Cassese’s MVR to Enclose Bocce Courts, Extend Season

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Cassese’s MVR is looking to expand it’s growing bocce league into the winter months by enclosing its courts within a new structure.

The city’s Design Review Committee approved plans for the structure during its meeting Tuesday.

Plans call for construction of a 114-by-74-foot building that will enclose the existing bocce courts and allow for the creation of a fifth court. The building will include sliding doors and windows, as well as sliding garage doors that can be opened in the summer and closed during the winter.

“Everyone is very much aware of what has gone on in the food and beverage industry over the last two years,” said Joe Cassese, owner of Cassese’s MVR.

During bocce season, which runs from April to mid September, Cassese’s attracts about 250 additional customers six nights a week.

“We are a destination, so we need to make sure we are as much of a winter destination as a summer one,” he said.

The existing patio-style structure will be demolished with the new building using the same footprint. Another smaller structure will be built on the north end of the existing courts, and will contain a lobby, restrooms and area for spectators.

The two new structures will be connected to the restaurant and banquet area.

“It allows the whole back bocce area and the patio bar to become fully accessible,” said Kevin Willis, associate principal with Strollo Architects.

Currently customers can only access restrooms from inside the restaurant.

“We’re ready to start as soon as possible,” Cassese said.

He says the goal is to have the new building finished as soon as mid-March 2022, so it is ready for the start of bocce leagues.

Currently, Cassese’s MVR hosts 86 teams for bocce.

“It is one of the largest, if not the largest summer bocce league in the United States,” Cassese said.

The expansion will also allow Cassese’s to expand its banquet business, he noted. While the bocce courts are occupied six nights a week by league play, banquet events held on Sundays – when the restaurant is closed – are able to make use of the space during the colder months.

“This is a game-changer,” Cassese said. “Now we’ll have the ability to have heat on in an area that would have been inaccessible for the majority of the year.”

Pictured: Renderings of the MVR project. (Image: Strollo Architects)

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.