Arrivederci, Pasta House: Fairhaven’s Beloved Italian Restaurant Is Rebranding
There have been a lot of rumors floating around about one of the SouthCoast's most popular restaurants. We received news this week that one of those rumors is actually true. Mario Ribeiro, the owner of The Pasta House in Fairhaven, reached out to Fun 107 to tell us he has some big news.
“We’re rebranding for the future,” Ribeiro confirmed.
Starting on Saturday, Oct. 1, The Pasta House will be transforming into BOCCA.
Ribeiro did not personally name or create The Pasta House himself. The Raikonen family created and operated The Pasta House successfully for 20 years before Ribeiro acquired the business in 2001.
“I’ve always wanted to put my own stamp on the restaurant, especially since I completely changed the concept back in 2008,” Ribeiro said. “I’ve always thought the name was very generic and we want to get away from that. We’re more than just a house of pasta.”
Ribeiro mentioned that another major reason for the change was the fact that there is a 17-unit “Pasta House” chain in Missouri, which has always caused some issues and confusion.
The evolution of this new identity is interesting, as it can be tricky choosing a name for a restaurant.
“I’ve wanted to rename the restaurant since our first major renovation and rebrand back in 2008,” Ribeiro said. “However, my first idea was shot down by basically everyone that I proposed the plan. It was originally going to be named ‘Salty Bocca,’ which is our slang for my favorite Italian dish, chicken saltimbocca,” Ribeiro said.
After consulting with his management team and family, they collectively made the decision to drop “Salty” from the name and just go with “BOCCA.”
“It translates to ‘mouth’ in Italian,” Ribeiro said. “It’s simple and we all like it. Simplicity is the key to great Italian food.”
The restaurant will undergo an extensive interior renovation, which will sophisticate its look, creating an inviting and energetic atmosphere. Some of the highlights are white marble countertops, new seating arrangements, upscale lighting, a fireplace, flooring and more.
“It will be a nice surprise when it’s done,” Ribeiro said.
BOCCA will keep roughly 90 percent of the existing menu that The Pasta House features, with seasonal changes as usual. BOCCA will introduce new choices as well, including antipasto boards that will feature a variety of imported cold cuts and cheeses, an improved recipe for the pizza dough, transitioning to a fresh Neapolitan-like style with a light and fluffy texture, and expanding their meat choices.
“I think the new style of pizza is going to be a huge hit,” Ribeiro said.
Ribeiro confirmed that construction will begin on Sunday, Sept. 18, and last nearly two weeks.
During most of the renovation, they will be able to keep their kitchen open for curbside pickup takeout orders. The entire restaurant will be shut down for only a couple of days before the grand re-opening event.
That grand re-opening is slated for Saturday, Oct. 1. Ribeiro is excited to finally share his vision and introduce BOCCA to the SouthCoast community next month.
“This renovation is two years in the making,” Ribeiro said. “It was supposed to happen in the fall of 2020 before the pandemic forced us to postpone our plans. It’s great to finally see this come to fruition.”
Ribeiro knows that one of the burning questions loyal patrons will have is in regard to gift cards. He confirmed that since the restaurant corporation will still be operating under The Pasta House Inc., all Pasta House gift cards will be honored at this location, as long as Ribeiro remains the owner of the business. He also stated he has no plans of selling the restaurant.
Whether it's called The Pasta House or BOCCA, it's still a family-owned and operated business. The Ribeiro family continues to welcome members of the SouthCoast community to share a meal with them any day of the week.
Editor's Note: The author of this piece is the niece of the owners of the establishment.