The Shop restaurant is coming to Chatham Plaza in Chatham

The modern eatery brings am inventive Italian menu to the Levin-managed retail center.

The Shop, a locally-owned Italian restaurant and pizzeria, is coming to Chatham Plaza on Main Street in Chatham, according to an announcement from North Plainfield-based Levin Management Corp. LMC serves as exclusive leasing and managing agent for the 31,500-square-foot retail center.

Kendal Hand-Freda, LMC leasing representative, arranged the 2,300-square-foot, long-term lease space that formerly housed Café Villa for more than 25 years.

“Chatham Plaza shoppers and local residents alike have long appreciated the presence of an Italian restaurant at this location,” said Hand-Freda. “The Shop is a modern, family-friendly restaurant where patrons can still grab a pizza along with a host of other classic Italian favorites. We are thrilled to bring this quality dining element to the community.”

The Shop is a new business venture for Vincenzo Bernardo and Christopher Bezzone, who both have roots in the local community. The restaurant will be a one-stop “shop” for artisanal pizzas, hand-crafted pastas and sandwiches. A small retail component will sell imported specialty goods, prepared sauces, cheeses and fresh breads.

“The Shop is centered around pizza, pasta and panino,” Bezzone said. “We look forward to being a neighborhood dining destination where someone can stop by a few times a week to grab their favorite lunch or dinner. What sets us apart is our focus on inventive and creative versions of Italian food. All menu items will feature authentic ingredients that pay homage to our Italian heritage. Our concept takes these classic dishes and elevates them in a way that’s trendy, appealing and a little more thoughtful than a typical slice of pizza.”

Anchored by a 14,200-square-foot CVS Pharmacy, Chatham Plaza’s tenant mix also includes a Blue Foundry Bank, C2 Education tutoring center and JAG-One Physical Therapy, along with typical neighborhood conveniences such as a bagel shop and a dry cleaner.