Buona Forchetta Signs Lease for Former Rebecca’s in South Park, Transforming Space into Breakfast Restaurant & Italian Bakery to Benefit Public Schools
Matteo first fell in love with South Park as a recent transplant from Italy, when he and his wife purchased a home in the neighborhood and invested in a small corner lot with the intention of opening an intimate trattoria like those found in his hometown – a place that emphasized simple, fresh ingredients, a welcoming family-friendly ethos, and an approachable space that invited patrons to linger and connect, unhurried.
Buona Forchetta opened in spring of 2013 to near-instant acclaim, with lines quick to form for a chance to taste one of Master Pizzaiolo Marcello Avitabile’s burnished Neapolitan-style pies. In the five years since opening doors, Buona Forchetta has captured the hearts of San Diegans from across the region, and Matteo has capitalized on his success with the launch of a second location in Liberty Station and is currently working on building additional Buona Forchetta concepts in Encinitas and Coronado, along with an Italian bottega and wine bar set to open next door to the original South Park location.
As Matteo has continued expanding his Buona Forchetta concept, his emphasis on giving back never wavered, and he began laying the groundwork to launch a non-profit concept that specifically benefits his beloved South Park community and public schools. Spotting a “For Rent” sign on the building at the corner of Juniper and Fern Street, which at the time housed iconic/staple local coffee shop Rebecca’s, Matteo reached out to the landlord and current tenant, hoping to work out a deal to keep the space as a community gathering place. While the deal ultimately fell through, Matteo’s desire to preserve the space for the community won out, and his vision to operate a non-profit restaurant began. Matteo has also enlisted the help of Ruland Design Group, who is behind the design of his additional locations, to construct the new space.
While the name and menu details of the space have yet to be announced, Matteo’s non-profit concept will benefit the public schools in the San Diego Unified School District. Each month, profits raised at the restaurant will be donated direct to the chosen school, among them Mckinley Elementary, Albert Einstein Charter Academy, and Golden Hill Elementary School, to name a few. These much-needed funds will go to support arts programs, supplies, and extracurriculars missing from under-served communities. Aside from monetary contributions, Matteo plans to create a dedicated space inside the restaurant where kids can not only learn cooking techniques, but can participate in a variety of classes offered by the schools.
Quote from Matteo:
“Life is about opportunity, and it’s important to me and the whole Buona Forchetta family to give our kids an opportunity to discover for themselves a passion that can fuel their creativity. South Park has given Buona Forchetta the best home we could have ever asked for, and this is our chance to give back to the community and city that has given so much to us.”
The new restaurant will be located at 3015 Juniper Street in South Park. For more information, follow Buona Forchetta on Facebook and Instagram.