Napoli Pasta Bar, the Bib Gourmand-designated Italian restaurant in Columbia Heights, will expand into Northern Virginia next month when it adds a sister deli in Arlington. Napoli Salumeria is expected to open in early October at 1301 South Joyce Street on Pentagon Row.
The market will offer imported products, fresh pastas and sauces, cured meats, cheeses, focaccia, fried mozzarella, Neapolitan street foods, and sandwiches. There will be gelato from Dolci Gelati and a coffee program from Lavazza, along with beer and wine. The market will operate six days a week (closed Mondays) from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Several popular items from Napoli’s antipasti menu in Columbia Heights will be available at Pentagon Row, including potato and salt cod fritters and eggplant Parmesan. A retail corner will sell ceramics made by artists on the Amalfi Coast, along with flower vases, imported olive oils, and coffee mugs.
Executive chef Andy Clark, an alum of Fiola, Red Hen and San Lorenzo, took the reins of the kitchen in February, earning early praise from Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema in a review written just before COVID-19 wreaked havoc on Washington.
Napoli Pasta Bar owner Antonio Ferarro says before the pandemic, he planned to open a larger location of Napoli elsewhere, but a grab-and-go venture seemed like a better fit for the current business environment. Pentagon Row is flush with high-rise apartments, Metro access, and free mall parking, he notes, which made the new location all the more attractive.
“An easy spot for carryout, or if you want to come sit down for a sandwich,” says Ferarro, who came to D.C. from Naples in 2006.
He compares the deli-restaurant hybrid to Arlington’s beloved Italian Store. Napoli Salumeria will offer up to 40 seats for dining and drinking. Patrons will be able to pre-order online via Toast or get delivery using third-party apps.
The Pentagon Row space was largely turnkey ready, as it formerly functioned as a deli called A Deli. The look will mimic Napoli’s colorful Northwest counterpart, with fresh coats of aquamarine paint throughout.
Napoli Pasta Bar, which is only serving dinner currently, will reboot lunch service with some of the same offerings found on Pentagon Row. Sandwiches will be prepped out of Napoli Pasta Bar, functioning as a daytime ghost kitchen of sorts for the two-state enterprise.
In Columbia Heights, Ferraro plans to take advantage of D.C.’s new grant money for “winterizing” outdoor spaces at restaurants.