MENTOR, Ohio (WOIO) - LaMalfa in Mentor is opening its doors to the public with a brand new scratch kitchen, in hopes of recovering lost wedding and special events business due to COVID-19.
Owner Marty LaMalfa told 19 News that the facility typically hosts 120 receptions and ceremonies each year.
“So it’s pretty challenging for our industry,” he said.
Starting this Friday, he’s transforming the 75,000-square-foot facility into a public restaurant.
LaMalfa, which is connected to the Wingate by Wyndham hotel on Heisley Road, will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“I can’t sit back, so I want to embrace a new approach and welcome people back into our family business,” LaMalfa said.
Dozens of guests can safely fit into the wide open spaces.
Tables are spread further apart than they typically are for a banquet or wedding reception, with some secluded inside mesh gazebos.
Orders will be placed using a postcard, which guests will turn in at the front desk of the hotel. When the meal is cooked, it will be delivered to the table.
Drink service is available at the bar, which now includes glass barriers to separate workers and customers.
LaMalfa said he’ll be playing music for entertainment.
“We also have private dance floors so you can dance and call it COVIDstyle,” he said with a grin. “Enjoy the music, the food and the accompaniment of who you came with. I guess that’s what it’s all about.”
LaMalfa did not say how much business he’s lost, or what the financial impact has been of losing so many scheduled events.
“If it offsets, great. It’ll take a while for that to happen,” he said.
In the meantime, he’s simply focused on moving forward.
More information on LaMalfa Scratch Kitchen, including the hours and menu, can be found by clicking here.