Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria is opening its third location on Hillsborough Street Wednesday for dinner, starting at 4 p.m.
The location will offer the same menu items as Bocci’s two locations in Durham and Cary, including a variety of pastas, chicken parmesan and pizza, as well as sandwiches and wraps for lunchtime, said Chef Jason Tran.
“It’s casual Italian, something that meets the needs of everybody,” Tran said. “It’s not really regional, northern or southern. It’s almost a continental European take on the cuisine.”
The new location has a special-events room called The Valvano Room, named after the late NC State men’s basketball head coach Jim Valvano, who led the Pack to become the 1983 national champions.
Manager Sean Rivenbark said Bocci’s owner, Bob Jewett, is connected to the Valvano family.
“Bob, the owner, has a relationship with Jim Valvano’s wife and her current husband, and they gave us permission to use the name ‘Valvano,’” Rivenbark said. “They also gave us most of the memorabilia that you’ll see in the room. So it’s really special that we have a real connection to the family. It’s not just a name on the room.”
Valvano’s grandson and Chris Corchiani, a former NC State basketball player, were there for Bocci’s soft opening last week, Rivenbark said.
“Jim Valvano’s grandson was here, and he went up in the room and was looking around,” he said. “My wife and I talked to him for a while, and he got kind of teary-eyed looking at all the pictures of his grandfather.”
Jewett attended NC State. Assistant manager Rachel Gilmore said he wanted to open a restaurant near the school he loved.
“I think for him it was just the next option,” she said.
Info: The new restaurant is at 2412 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. bocciitalian.com, Facebook
Leah Moore: 919-829-4671. Twitter: @leah_moore1