Jimmy Fetahu’s new Italian restaurant is near a national chain serving Italian cuisine. But he says you won’t find the owner there, toiling in the kitchen over family recipes.
Fetahu’s father is from Sicily, his mother from Rome. They emigrated to Texas when he was 4 and later opened restaurants in Texas and Arkansas. But Fetahu has cousins in Blue Springs and friends in the Northland. So when he was ready to open a restaurant of his own, he leased a former Pizza Hut at 211 N.W. Barry Road, just south of the former Metro North Shopping Center.
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Roma Italian Restaurant opened in late March, featuring Fetahu’s mostly made-from-scratch menu, including dough for his pizza and bread. But he imports a few things, such as dry pasta, from Italy.
The menu includes sausage pizzaola, spaghetti, manicotti, lobster ravioli, chicken Marsala, eggplant Rollantini, and the Jimmy’s Special with meatballs, sausage, green peppers, and mushrooms, sauteed in marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese. Fetahu hopes to get a liquor license soon so he can serve beer and wine.
Roma also offers lunch specials from 11 .m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, including lasagna, oven-baked subs, and shrimp scampi.
“I want people to know the owner is here all the time, cooking for them. They can see me in the kitchen. I have nothing to hide,” Fetahu said.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Monday.
Fetahu liked the location’s easy access to U.S. 169, just to the west, and also hopes to one day pick up traffic from the new Metro North Crossing development across the street.
The shuttered Metro North Shopping Center recently received rezoning approval that paves the way for a $187.5 million multiuse commercial and residential project. Macy’s continues to operate on the site but plans call for the redevelopment of its building and construction of 885,000 square feet of new shops, residences, a hotel and a theater under a multiphase proposal.
First tenant opens in Liberty Commons
Academy Sports + Outdoors is now open in the new Liberty Commons, at Interstate 35 and Missouri 152 in Liberty.
The Texas-based sports, outdoor and recreation lifestyle chain has annual sales of $4.6 billion and more than 210 stores in 15 states, including area locations in Belton, Olathe and Overland Park. It offers a broad assortment of hunting, fishing, and camping equipment and gear, along with sports and leisure products, footwear and apparel.
The 62,917-square-foot Liberty store, at 269 S. Stewart Road, is an anchor tenant in the $80 million redevelopment of the Liberty Commons.
Gordmans has scheduled a Sept. 22 opening for its new 45,000-square-foot store at 265 S. Stewart Road with a grand opening Sept. 24 and 25. Other tenants, including HomeGoods, Petco and Spin Neapolitan Pizza, are scheduled to open in 2017, according to the developer.