Pastaria Deli & Wine concept will open as full restaurant this fall

Though it started as a sandwich, wine and provision pop-up this summer out of the Sardella space at 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Pastaria Deli & Wine will soon be putting down roots of its own. Niche Food Group will complete the concept’s transformation to a full restaurant sometime in October.  

With the closing of Sardella as a result of the dining restrictions brought on by the pandemic, the space was available for something new. “I think for now and for the foreseeable future, Sardella’s not coming back,” said owner Gerard Craft. “This is something that we’ve been throwing around for the past year - Pastaria Deli & Wine. It made a ton of sense to do it now.”  

Fans of the Sardella interior shouldn’t worry - the team aims to retain much of what made the space one of the most attractive dining rooms in town. “It’s really not going to be any grand overhaul,” Craft said. “We love the space and would hate to go tear it down or anything like that.” He said they’ve added a deli case and aim to add refrigerators for grab-and-go food. They’ve also added chalkboards on one of the walls and are working on new wine shelving.  

The Pastaria Deli & Wine takeout menu, spearheaded by Pastaria executive chef Brian Moxey, centers on about half a dozen sandwiches, though that number will expand in the future. Craft likened the food menu to that of restaurants in Rome and Florence that serve simple sandwiches with high-quality ingredients alongside appetizing cocktails and amari. In the Italian restaurants he’s modeling his new spot after, Craft said you can get “an Aperol spritz and a prosciutto sandwich around 4 p.m. and sit and hang out.” Pastaria Deli & Wine’s sandwiches are “based around really good bread, which we get from Union Loafers,” he added. “Really good meats, whatever they may be, and simple condiments. Each ingredient really plays a role and stands out.” Popular sandwiches so far have been a caprese, a roasted turkey with Calabrian chile mayo and “The World’s Best Tuna Salad.” 

A major aspect of turning Pastaria Deli & Wine from a pop-up into its own thing has been situating it as something in tandem with Pastaria, instead of as a competitor, which is how Craft saw Sardella. “We really wanted to create something that added another dimension,” he explained. Part of facilitating this has been branding; Pastaria Deli & Wine used creative agency Yellow Ranger. “It was somebody we wanted to work with for a while. [They] really blended the two concepts so beautifully that it really does feel like an extension of that brand,” he said. 

At the new spot, when dining rooms are fully open again, there will be around 40 to 50 seats inside, as well as patio seating (some outdoor seating already exists). To further showcase the new wine list, curated by Pastaria beverage director Matt Bone, Pastaria Deli & Wine will eventually open in the evening. A fast-casual concept, the restaurant will offer counter service. “You go up and order a glass of wine, kind of how you would order at Rockwell [Beer Co.],” Craft said.  

In addition to fresh sandwiches and wine, Pastaria Deli & Wine will have a provisions component. “Take-and-bake pizzas, lasagnas, pasta by the pound,” Craft said. “It’s really important that you can come in and browse a bit and talk to somebody knowledgeable about wine. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from Matt.”  

Online ordering will begin at 10 a.m., and the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Craft anticipates the shop remaining open later, ostensibly so that Pastaria customers can browse before or after dining. Delivery is available via Postmates.