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Soho owner opening Italian place across Chippewa

The owner of Soho Burger Bar is turning a place across the street into an Italian restaurant.

Jay Manno said that the former City Tavern will become Frankie Primo’s +39 before the end of November, if all goes well.

It'll be like Soho, he said: "Fine dining service and quality food in a fun, fast casual atmosphere."

He expects to open with a menu of brick oven pizzas, pastas, appetizers, sandwiches and salads, eventually joined by a few entrees. It’ll have about 50 table seats, 20 at the bar, and 30 on the patio when appropriate.

With a kitchen expansion and cosmetic work inside, he’s hoping work can be done by mid-November. “It’s ambitious, to say the least,” he said.

Frankie Primo's +39 is a play on his children’s first names plus the country code to phone Italy, he explained.

He’s gotten some feedback that the name is too long, Manno said. “But nobody says ‘I’m going to Soho Burger Bar.’ They say ‘I’m going to Soho.’ Or ‘I’m going to Trattoria Aroma.’ They say ‘I’m going to Aroma.’ We’ll see what sticks.”

The space, at 51 W. Chippewa St., is a meatball’s throw from Soho, at 64 W. Chippewa.

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