Arlecchino fills a large order for more space

Rick Shrum

Jonathan Vlasic did not have to expand Arlecchino Ristorante, his upscale Italian dining destination in Peters Township, to ramp up business during the pandemic. But he was committed to making it roomier.

“I run on passion and we aspire to be the best,” said the sole owner of the restaurant, which sits along Camp Lane off Route 19. “We want to be relevant and give customers more.

“We have no loans, no debt. I could have ridden things out . . . then I spent a half-million dollars.”

That half-million went toward an 1,800-square-foot expansion that added dining space, enlarged the kitchen and provided more parking. Planning director Ed Zuk said the township issued the building permit Aug. 21 and the certificate of occupancy this month, meaning the renovation is essentially finished.

But not quite. Vlasic is still another business owner who is dealing with supply issues.

“We’re waiting for glass for the wine room and it probably will be another six weeks,” he said. “Do I consider it done? Yes. Is it completely done? No.”

Vlasic, who resides in Ambridge, is one of the chefs, which points to another supply issue.

“We need a couple of cooks to fill all of the stations on the list,” he said. “We want culinarians who aspire to be chefs.”

He also owns a sister restaurant in the Allentown section of Pittsburgh, named Alla Famiglia, which also specializes in Italian cuisine.

Arlecchino, which opened for business in September 2011, is easily recognizable from Washington Road. It sits in a valley below the highway and resembles a schoolhouse of long ago – which it was. The structure dates to 1907.

The building, which is owned by a general contractor, Tom Robinson, was an upscale dining location in its previous incarnation as well. Owners Sean and Chuck Davis had christened it Classroom Restaurant.

Arlecchino is open for dinner only, from 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday – or until the last reservation. Private parties can be scheduled for Sunday.