Italy has invaded West Baraboo.
A year after opening the American cuisine eatery Chomp, its owners have transformed the establishment into an Italian restaurant. Fratelli’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant opens at 3 p.m. Friday.
Hailey Borota, who owns the restaurant with a silent partner, said she sees a niche in the local restaurant market for an Italian-style ristorante. “We were ready for something different,” she said. “You can get a great burger anywhere in Baraboo.
“There’s just not a lot of places you can get a huge plate of pasta.”
Chomp closed Sunday. Borota’s family and the staff spent the week redecorating the restaurant and planning a new menu featuring fast, affordable dishes including spaghetti, fettucine, ravioli and thin-crust pizza. Everything, including the pasta, will be made from scratch. Checkerboard table cloths and bottles of olive oil top the tables.
“I’m excited to get people in the door and feel the restaurant buzz,” said manager Samantha Krueger. “They’re going to feel like they’re in a little part of Italy.”
The restaurant’s new theme generated a buzz online last week when Chomp changed its social media accounts over to Fratelli’s. Borota said her phone lit up with inquiries. “I was a little bit surprised by the following we got instantly,” she said. “You don’t know until they actually come.”
Fratelli’s will offer free homemade garlic bread, plus specials such as two-for-one glasses of wine Tuesdays through Thursdays. Borota and her staff of 11 are counting on made-from-scratch entrees such as Italian beef sandwiches and cracker-crust pizza to lure customers. Located on Pine Street, the restaurant is open Tuesdays through Sundays, serving breakfast on weekends and – of course – a fish fry on Friday nights. Gluten-free options are available.
“It’s exciting: We’re making all our homemade pastas,” Krueger said. “It’s good to see recipes come to life here.”
Borota said the name “Fratelli’s” was chosen because it means “sibling” in Italian, a nod to her family’s support of the restaurant. “Everybody chips in where they can,” said her father and chief food tester Tim Borota.
On Thursday, Hailey Borota was covered in flour from making pasta, and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new exterior sign. Now that Italy has invaded West Baraboo, she can’t wait for hungry customers to break down her doors. “I think we’re ready,” she said.