By Justin Jones, Staff Writer
A restaurant has plans of opening in downtown Albemarle by the end of spring.
Big Al’s Pub and Grubberia has agreed to open a location at 103 N. First St., which was formerly occupied by Z Pi Pizza Company.
Big Al’s is owned by Frank Conti.
Property owner Sherill Smith said he feels Big Al’s “will be a true asset to the city and county.”
“I think it will be a perfect fit with his expertise in the business and experience,” Smith said.
“I think he’ll be a perfect fit for Albemarle.”
The family-owned business first began in Charlotte in 1996. Along with the Charlotte and Albemarle locations, Big Al’s has restaurants in Mooresville and in Canaan Valley, W.Va.
Big Al’s was contacted for the story, but Conti declined to comment until the restaurant nears its opening date.
Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation Executive Director Kathy Almond remarked previously that she was disappointed to see Z Pi closing, but is looking forward to having a restaurant fill the building.
“Big Al’s Albemarle location, at the corner of First and Main streets, is a highly visible intersection in downtown. Having regular activity at major intersections entices visitors to stop in and take a look,” Almond said.
Almond also expressed that having a new restaurant can help existing businesses, as well as entice new opportunities in Albemarle.
“It also encourages pedestrian and vehicle traffic to peruse surrounding establishments to see all that is available, from not only our eateries but retail and service businesses as well,” she said.
“With their established locations in and around North Carolina, Big Al’s will continue the growth of small business development in the local economy. We look forward to working with them as we strive to increase business opportunities in Downtown Albemarle.”