“I’d like to see this area blossom again,” says Greg Amantea, while gesturing toward a flurry of cars driving past a rectangular window.
But from inside the serene atmosphere of Amore’s Ristorante, it’s impossible to fixate outside on humming cars passing through the Gulch.
The dimly lit restaurant is lined with a steam of chocolate-brown chairs that have been neatly tucked up to tables draped in white cloths. A thoughtful brunette meticulously distributes plates while silently completing her duties.
Greg and his wife, Anita, recently opened the doors of the new Italian kitchen in the Gulch. Classical music mutes the sounds from clinking wine glasses and murmurs from clients at other tables, and the operation runs smoothly with seven people on staff.
“We opened three weeks ago and it’s been steady since we opened the doors,” Greg said. “We haven’t had a slow day yet.”
The Amantea’s previously owned the Casalingo Italian Ristorante in the same location, but a family ordeal inspired the family to temporarily close their doors.
But instead of selling the storefront after a series of major renovations five years ago, the family opted to lease it to the owners of Azteca Mexican Restaurant.
And after a brief hiatus from the hospitality industry, the Amantea family made a decision to get back into business. Anita works in the kitchen with three line cooks and a dishwasher, while both of the Amantea daughters serve customers and Greg oversees the entire operation to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
“There’s no business loan on the place. It’s all personally guaranteed by us,” he said. “And our motto is to support the local people.”
And he’s not kidding.
Everything from the kitchen is authentic to Trail. The Amantea’s shop for ingredients—ranging from pasta to baking to coffee—locally and they cook all of their recipes from scratch.
“We don’t order anything in and that’s really important to us,” he emphasized.
But taking orders and managing a new business wasn’t enough for Greg, he grew up in the Gulch and wants to see the area continually be revitalized by the community.
To prove it, he worked closely with friends and family for roughly 250 hours to paint and clean up the interior and exterior of the building.
“This is an Italian community and the Italians in Trail have always taken a lot of pride in the gulch, myself included,” he explained.
“I remember running up and down the streets in my younger years and it was a great time, so I’m happy to be back in the Gulch and revive it.”
Stop by and check out the developments at Amore’s Ristorante in the Gulch. It’s located at 876 Rossland Avenue and it’s open from 4 until 9 p.m. every Tuesday until Saturday.