Royal Oak OKs Italian restaurant map on former HopCat website – Daily Tribune


Pastaio, a new Italian restaurant slated to open next month in downtown Royal Oak, has obtained approval from city commissioners on its plan of operation for a liquor license.

Pastaio takes over the old HopCat restaurant at 280 W. Fifth Street.

Restaurateur Pasquale Lamarra operates six restaurants in Florida, including a Pastaio restaurant in Port St. Lucie and another in Palm City, offering handmade pasta, pizza and other dishes.

“When we got here (from Florida) we really fell in love with this area,” Lamarra told Commissioners. “We really care and have great quality food at reasonable prices.”

Customers can see the prepared pasta when they dine there, he added.

“We make everything fresh, by hand,” Lamarra said.

Other menu items include shareable dishes, soups, salads, and entrees.

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said about $ 600,000 in renovations were underway in the building.

Lamarra owns the restaurant with three investors who are commercial real estate investors in Florida, Michigan and Missouri.

Lamarra grew up in Florida and her parents also owned restaurants, O’Donohue said.

Royal Oak’s Pastaio restaurant will hire locally. Lamarra said he was not worried about finding enough employees, even though restaurant workers have been harder to find nationwide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and rates of earnings have increased.

“We were way ahead of minimum wage,” Lamarra said.

The restaurant will have a full-service bar and nightclub lounge on the second floor, which includes a dance floor, according to a police report by Deputy Chief Michael Moore.

None of the restaurants Lamarra owns in Florida have been the subject of complaints or violations by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Moore said in his report.

At Royal Oak, Pastaio – which means “pasta maker” in Italian – will have approximately 14,000 square feet of space and seating for 245 customers.

O’Donohue said the seat count was 132 fewer than HopCat’s when it was in operation.

With three floors, each with a bar, Pastaio is expected to have 120 seats on the first floor, 103 on the second floor, and 22 on the top floor.

There will also be three service areas outside the restaurant. Glass garage doors will be lifted to access outdoor spaces during the warmer months, Moore said in her report.

Pastaio plans to have a DJ on Fridays and Saturdays, and live music at special events.

“Sound will be limited to a level that will not negatively impact neighboring or adjacent owners,” Moore said, “and Pastaio will comply with the provisions of the (city) sound ordinance.”

No music will be played in the outdoor areas of the restaurant.

Lamarra and her management team of two parents will oversee the daily operations of the restaurant. Moore said they plan to hire employees locally and will form a permanent on-site management team for Pastaio.

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