Boynton's Ocean Avenue to welcome Italian restaurants
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 20:23

By Attiyya Anthony Sun Sentinel

Two Italian restaurants could be coming to Boynton's Ocean Avenue
Historic homes to become eateries in Boynton Beach
Two historic homes on Boynton Beach's Ocean Avenue could soon become Italian eateries.
On Tuesday, Boynton Beach's Community Redevelopment Agency voted to enter contract negotiations to sell 211 Ocean Ave., also known at the Ruth Jones Cottage, and 480 Ocean Ave., also known as the Magnuson House, to Salvatore Campanile — a local Italian restaurateur.
Campanile owns a restaurant in Delray Beach called Mastino Wood Fire Kitchen, at 25 NE Second Ave.
Ocean Avenue is the center of the city's downtown, but has struggled to create an identity for itself. City officials hope that things will change with the opening of Campanile's two restaurants and 500 Ocean, a $4.4 million multi-use complex with 341 luxury rentals, 13,300 square feet of retail and 6,600 square feet of office space expected to be complete in 2016.
"I'm very, very interested in Ocean Avenue," Campanile said at the meeting. "What Ocean Avenue needs is a lot of foot traffic and a couple of destination restaurants and eateries."
Campanile beat out longtime restaurant partner Rodney Mayo and developer Bruce Kaplan for the 480 Ocean Ave. property.
The property was formerly The Little House Restaurant, until it closed last year because of a lack of customers. Campanile plans to open wood-fire pizza shop called "The Little Pizza Shack" in the space and a Mediterranean-style restaurant called "La Piazzetta" down the street at 211 Ocean Ave.
The 800-square-foot Ruth Jones Cottage was built in the 1940s. A few years ago the city's redevelopment agency pumped more than $450,000 into renovating the cottage into The Little House, headed by noted Lake Worth chef Chrissy Benoit. Campanile offered $305,000 cash for the property.
In 2007, the redevelopment agency paid $850,000 for the Magnuson House. The house was built in 1919 and has remained uninhabited for several years, according to historic preservation documents. Campanile offered $255,000 cash for The Magnuson House.
City officials say that they hope that a pizza spot and a nearby Italian restaurant will draw more people downtown.
"These two restaurants will be a catalyst," board member David Merker said Wednesday. "It will be good for everybody."
Board Chair Jerry Taylor said, "I'm about putting feet on the street on Ocean Avenue."

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