Tupelo hotel group buys Old Venice, plans renovations

By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Old Venice Pizza Co. in Tupelo has a new owner.
Bruce Patel, who owns Fusion Hospitality, announced Tuesday that his company has bought the Italian eatery on McCullough Boulevard.
A Fusion representative said the company plans to keep the restaurant’s current 50 employees and its menu. But changes are coming in the way of remodeling.
Patel plans to add an enclosed patio and to increase the dining area. He’ll also add more comfortable seating and will update the bar and the interior. The renovations are slated to be finished by the end of the year.
He said the restaurant will remain open during renovations because the work can be contained.
Old Venice also will offer off-site dining. Patel in a press release said full-service catering will be available and he expects to begin delivering to select local hotels before the end of the year.
Along with Old Venice, Fusion Hospitality owns and operates three hotels in Tupelo, including the new Best Western Plus on North Gloster Street, as well as properties in Fulton, Olive Branch and West Point. Fusion also has three hotels under construction in Tupelo: The Holiday Inn and Candlewood Suites on South Gloster Street and the Comfort Inn on McCullough Boulevard.
Fusion Hospitality also operates a number of Tutti Frutti franchises in north and south Mississippi, including two existing locations in Tupelo and one scheduled to open on West Main Street in the coming months.
Old Venice Pizza Co. was founded in Oxford in 1997. The Tupelo franchise opened more than three years ago.
carlie.wells@journalinc.com