SYCAMORE – Mediteranean cuisine may be out, but Italian food and locally produced wine are in store for downtown Sycamore.
Acquaviva Winery will expand its reach when it opens a restaurant in the city in July. Acquaviva, which is known for Italian food and specialty wines in Maple Park, will be located in the former Taki's Mediterranean Restaurant at 219 W. State St.
Owner Vito Brandonisio said the facility will feature fine dining with a small bar and wine tasting, but will mostly focus on dining. The Italian food offered will be the same menu as its Maple Park location, including pizza, pasta, seafood and more.
Brandonisio said Acquaviva regularly wins awards for its wines, which are made at its Maple Park location, a 40-acre vineyard and winery at the corner of Meredith Road and Route 38. Brandonisio has owned the Maple Park location for four years, and the facility produces about 55,000 bottles of wine per year. The location also has a restaurant. Brandonisio also has a tasting and wine bar in St. Charles.
Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy on Thursday approved a liquor license to the operators of Acquaviva Winery for the new restaurant they plan to open downtown. Brandonisio said he looks forward to having a location in downtown Sycamore.
"The growth of [Acquaviva] has been tremendous," Brandonisio said. "We hope to expedite that."
Brandonisio's grandfather started a vineyard in Acquaviva delle Fonti, located in southern Italy. Brandonisio visited frequently as a child and later opened his Maple Park location to fulfill a dream of owning his own vineyard, according to Acquaviva's website.
He said now that the Sycamore license has been approved, he hopes to open in July. He will transplant a manager from one of his other locations to the Sycamore location.
Mundy, who as the city's liquor commissioner reviews liquor license requests, said he looked forward to having the restaurant downtown.
"We certainly appreciate the investment by the company in our town," Mundy said. "[Brandonisio] is confident that he will have a place that is attractive and welcoming to visitors."