The former One World boutique in downtown Bismarck could soon become an Italian eatery and wine bar.
A Bismarck couple is aiming to make the space on the corner of Fifth Street and Main Avenue into a second restaurant venture inspired by their week-long tour of Italy earlier this year.
Kenny and Kendra Howard, who operate Fireflour Pizza, plan to open Anima Cucina, Italian for soul kitchen, in the spring. The menu will focus on charcuterie, rotisserie meats and Italian-inspired baked goods.
“We’ve just always enjoyed Italian food,” Kenny Howard said.
And what they enjoyed most from their travels was a family-style, shared-plate eating experience.
“People here are used to eating as families; I think that’s what we like about it,” Kenny Howard said.
The couple has been considering a second venture for the past couple of years, so when the space became available, they were quick to express interest. The couple has a tentative agreement to lease the space as they wait for a decision on an income tax break from the state through the Renaissance Zone program.
Kenny Howard said they are still finalizing plans and getting construction estimates but the proposed capital investment listed on their Renaissance Zone application is $222,224.
On the Fifth Street side of the building, Kenny Howard said they plan to have a deli and espresso bar. They will be baking Italian breads to sell and to serve as sandwiches. The sandwiches will feature rotisserie meats, such as chicken and an Italian roasted pork called porchetta and specialty spreads. There also will be other baked goods for breakfast.
On the other side of the space will be open seating and a full-service wine and beer bar where customers also can order shareable smoked meat and cheese platters.
“There are so many good wines from so many places in the world,” said Kenny Howard, adding they won’t limit themselves to just Italian wines.
The bar menu will include Roman pizza sold by the pound and could eventually include some pasta dishes.
The restaurant decor will include subway tile and other European cafe touches and will have seating for nearly 60 people.
“What we try to accomplish from our restaurants is to give an unique, authentic experience that people can’t have elsewhere in town — something that we experienced firsthand that we’ve really enjoyed,” Kenny Howard. “We want people to take time to enjoy themselves while eating.”
The additional kitchen space also will allow them to expand their catering business.