You've probably heard and perhaps even said, "There's no shortage of great Italian food on The Hill." But the truth is since mid-August, there has been. Zia's, which has been around since 1984 at Wilson Avenue and Edwards Street, has been closed after a kitchen fire after hours did tremendous damage.
Now owners Robyn and Dennis Chiodini says they're hoping to reopen the restaurant the second week of January. They didn't think it was going to take five months but bringing a 100-year old building up to code after the fire has brought challenge upon challenge.
Zia's temporary closure has impacted people well beyond the owners, employees and loyal customers. Nearby businesses that benefit from the traffic brought in by Zia's have felt the impact. Joe Vollmer of Milo's, one block down the street, says when Zia's gets really busy, they send customers down to his bar to wait for their names to be called. Also, employees at Zia's are known to go down to Milo's for a drink after their shift.
Customers of Zia's will notice a few different touches when they return. Instead of carpet, there's new tile... and what used to be a door no one used is now a window. There's a new ceiling. But the food won't change.
Speaking of the food, before you or I get to try it again, Zia's plans to host a special dinner for the firefighter who responded to and put out the fire.
The owners are disappointed they won't be open in December and for New Year's... a lucrative time in the restaurant business, but they say you can order Zia's gift cards on their website zias.com.