CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After two successful years in SouthPark, Little Mama’s Italian Kitchen is expanding and opening a second location in South Charlotte.
Officials say the newest location in the Rea Farms development in South Charlotte is set to open next year.
Officials say the restaurant will mirror the feel and look of the original location, transporting guests back to the 70s Italian-American experience people have come to know and love in SouthPark.
“Little Mama’s is a heartfelt project that has been an incredible success so far in SouthPark, even by pre-pandemic standards,” said Scibelli. “I look forward to sharing the simple yet delicious flavors of my childhood—food inspired by our upbringings, made by our (FS Food Group) family— for the South Charlotte community.”
A Charlotte staple since 1992, officials say Little Mama’s Italian Kitchen is a collaborative celebration of the 1960s and 1970s Italian restaurants restaurateur Frank Scibelli, Stephanie Kalish, and chef partner Tom Dyrness enjoyed growing up that also inspired their careers in hospitality.
Chef Thomas Vance, originally from Long Island and formerly of Carpe Diem and Georges Brasserie, joined the team last year and has been a pillar for the restaurant’s success.
In fact, officials say Vance is about to lead the next research trip to his old stomping grounds in New York as he and Scibelli collaborate on new menu items for Little Mama’s. Vance, along with Dyrness, Kalish and Scibelli, will continue leading the brand as they open location number two.
“Growing up in a predominantly Italian-American family in Long Island, fellowship and food was a way to celebrate our heritage and family traditions,” said Vance. “I have early memories of arguments about the correct way to make sausage and peppers or who’s Sunday gravy was the best. It’s these early memories that fueled my passion and led me to become a chef, and I was ecstatic to join a team with people who are rooted in these similar experiences and traditions. Together we have created a great place to experience Italian-American food and culture here in Charlotte and I look forward to continuing to grow the brand.”
The new location, formerly Sensi Restaurant, boasts 4,600 square feet and will seat approximately 200 guests.
Officials say Little Mama’s Rea Farms will also feature a spacious outdoor patio for guests to sip on a Lavencello Martini and enjoy fresh mozzarella made daily from the Mozz Bar.
In addition to the house-made pastas and specialties, officials say the Rea Farms location will also serve a selection of pizzas and will eventually be open for lunch, dinner, and brunch.