New Brunswick

Zio's Pizzeria eyes large restaurant in Moncton

A Moncton business owner is hoping to build a large restaurant on the site across from the old Moncton High school.

Owner Sandro Speranza hopes the new 13,000-square-foot restaurant will be open by May

Sandro Speranza, the owner of Zio's Pizzeria, stands in front of a sign advertising his new restaurant. (Lindsay Michael/CBC)

A Moncton business owner is hoping to build a large restaurant on an empty lot across from the old Moncton High school.

Sandro Speranza, the owner of Zio's Pizzeria, has been slowly buying up lots around the corner of Mountain Road and Church Street for many years.

He has been dreaming of opening a large-scale restaurant since 1985 and now those dreams are becoming a reality.

"This is built for my neighbourhood that I was born in. I never thought I'd ever do it, but it just came," he said.

The new development will be about 13,000-square feet and is estimated to be worth more than $4 million.

It will have a restaurant, the pizzeria, a food production area and some office space for rental.

It's not just good for the neighbourhood … this is also good for all of Moncton.- Paulette Thériault, city councillor

Speranza said the last parcel of land he bought was where his brother's controversial strip club used to stand.

"As soon as I got my brother out of the strip club, I tore it down immediately because it was the worst thing that ever happened to the neighbourhood," Speranza said.

"I'm really glad to get rid of that stuff and something really beautiful is going to come out of that."

Speranza said he is planning to break ground in late September and is hoping to open up in early May.

Moncton Coun. Paulette Thériault said she is encouraged by the new business development.

"It's not just good for the neighbourhood — it's an area that needs to be revitalized — this is also good for all of Moncton."

Thériault said the project's central location is what makes it important for the city.

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