
The location was picked because “Bass Road is up and coming,” Heath said.The 2,100-square-foot building will seat about 60 people, he said. The interior of the space has been completely torn out and redone.
Pasta machine the real deal
“One thing that’s unique about it is we just ordered a pasta machine from Italy,” Heath said. “We will have a pasta room that you can see from the dining room.”
The pasta machine cost about $30,000, and the total investment of bringing the restaurant here is about $300,000.
The two men got interested in the franchise because Goolsby is friends with the company’s owner.
“We ate there one day and the food was incredible,” Heath said. “We looked at the investment it took to do it, liked the concept and liked the leaders of the company. We’ve been working on it about a year.”
A manager and the cooks have been hired for the restaurant. The business will have about 16 employees and needs to hire about 12 more people, he said. Anyone interested in a position may apply at the restaurant.
“We are excited that they chose our center to open their first Middle Georgia location and believe they will be a real asset to the area,” Bobby Cleveland, vice president for commercial development for Fickling & Co., said in an e-mail.Heath and his partner are looking in Warner Robins to build another Mirko Pasta and have a letter of intent for a spot, but Heath declined to reveal the location until its finalized.
The company was formed by Mirko Di Giacomantonio, a native of Tortoreto, Italy, according to the company’s Web site.
“When people come to Mirko Pasta, I want them to feel like I felt when I went to my grandma’s house,” he said on the site.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.