Photo: Local Italian café Tre Ragazzi’s, formerly located in downtown Gadsden, recently re-opened at the Gadsden Mall.
Tre Ragazzi’s, a local and family-run Italian café, opened at the Gadsden Mall on August 30. Winning “Best Restaurant in Gadsden” award for the past six years, the local eatery will contribute to the mall’s transformation into a mixed-used, entertainment destination for the community.
Situated in a 5,000 square foot space on the mall’s exterior, the Italian café’s latest location will have ample patio seating, live music and outdoor games. With plans to continue expanding in the next five years, this will serve as the restaurant’s flagship location and training site for new franchisees.
“As a Gadsden native, Gadsden Mall has always been a part of my life in some way,” said Tre Ragazzi’s owner Kevin Napper. “I met my wife in the former Gadsden Mall Sears more than 30 years ago, which is the very location of our new restaurant. We jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the mall’s recent transformation with hopes that we can make more lasting memories here.”
Tre Ragazzi’s, which translates to “three boys” in Italian, is named after the owner’s three sons, who currently run the restaurants. Learning the intricacies of the business from their father since they were teenagers, the sons can be found tossing dough and serving their guests fresh pies on any given day. Napper’s sons are dedicating a special table to their parents in the new restaurant to commemorate the location in Gadsden Mall where the couple met over three decades ago.
“Repurposing an outdated former Gadsden Mall department store space into unique and new spaces, with new and interesting uses has allowed us to transform the traditional mall experience and better meet the needs of the community,” said Carmen D. Spinoso, chairman and CEO of Spinoso Real Estate Group. “Tre Ragazzi’s – and new tenants we will be announcing in the near future – will strengthen our quality dining options as well as evolve the mall to serve as the premiere dining, entertainment and gathering destination in the Gadsden community.”
The Napper family has been engaged with their community from the restaurant’s founding. Tre Ragazzi’s recently organized a donations-only pop-up where locals could purchase the family’s homemade Italian food at the price they were able to pay due to the financial hardships brought on from the COVID-19 pandemic. The family business also provided donations to nearby hospitals, schools and nonprofits to help move their community forward.
Upon the restaurant’s opening, Tre Ragazzi’s will join an array of small businesses whose founders have strong roots in Gadsden, such as The Alley, a one-of-a-kind arcade and bowling alley, and Martin’s Family Clothing, a regional department store.
“Our fellow tenants are a huge part of why we chose Gadsden Mall,” said Napper. “They each bring a unique atmosphere and local, quality products that our Gadsden community will surely enjoy.”