Recipe for success to remain the same at new Natalia's location

With a new restaurant under construction in north Macon, Natalia del Basso-Orsini might not make her annual July Fourth trip to Italy this year.

“I always go back home. We close and give everyone a vacation,” she said. “This year we’ll probably be moving in.”

Del Basso-Orsini’s restaurant, Natalia’s, a fine-dining fixture in Macon for 26 years, is relocating from Riverside Drive to Providence Village on Bass Road. She expects construction of the new restaurant to be finished in May or June.

Patrons should not expect too many changes.

“People ask me not to change anything. We’ll have the same floor plan, a much larger kitchen. ... We don’t need a bigger restaurant, just a bigger kitchen.”

The Italian restaurant will move in next to the Homewood Suites, which opened last year.

Plans for Providence Village include adding a pharmacy and convenience store, said Rob Ballard, owner of Placemaker LLC, the company developing the 65-acre site. The company also is negotiating with other restaurants and “consummating contracts” with medical and professional tenants for the development’s office park, Ballard said.

“One of our goals is to give Natalia’s some company in the development.”

The hotel is “performing well” and “above budget,” he said.

Ballard expects the development to “come alive” once Natalia’s moves in.

“For her to uproot her business demonstrates her confidence in Providence Village. We’re looking at Natalia’s as being a very important part of the development and one which we can sell from.”

To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.