Nicolinni’s Restaurant to Reopen in Canfield Next Week

CANFIELD, Ohio – A popular Valley restaurant will reopen next week in a new location.

Nicolinni’s Chophouse will open May 2 at 6580 Ironwood Blvd., off U.S. Route 224, just east of the state Route 11 interchange and next to Hampton Inn.

Patrick and Stephanie Lavanty own and operate the Italian restaurant.

The Lavantys’ original Nicolinni’s, at 1247 Boardman Poland Road, closed in 2021 after 16 years. A Swenson’s drive-in burger restaurant is now on the site.

The menu will remain largely the same once the new location opens, said Patrick Lavanty, who is also the head chef.

“Ninety percent of the menu items at the Boardman location will carry over,” he said. “We will also put a handful of new items on.”

The restaurant had a large base of regular customers. During a visit to the location this week, motorists stopped by to ask when it would open and express their approval.

Nicolinni’s Chophouse, which will open next week, has three dining rooms, a bar area and a covered patio.

“There is a lot of buzz,” Lavanty said. “People are coming in and asking, ‘Can we get a table for three?’ and I have to tell them we’re not open yet.”

Like the previous building, the new location is spacious. It has three separate dining rooms, a bar and a covered patio, with a total seating capacity of 253 – the same as the previous location, according to Stephanie Lavanty.

Once fully staffed, Nicolinni’s will employ at least 50, including chef John “Tank” Jurcisin, former executive chef at Magic Tree Pub & Eatery in Boardman.

“A lot of the old staff is returning,” Stephanie said.

Getting ready to join the family business are the Lavantys’ two children, Nick and Giada.

“They’re a little bit older now,” Stephanie said. “Nick will be a junior [in high school] and is getting ready to get in the kitchen with his dad, and Giada is 15 and will be up front [of the house] with me. We say it’s a family restaurant, and it really is a family restaurant.”

The building Nicolinni’s Chophouse is in was constructed in 2007 and has housed three other restaurants since then. Harry and Jean’s came first, followed by Waterfire and, most recently, Scachetti’s.

The Lavantys considered building a new location on property they own in Boardman next to their old restaurant. They also looked at a half-dozen existing locations before settling on the Canfield building, which they are leasing.

“This one just kind of fit,” Stephanie said. “It’s away from the chaos.”

Patrick pointed out that it sits amid a densely populated area but is quiet and has ample parking. “We are close enough [to our customers], but it’s not a challenge to get in and out.”

Nicolinni’s Chophouse will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m.

The new restaurant is separate from Nicolinni’s Restaurante in Austintown, which is owned by Patrick’s brother, John.

The Lavanty family has been in the restaurant business in the Mahoning Valley since their father, Nick, opened Lavanty’s Pizza on Youngstown’s North Side in 1962. That pizza shop transitioned into a full-service restaurant in the late 1970s.

Pictured at top: Patrick Lavanty, co-owner and head chef, in the kitchen of his new restaurant, Nicolinni’s Chophouse, on Ironwood Boulevard in Canfield.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.