CALEDONIA — Wells Brothers Italian flavors are no longer just south-side offerings.
Bill Rivers, co-owner of Wells Brothers Italian Restaurant, and his wife, Samantha, this week opened Nonna Wells Pizzeria at 1317 4 Mile Road. Nonna (rhymes with Mona) Wells is named for Rivers’ late grandmother, Rose Wells, whose family nickname was Nonna, the Italian word for grandmother.
Bill and Samantha said the new pizzeria’s food is from the same recipes used at Wells Brothers, 2148 Mead St., Mount Pleasant.
“Since 1921, Wells Brothers has been preparing Italian dishes utilizing the same recipes that have been passed down through the generations under the loving direction of Grandma Rosie,” the Nonna Wells menu states.
To make their north-side foray, Bill and Samantha Rivers converted a former tanning salon and joined Danny’s Meats & Catering in the small strip center at 4 Mile Road and Charles Street.
Despite keeping a low profile during a soft opening that started Sunday, Samantha said this week has been “busy. Very busy.”
She expects pizzas will comprise at least about 80 percent of sales. But Nonna Wells also sells sandwiches, pastas (hot or frozen), meatballs, Italian sausage, salads, half-baked pizza and most of the Italian specialties offered at the Wells Brothers restaurant, as well as desserts. There will be daily soup and dessert specials.
“Everything is made on site,” Samantha said: sauce, dough, lasagna noodles, Italian sausage (which is ground and spiced there), Italian dressing, soups and desserts.
“To me, a little more effort goes a long way,” she remarked.
Nonna Wells has added three dishes to the Wells Brothers menu, Samantha said: gnocchi, fettuccini Alfredo and deep-fried ravioli with marinara, an appetizer.
For those who work at Nonna Wells, the rhythms are different than at Wells Brothers, Samantha said. First, it’s a faster pace, because it’s not a sit-down restaurant.
Also, she said, “Our busy and low times are different.” The low time is in the morning, allowing them to “ease into” the day. But business starts picking up between about 2-3 p.m. as people are going home from work.
At Wells Brothers, Samantha said, people tend to go home, get ready, then go out to dinner a bit later.
Besides the locally renowned Wells pizza, Samantha said she expects strong demand for their Italian beef sandwiches and their lasagna.
“We make it all the way down to the noodles,” she said.
Nonna Wells Pizzeria is open 11 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 262-639-1800.