Citing ‘extreme understaffing’, restaurant closes in Hellertown

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Ella’s Ristorante opened in downtown Hellertown in the summer of 2019. The restaurant closed, according to its owner, due to staffing issues.

A downtown restaurant that served both Italian and Mexican cuisine has closed in Hellertown.

Ella’s Ristorante & Pizzeria at 639 Main Street was dark and its doors locked Friday night, even as a few customers pulled into its parking lot, apparently expecting to dine there.

There were no signs on the restaurant doors, but according to an update posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page on Fridaythe closure was related to staffing.

“Unfortunately, since last Tuesday, we have had to close our business indefinitely due to extreme understaffing issues,” the update read. “We apologize for any future inconvenience and reservations. We hope you all have a happy Easter.

Ella’s opened in the summer of 2019 in the same building that previously housed a different Italian restaurant, but with the same name.

Bella’s Ristorante was owned and operated by the Cavataio family, with an adjacent restaurant, Cafe Erica.

The Cavataios sold their business to Ella owner Mike Zavaleta in July 2019.

Chef-owner Vincent Cavataio then returned to his family’s restaurant in Richlandtown–Alcamo Italian Restaurant and Brick Oven Pizza– which he currently operates.

In addition to a menu of Italian specialties, Ella’s served Mexican cuisine and offered take-out and delivery within a five-mile radius. The restaurant had also experimented with offering live music.

A outside the dining experience was available by the creek on her back patio, weather permitting.

Ella’s Ristorante & Pizzeria replaced Bella’s Ristorante of the same name, which was owned and operated by the Cavataio family, who continue to operate the Italian restaurant Alcamo & Brick Oven Pizza in nearby Richlandtown. Despite the closure, Hellertown’s downtown food scene remains active.

Despite the closure, the culinary scene in Hellertown remains active, with several new restaurants taking up spaces that were previously vacant.

A Thai restaurant recently opened on the 600 block of Main Street in a building that once housed another restaurant.

Kang Thai Noodles Bar opened in January in the unit that previously housed Sagra Bistro.

Other restaurants nearby include Wings on Main, Braveheart Highland Pub and Hana and Nana Coffee, which opened in the former Mike’s Kids Doggie Shop late last year. Like Mike’s, Hana and Nana’s serve breakfast and lunch in a cozy atmosphere.

Located at 501 Main Street, Hana and Nana Coffee is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 6 a.m. to noon, according to their Google profile.

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