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La Rosetta restaurant to open downtown

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The Chimneys, the historic house at 623 Caroline St., will once again be home to a restaurant.

La Rosetta, formerly located in Stafford County, will open in the downtown building across the street from the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in November, said restaurant owner Robert Gonzales.

The restaurant specializes in Northern Italian cuisine, but will incorporate recipes from a wider swath of Europe in the new location. He said he’ll also hold events that draw from the family’s Latin background at the new La Rosetta.

His family isn’t new to the restaurant scene in the region. Gonzales operated La Rosetta for nine years at 315 Garrisonville Road, and his brother and cousin own The Soup & Taco at 813 Caroline St.

La Rosetta is moving into a much larger space than the Stafford location or The Soup & Taco, but Gonzales said the family still plans on being just as hands-on as they are at the smaller space.

Gonzales said the Stafford location wasn’t profitable and he moved the business downtown to attract more-regular clientele.

Gonzales plans on using both floors of the 5,247-square-foot restaurant to seat up to 150 patrons.

The Chimneys, an 1846 Georgian-style home so-named because of the prominent chimneys at both ends of the structure, is on the National Register of Historic Places and owned by local real estate developer Tommy Mitchell.

It has been host to a number of restaurants in recent years including Eileen’s, which moved to another location, and Buttermilk & Old Lace, which closed after a contract dispute.

The building also was slated to be the location for the aptly named The Chimneys, which was planned by the owners of the locally ill-fated F.W. Sullivans, but never opened.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976


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