It has evolved, Barba says about La Scala Italian Restaurant, which is marking its 10th anniversary this year. People demanded more dishes, more ambience, more fine dining. Thats how we progressed to be what we are today.
Now an upscale, white-tablecloth restaurant on Broad Street, La Scala draws much of its customer base from the business and medical communities and serves many corporate accounts, Barba said.
We have found a niche in the community, he added. Im very pleased with the results so far.
Barbas business experience precedes the decade-old restaurant.
A Rome resident since 1976, he owned a local insurance company for many years until he sold it in 1993. He also has run his own wine importing business since 1985.
Helping La Scala find its niche has meant narrowing its focus through the years.
Six years ago we decided to close for lunch and concentrate on dinner, Barba said.
Barbas son, Anthony, also joined the restaurant 2½ years ago and now serves as general manager, both at La Scala and the Barbas newest venture Waterfront Grill & Bar, which opened in 2004.
The toughest part about running an upscale restaurant in Rome is finding and keeping good employees, Barba said.
Im fortunate to have a chef at La Scala whos been with us for five years, he said, referring to chef Mikel Sykes.