The Coral Springs Italian restaurant Tavolino Della Nonna first opened aiming to pay homage to the memory of sitting around grandmother’s table to eat her homecooked meals. It even has a special corner filled with black-and-white family photos.

In the middle of that corner is a dining table, and a 1940s oven and sink line one of the walls. Re-runs of “I Love Lucy” silently play on a monitor screen.

Now, owner Edward Pozzuoli wants things to get a bit louder.

The West Sample Road restaurant recently expanded, nearly doubling its size to add a bar and dimly lit lounge for live music performances and stand-up comedy nights. Cocktail tables are scattered throughout, two large screens loop black-and-white videos of musical performances, and a saxophone hangs from a wall.

Steps away is the dining area that opened in 2007. It’s sound-proof to block any undesired music from the lounge.

“It’s all a matter of the old and new and blending them together,” Pozzuoli said of his 6,500-square-foot restaurant.

The new portion, “Tavolino Della Notte” or as Pozzuoli translates, “Little Table of the Night,” livens up the up-scale establishment while still honoring the concept of grandma’s table, he said.

“We don’t want to forget our loyal customers, first and foremost,” Pozzuoli said, as he routinely excused himself to hug and shake hands with customers who approached him to say goodbye after their meals.

“We want to grow together to make it right,” he said.

Coral Springs resident Rose Colbacchini said that for three years in a row, her bowling league “Coffee Cups” has been celebrating the end of the bowling season at Pozzuoli’s restaurant. This season, the group of nearly 30 ladies reserved the lounge area.

“We’ll be back next year,” said Colbacchini, 74. “It’s a special place.”

Pozzuoli said the Copacabana-like lounge is the third component his Coral Springs business needed to be successful.

“Great food, great service and great atmosphere,” he said. “When all those are working together, it’s like having the fifth Beatle, a je ne sais quoi, the home-field advantage.”

Pozzuoli’s vision of how he wanted to upgrade the restaurant helped in the development process, said Edward Cannatelli of Pompano Beach-based Cannatelli Builders Inc., which completed the project.

“It’s always nice when a client is very excited about his project. A lot of times it turns into friendship,” Cannatelli said at Pozzuoli’s restaurant. “Like this one.”

The new space took about five months and was completed toward the end of 2012, Cannatelli said.

Pozzuoli said his business, like many others, took a hit during the Great Recession. At one point he thought of selling the restaurant, but opted for investing in it instead because he believed they were still delivering quality service.

“Even in difficult times, people still enjoy quality,” he said. “That’s what we aim for.”

Tavolino Della Nonna is at 10181 W. Sample Road, east of Coral Springs Drive. It’s open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Reservations are encouraged.

For the entertainment line-up, go to, 954-356-4526 or Twitter @MiriamValverde

Copyright © 2013, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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