An Interview with Restaurant Owner, Mark Dirnberger

A write up on a local Italian restaurant for iluvlocalplaces.com

Photo credit: iluvlocalplaces.com

Photo credit: iluvlocalplaces.com

One thing I can tell you about Bella Italia is the instant sense of relaxation you feel when you come through the door. You are immediately greeted by smiling staff members and the heavenly scent of fresh baked bread. I don’t know about you, but any place that bakes bread twice a day has my heart! It offers a quiet charm between the red and white table clothes, red accent lighting and slightly “old world” decor, making it the perfect ambiance for a date night or special occasion. The Owner, Mark Dirnberger commented that he has witnessed “many first dates, engagements, family gatherings, and the loyalty of many regulars.” Mark and the staff work hard to ensure the guests enjoy a comfortable and relaxing meal. They are very pleasant and seem to enjoy working at the Bella. I spoke with Heleigh who, like much of the staff, has been working at the Bella for several years. She said, “The customers always comment about how we all get along, like we all hang out.”

But It hasn’t always been easy for Mark. After 29 years in the restaurant industry he decided it was time to have his own restaurant. It wasn’t two years into operations and he was greeted with a devastating loss. A fire, total destruction, that he witnessed late one night sitting on a curb under a streetlight waiting for the all clear from the fire department. When asked if he ever thought about not reopening his answer was a resounding, “No”. There was no hesitation in his voice. He knew right away he was going to restore the Bella. After all, this was his first business, his baby, his “passion” as he calls it. Mark explains, “If you don’t love the business, love the people, working with the people and being able to relate to the people, you shouldn’t be in the business.”

And fast forward to today… 10 beautiful years in business. Simply put, Mark explains that he is thankful for his customers and staff. He said, “10 years is quite an accomplishment in the restaurant industry and I am very thankful for the staff and the community for contributing to the success of the Bella.”

From speaking with Mark it is quite evident that the people are the reason for his business. And from this side of the dinner table that is quite refreshing. Downtown Cape is lucky to have the “home-grown” Bella Italia. And while you are there don’t forget to ask him about his ice and fruit carvings. I hear he makes a mean pirate ship!

Just the Facts:
no reservations required, casual attire, homemade desserts, reasonably priced entrees, happy hour specials, banquet rooms, and a TV in the bar just in case your husband has to get a score check on the Cardinals game