The Vucciria sign came down recently, and the new awning with the name "Coco Bella" should be up in about a week, says Maria Megna, whose parents, Mimma and Joe Megna, own the restaurant at 1323 E. Brady St.
The Megnas -- who also operate Mimma's Café -- owned Vucciria with the Anton family, but are the sole owners of the new-and-improved Coco Bella. Maria is the restaurant's general manager.
According to Maria, the award-winning space that was created by Flux Design will change very little -- and yes, they are keeping the gelateria -- but the new menu is more extensive.
"The focus is not going to be on pizza, like it was at Vucciria," says Megna. "We will still serve pizza, but the menu will be more of a classic Italian menu with pasta, fish and other entrees."
A new chef, Hernan Reynoso, joined the staff in December.
Megna -- who holds a full-time job as an Italian wine importer -- says the restaurant will feature an extensive wine bar, focusing on Italian, Spanish and French wines. The prices, she says, will be moderate, around $28 for a bottle, with glasses and carafes also available.
The name "Coco Bella" came from two family dogs, Coco and Bella. "We went through about 100 names and came up with 'Coco Bella' because my parents have a Yorkshire Terrior named 'Coco' and I have a yorkie named 'Bella.'"
Megna says part of Coco Bella's mission is to be more involved with the community. They recently did a food demo with Brady Street neighbor Miss Groove, and on Sundays, kids -- who dine-in with parents -- eat for free from 2 to 7 p.m. A kids' menu is available every day of the week.
"Overall, we wanted to create more of a restaurant feel," says Maria, who worked for 12 years at Mimma's. "We want to provide a comfortable, affordable place where people can eat more than once a week."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.