An Italian-style cafe and bakery will replace the recently shuttered Dot2Dot Cafe on Dorchester Avenue. Nino Barbalace told civic members in the St. Mark’s Area on Tuesday night that he has agreed to lease the space.
Barbalace, who moved the the US from Sicily six years ago, told the St. Mark’s Area Civic Association he hopes to open the new Caffe Zia Gianna and Bakery at 1739 Dorchester Ave. in November.
The two passions of his life are cooking and architecture, Barbalace said. He is working on renovations to the building, bringing the “colors of Sicily” to the interior with sky blue and sunny yellow.
His aunt Gianna raised him and taught him to cook for their big Italian household, Barbalace said.
“Since she was the most important person in my life, I decided to name the place after here,” he said.
Initially, he plans to be open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The menu will consist of Italian espresso drinks, American breakfast and lunch sandwiches served on freshly made Sicilian brioche and dinner rolls, and baked treats like tiramisu, pies, and pastries.
Barbalace said he will apply for a beer and wine license, so that he can serve Italian wines with the food.
The vibe will be like a modern cafe, he said, with WiFi, music, and space to sit and talk. If it does well, in a few months he would explore the possibility of doing evening events, perhaps even serving up some Sicilian lasagna or other restaurant-style foods.
His new neighborhood feels a bit like home, Barbalace said.
“I love Dorchester,” he said. With people poking their heads into the new store and asking about his progress, “I feel like there’s a strong connection between people in the neighborhood to the neighborhood, and I think it’s good thing,” Barbalace said.
If any neighborhood foodies want to get an early taste, Barbalace will have a stand at the Ashmont Farmer’s Market on Friday.