KINGSPORT — The owners of three well-known Italian restaurants with a long history in the Model City are planning to open a fourth location downtown after the first of the year.
In January, Ralph and Michael Misciagna — owners of Italian Village, Raffaele’s and Giuseppe’s — purchased the 207 Broad Street building in downtown Kingsport with plans of establishing a restaurant in that location.
The building is located beside Wallace News and currently home to Finer Furnishing on Broad.
Rumors have been circulating for nearly a year that Italian Village was relocating from the Kingsport Town Center to downtown Kingsport. Earlier this year, however, the owners confirmed a relocation was not taking place.
Earlier this week, during a Board of Mayor and Aldermen work session, a Downtown Kingsport Association official made reference to Italian Village coming downtown.
Ralph Misciagna said Italian Village renewed its lease with the Kingsport Town Center over the summer, coming to an agreement that was good for both sides.
“We’re planning on opening a restaurant (downtown). We just don’t have any final details on the direction we’re going to go with it,” Misciagna said. “We’re in the planning stages and the architects are working on the plans. It’s not going to be a relocation and it’s definitely going to happen.”
Renovations to the two loft apartments in the second story of the Broad Street building currently are under way. Ralph Misciagna said work on the restaurant would probably not take place until those renovations are complete, likely after the first of the year.
“We have an idea, but we’re not firm on it,” he said, noting the restaurant would, of course, be Italian.
“We’ve been in Kingsport doing business for 35 years now and we see the downtown change throughout the years. We think downtown is prime now for new businesses,” Misciagna said. “The more restaurants downtown, the better it is for everybody ... if you have the right product and have what people are really looking for.”