Vanelli’s owner: ‘I do intend on reopening’

Thomas Wells | Buy at photos.djournal.com Daniel Christofferson works to salvage as much as he can from Vanelli's "Papa's Place" and parts of the restaurant in the days after the April 28 tornado.

Thomas Wells | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Daniel Christofferson works to salvage as much as he can from Vanelli’s “Papa’s Place” and parts of the restaurant in the days after the April 28 tornado.

By Dennis Seid

Daily Journal

TUPELO – He’s not sure when or where, but Vanelli’s owner voz Vanelli says he has every intention to reopen his popular restaurant, which was heavily damaged by the April 28 tornado.

Vanelli has hinted for weeks that he would rebuild, and in the past few days, he’s reinforced that line of thinking.

The restaurant’s website, for example, asks visitors to vote for their favorite appetizers, pasta dishes, pizza and salads.

“We’re rebuilding! And that’s hard work,” the site says. “As we come back, we’d like you to help us by taking a series of polls on the right to tell us what you’d like to see on the menu.”

How, when and where Vanelli’s reemerges isn’t set in stone – Vanelli still is waiting to settle with insurers.

On Facebook, Vanelli wrote that he plans to rebuild and also addressed rumors he had sold the property where the restaurant still partially stands.

“I really do appreciate all the interest in Vanelli’s future plans; I am deeply honored,” he wrote. “I have not sold the property on N. Gloster although I’ve had several offers. As of now I am intending on rebuilding, just waiting on the Insurance to settle.”

Vanelli’s, a Greek and Italian restaurant his father opened 39 years ago, has been an iconic and popular spot for Tupeloans and visitors alike.

Shortly after the tornado, Vanelli said he had “survivors’ blood in me.”

In his Facebook post, he said he has plans he’s not quite ready to unveil just yet.”

“I am not at liberty nor do I exactly know when or in what context Vanelli’s will emerge, but know this. I do intend on reopening,” he wrote. “I am honored by all the kindnesses shown to my employees’ and me. Thank you all for the positive interest in Vanelli’s returning. If you have the time, keep up with the Vanelli’s website for the most current information and please participate in the surveys posted. Feel free to email or call me whenever you like, it would be nice to visit with you. My intention is to make Vanelli’s better then ever and need your input to do that. … Peace / vOz.”

dennis.seid@journalinc.com