Stupendo! Villa Venezia reopening today |

Stupendo! Villa Venezia reopening today

While other folks watched fireworks, listened to rousing music and lounged around the barbecue over the weekend, Dennis and Sandi Robert, along with the waitstaff from Villa Venezia, reassembled the Grass Valley restaurant.

After a week of furious remodeling, they plan to reopen at 5 p.m. today for dinner in the elegant Victorian of earthy orange hues on Bank Street.

“That’s what started it all,” Sandi Robert, 60, said with a weary grin as she pointed at the new, stainless steel stove hood installed at the direction of a state code inspector.

“We decided to rip everything out,” added Dennis Robert, 62, clad in paint-stained bluejeans.

The ornate interior woodwork, sliding pocket doors, floors and outer fencing all got make-overs, he added. The dining rooms each will have a theme: copper pots and kettles, Italian carnival masks, paintings of Italian scenes and wine motifs in the wine room, accented by the large wooden bar.

Earlier in the week, the crew pulled out, scrubbed and repainted the stoves and ovens.

While waitresses refinished and repainted furniture stacked out in the parking lot and swabbed red-orange paint over a new deck in the quaint garden patio, muralist Jeanine Christman traced the course of a grapevine destined to be drawn over the warm, faux-finished interior walls.

In coming weeks, the vine will start in the building’s entryway, then grow across the walls of the wine bar and into each of the dining rooms, Christmas said.

The fresh look will be accompanied by a new menu, shifting to panini-and-soup combos for the lunch crowd, Dennis Robert said.

The restaurant, which opened in 2004, will continue to specialize in cioppino, the hearty Italian seafood stew. It will accompanied by Chianti the Roberts found in old-fashioned bottles surrounded by woven baskets. They’ll also roll out their new Villa Venezia labeled wine, bottled by Burch Hall Winery, with a red Sangiovese and white pinot grigio, Dennis Roberts said.

To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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