Italian restaurant to open in Surrey Center

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The owner of The Pizza Joint and his longtime friend are opening a new Italian restaurant in Surrey Center.

Michael Schepis, who owns The Pizza Joint, is teaming up with a friend to open a new Italian eatery at Surrey Center.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Michael Schepis, who owns The Pizza Joint, is teaming up with a friend to open a new Italian eatery at Surrey Center.

Oliviana’s Bar Italiano & Pizzeria will open at the end of September in the former site of Polka Dot Pig Gastropub at 399 Highland Ave., co-owner Michael Schepis said.

Schepis is the owner of The Pizza Joint in downtown Augusta, Evans and Aiken. His business partner, Alain De Bernardi, is the owner of Curli LLC, which sells dog leashes and harnesses on Monte Sano Avenue.

“I wanted to offer a more diverse menu centered around Italian and Mediterranean-style food,” Schepis said. “There are great restaurants in this area. We feel that we’d like to join them in creating another restaurant with a great atmosphere.”

De Bernardi said an Ital­ian restaurant would “enhance the overall scheme of Surrey Center,” which he said has a European feel.

The owners are completing renovations and will hire roughly 35 employees.

Oliviana’s will have seating for 125 people, in addition to outdoor patio and sidewalk seating. It will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and possibly brunch on Sundays. The bar will stay open late Thurs­day through Saturday.

The restaurant will serve northern Italian and Mediter­ranean dishes.

Schepis said the restaurant will offer an “eclectic vibe with world music” and will be a social gathering spot for drinking and friends.

“We’re trying to bring a piece of Europe here,” De Bernardi said. “They should feel a little like they’re going on vacation.”

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tl-bro
180
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tl-bro 08/21/12 - 03:37 pm
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Curse

Sounds great - I hope it works, but that spot in Surrey Center is apparently cursed!

Farmboy
1003
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Farmboy 08/21/12 - 03:53 pm
1
1
Michael Schepis

Mr. Schepis knows what he is doing. Regarding any curse there might be, my suspicion is that he will break it.

gmt
79
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gmt 08/21/12 - 03:54 pm
1
1
Big place

Didn't know there was space for 4000 restaurants. Or is it a 4000 sq ft restaurant space.

"The owners are completing renovations on the 4,000 restaurant space."

Farmboy
1003
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Farmboy 08/21/12 - 04:06 pm
0
1
@gmt

WOW! I did not get that. That must be a big shopping center, if they have space for 4000 restaurants!

itsanotherday1
46695
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itsanotherday1 08/21/12 - 05:05 pm
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Farmboy

is right about breaking the curse. The Public House was not a fit for Augusta, just as the high end steak house in Evans wasn't. The Gastro-Pub would have done well downtown.

I believe an independent Italian restaurant will do very well there; Lord knows we need a decent one.

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 08/22/12 - 05:47 am
3
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Wonderful news. Can't wait
Unpublished

Wonderful news. Can't wait to try it. That pig thing was awful..bad name and worse food. Those of us who despise cookie-cutter national chains need to support these independent local enterprises..big time.

curly123053
5122
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curly123053 08/21/12 - 07:28 pm
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Good Luck !!

The Pizza Joints have been successful, so this should too. Maybe this will break the jinx on that location.

itsanotherday1
46695
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itsanotherday1 08/22/12 - 12:05 am
0
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I think the cursed place is

I think the cursed place is the old Famous Daves. Just something about the location... Another one is the place across the street close to Wendy's that served specialty grits, etc. The food and reviews were great but they just couldn't make it happen there. They moved to the old Town Tavern location and still couldn't make it.
Augusta really sucks when it comes to supporting places like that, and that is why this town will always be ordinary except for 1 week of the year. ( No Town Tavern, no Green Jacket, etc.)

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