Family-owned La Scala Ristorante in Worcester sold to new owner

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While La Scala Ristorante has changed ownership, new owner Dave Purvis said the Shrewsbury Street restaurant will remain the same.

Purvis purchased the Italian restaurant from the Zona family, who have owned and operated the restaurant since 2009. Purvis is in his third week of running La Scala, he told MassLive Wednesday.

Under his ownership, Purvis said the restaurant will be keeping the same name and same menu, but he will probably add something “to make it better when we can.”

He said his background is in steaks and a number of different cuisines, so he may add specials to the menu.

For the past 20 years, Purvis has worked as managing partner and director with the Darden Restaurant Group which includes the brands Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille and the Olive Garden, among others.

He kept the staff the Zona family had in place and said customers can expect great food, great service and a scratch kitchen with everything made in house.

He said he’ll source as much produce locally as he can and during the summer will use local farms for produce.

Purvis said he wanted to buy the restaurant because he’s been in the restaurant business his whole life and he looks forward to continuing the La Scala name and will make improvements wherever he can.

Kevin and Maria Zona are both graduates of Johnson & Wales University, according to the restaurant’s website, and they offered “a wonderful and authentic Italian cuisine experience.”

When it came to their reason for selling, Purvis said he thinks it was just their time, saying they’ve been running the restaurant for a number of years.

On social media, Maria Zona wrote that selling the restaurant was a very hard decision, “but the hard decisions in life sometimes are the greatest ones,” the Worcester Business Journal reported.

“Our heart and soul and many endless nights and early mornings at 183 Shrewsbury Street, but we made it through some very difficult situations,” Zona continued in her post.

Purvis said he preferred not to disclose the restaurant’s sale price.

For Purvis, running the restaurant is “all about really good food.”

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