In 1978, when few made downtown Grand Rapids their dining destination, Faro Uccello opened the first of eight successful area pizza shops in outlying areas. When he and his family moved back to his native Sicily in 1990, he sold the chain. But, he didn’t stay in Italy long. In fact, by 1996, he had returned and opened Uccello's Ristorante Pizzeria & Sports Lounge on the East Beltline.
While downtown Grand Rapids grew into a vibrant locality, so did Uccello’s family of restaurants. Under the umbrella of Uccello’s Hospitality Group, Faro Uccello, his son, Sergio Uccello, and son-in-law, Mario Piccione, have opened eight local restaurants: five Uccello’s Ristorante Pizzeria & Sport Lounges, two Herb and Fire Pizzeria locations, and Mazzo Cucino D’Italia, a farm-to-table eatery located within Downtown’s historic Ledyard Building.
Executive Chef Clark Frain oversees the creation of contemporary Italian dishes for Mazzo’s restaurant and its three event facilities: Chef’s Table, Mazzo Lounge, and, now, the Atrium, which accommodates up to 200 guests.
“We want to be that place where people come and have a celebration of life and enjoy themselves,” says Brittany Knoch, marketing director of Uccello’s Hospitality Group. "Chef Frain’s specially crafted food menu features top of the line, beautiful, decadent dishes. The other great part, we are right on Monroe Center in the heart of downtown, across from Rosa Park Circle.”
On Saturday March 10, the Atrium at Mazzo invites the public to help launch the space with an open house featuring a cash bar, sampling from the banquet menu, and live music to demonstrate the space’s exceptional acoustics. The venue’s newly appointed event coordinator, Juliane Mulcahy, plans to display different table settings at each uniquely decorated table. Guests can enter a raffle to win a 10 percent-off certificate good towards their first event at the Atrium.
“In the Atrium, we’ll have tables all decked out with an assortment of full settings to show off the versatility of the space. On a smaller scale, we’ll have the Chef’s Table and Mazzo Lounge staged as well,” she says. “The open house says, ‘Hi we're here! And, here’s what we can do.”
“We’re getting the word out, showing the public that we’re here,” adds Knoch. “We’re excited about what we have to show off.”
Open House: The Atrium at Mazzo
125 Ottawa Ave. NW
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday March 10
Menu sampling, live music, and cash bar
Photos courtesy of Uccello’s Hospitality Group.