By Lance Henderson
Giuseppe Mauro, owner of Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant, has always dreamed of having a restaurant on the water. Next summer, his dream will come true.
Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant is moving from its current location at 1414 Cornwall Ave. to become Giuseppe’s Al Porto in the new Bellwether Gate Building A on the Bellwether peninsula near Squalicum Harbor.
“My dream, for quite a while, has been to have a restaurant near the water,” Mauro said. “I come from Sicily and to me it is very important to be able to see the ocean, the fishing boats, and the beautiful sunsets.”
The restaurant will take up approximately 5,200 square feet on the ground floor of Bellwether Gate’s four-story mixed-use building now being constructed off Bellwether Way. The building is also the future waterfront home of engineering company CH2M Hill.
Mauro should have no trouble getting sunset views since the location has lots of northwest-facing windows, said Wayne Weed, project coordinator for Ebenal General Special Projects, general contractor for the building. Weed also said that Ebenal is currently building out a couple thousand square feet for an outdoor dining area.
“The restaurant will create a unique ambiance near the waterfront,” Weed said. “Bellwether Gate really welcomes him (Mauro) to the site and we look forward to a long-term relationship.”
Again, Mauro said outdoor dining near the waterfront takes him back to his hometown.
“In Sicily, many little restaurants are outside on the street or on a small piazza,” he said. “Eating outside with candlelight and looking at the stars and the sunset — to me, it’s very, very important.”
Moving to the waterfront will bring some positive changes to the restaurant. First, Mauro is bringing his daughter, Gina, in to be the general manager of the restaurant. He said she majored in business and worked at Serafina, one of Seattle’s premier Italian restaurants.
The restaurant will also be going for a more casual look and feel, to remind customers they can come in for a full meal or just a quick bite. He said the atmosphere will be light and airy with lots of windows and cool colors that blend with the sky and sea.
“Right now, at this location because of the nature of the building, some people feel like it is only for special occasions. I don’t want that. That is not what I want to portray,” Mauro said. “I want everyone to come in and know they can have a small portion of any dish, have a little glass of wine and have a good time without feeling like they have to have a full dinner and spend an extra amount of money.”
Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant is currently open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is open for dinner every night at 5 p.m. However, Mauro said, the new location will be open seven days a week at 11:30 a.m. and will be open between lunch and dinner. He will also offer a happy hour, a Sunday brunch and early- bird specials.
Mauro said he will stick to his Sicilian roots with a new menu that will feature half classical Italian food and lighter fare with lots of fresh seafood making up the rest.
By March, Mauro said,he will begin his tenant improvements to the space.
“We’re shooting to be open for the beginning or middle of June, so we can spend our first summer on the waterfront. I am really excited about it,” Mauro said.