Vince Cessna is getting back to what he knows — and loves — best.
Cessna, a chef of 18 years, is opening up his family restaurant once again in North Canton, this time at a different location. Cessna's Italian Restaurant — now just Cessna's — closed in 2010 at its location where Demico's Pizzeria now is.
The shop will re-open at 706 S. Main St.
And Cessna? He couldn't be happier.
"I miss the fact you make people happy when you cook," he said inside the restaurant's kitchen this week. "I miss the retail end of it so much. I miss the customers. You get to see the customers and how much they're enjoying the food."
The restaurant, which opened at 1212 S. Main St. in November 2009 and closed about a year later, will be all takeout. That includes not only hot pastas, pizzas, half-sheet foccacia and calzones, but wholesale distribution of homemade hand-rolled pizza dough, meatballs and pasta, including spaghetti, fettucine, linguine and tortellini.
It doesn't end there. Customers can also order sauces (individually portioned or by the gallon). Those include marinara, meat sauce, arabiata, alredo and putanesca.
Also inside the deli case: fresh salads, pasta portions, olives, pizza by the slice, calzones and chicken cacciatore.
The pizzas will bake inside a stone-deck. That's just one piece among many Cessna has collected from various locations.
"Every piece of equipment in here has a story behind it," he said.
Cessna said his family will work in the restaurant, too, just as they did before. That includes his parents as well as brother and sister.
"I want them here," he said. "It's because that's how it should be. Whenever you step into a Little Italy shop, you see family members running it."
The restaurant's inside exudes "Little Italy." The patchy, rustic walls give off an aged feel, while the storefront window displays Italy in colors of red and green.
Since Cessna's Italian Restaurant's closing, Cessna has kept busy with his wholesale business, which included distribution to local vineyards.
The restaurant will have a soft opening in mid- to late-March. Cessna said to look for the glowing "open" sign at the front of the store. The shop's hours will be 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Cessna expects to eventually open for lunch.
And if you're thinking about what to order once the restaurant opens, Cessna suggests the spaghetti and meatballs.
"The sauce, it starts with roasted veal bones simmered in tomatoes," he said. "It's got a buttery finish. It's perfect."