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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Makeover of Castiglia’s in Fredericksburg continuing

The beginnings of the new bar area at Castiglia's can be seen from the front window.

Luigi Castiglia is continuing the makeover of his popular self-named Italian restaurant at 324 William St. in downtown Fredericksburg.

A 20-seat bar is being added in the space at Castiglia’s that used to be a market called Bella Italia. There will also be six tables and two new bathrooms on that side.

The existing bar at Castiglia’s will be removed, and the wall that was dividing the two sides in that area will be taken down, which will allow customers to walk from the bar to the restaurant. The rest of the wall dividing the two spaces will remain.

Luigi Castiglia hopes to open the bar side by May. He said there will be a separate menu for that area that  is more focused on small-plate appetizers as well as numerous martini offerings, wine and other drinks.

Castiglia, who owns the building, had been thinking about leasing the space next to the restaurant. He received interest from businesses including a Subway restaurant and a bakery. But he decided to instead expand Castiglia’s into the space.

Last year Castiglia renovated the restaurant’s interior and added a wood-burning brick oven that cooks Neapolitan pizzas in front of customers.

The restaurateur’s vision for Castiglia’s doesn’t end with the new bar. Next year he is hoping to build a rooftop bar, which Blake and Aby Bethem are also planning at their new burger joint and nightspot just down William Street.

Castiglia is also thinking about creating a banquet room and private dining area where Network Title used to be next to where the bar is being built. He also may lease that space out.