New restaurant to open in Bellbrook next week

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A new restaurant is opening Monday, March 20 in the former space of Verona’s Pizza at 18 E. Franklin St. in Bellbrook.

Ardita Demnika and her father, Agron, are taking over the space to open Veli’s Pasta and Pizza. Demnika told the restaurant will continue to serve pizza, calzones, stromblis and baked dishes with plans to add additional entrees like spaghetti and alfredo. She explained the recipes will be the same for the most part, but she and her father plan to add their own personal touch.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

“It’s something I know how to do and it’s something my dad really wants,” Demnika said. “He has wanted a restaurant for a very long time.”

In 1999, Demnika and her family came to America from Kosovo. When she was 12, she began working in the restaurant industry with her father at the former Palermo’s Restaurant in Kettering. In recent years, they have worked together at Troni’s Italian Restaurant in Kettering.

She said the current owner of Verona’s Pizza, Edona Banulla, is her cousin. When she and her father open Veli’s, the restaurant will be family operated with the help of her mother and sister.

The name of the restaurant is a tribute to her late grandfather, Demnika said.

She said her favorite part of working in the restaurant industry is meeting and getting to know people. She also looks forward to building connections and friendships with the community.

Verona’s Pizza closed its Bellbrook location at end of business on Thursday, March 9.

Veli’s will be open for carryout and delivery 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The restaurant will offer first responders 10 percent off. For more information, visit the restaurant’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

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