A new mixed-use project in Paso Robles will pair an upscale American-Italian restaurant with apartments and office space at the southern gateway to downtown.
The Bellissimo — centered around a “high-end, but relaxed” eatery where diners can munch on Italian sandwiches while playing bocce ball — is planned for a vacant lot on the southeast corner of Spring and Fourth streets.
The Planning Commission recently approved the project, co-owned by Kasey Walker of Agoura Hills and Karen Marsden, who owns Vines RV Resort and Mars Mega Storage, both in Paso Robles.
Walker and Marsden purchased the property in April for $800,000, and the entire project is expected to cost about $4.5 million, according to Walker. She said she frequently visits Marsden in Paso Robles and noticed a need for a Bellissimo-style restaurant.
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“I said to her, ‘What I really think Paso is missing is somewhere downtown where you can feel like you’re in a vineyard,’ ” she said.
The 4,120-square-foot restaurant will feature a menu with pizzas, salads and paninis made with local vegetables, she said. The 3,500-square-foot outdoor dining area will include multiple bocce ball courts, fire pits and a “wine garden” setting.
The restaurant building will be two stories, with 1,270 square feet of office space on the second floor. Four one-bedroom, “row house” style apartments will face Spring Street.
Walker said she expects to break ground on the project by the end of January and open the restaurant, office and living space in 2019.
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