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Massimo in University Place opens Sunday (finally)

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on July 14, 2011 at 10:27 am | 2 Comments »
July 14, 2011 10:32 am

A month delayed by electrical and plumbing issues, but Massimo, University Place’s newest restaurant will open Sunday.

The restaurant, which I previously wrote about here and here, is the new tenant for the building that formerly housed Captain Nemo’s on Bridgeport Way. Massimo is a sibling restaurant to the Purdy Italian eatery of the same name that Massimo and Cindy Terracciano opened in 2009. They previously owned Terracciano’s in Gig Harbor at 3119 Judson (that restaurant now is Il Lucano) Co-owner Rich Johnson, who has worked with the couple since their first Gig Harbor restaurant, will manage the restaurant.

For those who recall the 80s decor of Captain Nemo’s, wipe that memory because the restaurant has been stripped and rebuilt. Cindy Terracciano selected a Tuscan palette: warm tones in gold, sage and burgundy. Gone is the carpet, it’s been replaced with polished concrete floors. A newly rebuilt fireplace will warm up the front entry. You can trace the progress of the remodel, which started in April, here.

The cause of the delay is the same old restaurant story: an old building that needed more updating than expected. The repairs included an update to wiring in the ceiling and the grease trap needed work, said co-owner Rich Johnson. After a few weeks of meetings with contractors and engineers, a bit of head scratching and some rerouting and rewiring, the restaurant is ready to go, said Johnson.

The story of Cindy and Massimo started more than 20 years ago, in Naples. They met in Italy, and married in 1987. Cindy was a military kid, but wanted to move back to Tacoma where her family is from. They made a stop in Germany from 1997-1999 to help run family restaurants, then landed in Tacoma in 1999. Massimo found work cooking at Pomodoro, and other local restaurants before opening Terracciano’s.

Cindy and Massimo’s son Salvatore and his wife Lindsey, who live in University Place, will help run the new restaurant with co-owner Johnson. The menu and prices will duplicate those at the Purdy restaurant. Find the lunch and dinner menus here.

Massimo Italian Bar & Grill
Where: 4020 Bridgeport Way, University Place
Info: 253-503-1902 or
Opening:Sunday July 17

Massimo Italian Bar & Grill
Where: 13802 Purdy Dr. NW, Gig Harbor
Info: 253-514-6237 or

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