JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) – Bella’s Italian Restaurant, a Junction City restaurant, has been serving made-from-scratch Italian fare to its local community and visiting customers for more than a decade.
Bella’s is located at 605 N Washington St. in Junction City, about an hour away from the capital, but there is another Bella location in Dallas, Texas where Junction City owner Song Hee Lee met the original owner and proposed a partnership.
“I met him in Texas, in Dallas,” Lee said. “He grew up in New York, in the Bronx. His family is there [Bella’s] Italian restaurant family. He opened a restaurant in Dallas, Texas. I met him there and when I tasted her recipe. I loved it. So, I asked him “can we do this together” and we were a hit. I’m originally from Kansas in Dallas, so I ask him, “I have a building over there in Kansas, in a small local area.” Wanna do it? Yes why not?'”
The main feature that Lee mentions about Bella’s is that the kitchen staff doesn’t take pre-cooked foods, microwave them, and serve them. Staff members prepare each order from scratch by staff members with years of kitchen experience. The menu has all the traditional Italian dishes, such as spaghetti, alfredo and more.
“Right now, the biggest seller is our chicken cream sauce — feta cheese, chicken fettuccine alfredo. This is the main sale. There’s chicken parmesan or — so we have three bases… One is alfredo sauce, the other is marinara sauce, and the other is wine-lemon sauce. They are three different bases, we have the different noodles that we use and the other part is the oven based foods. Like a pizza or our calzone, or baked pasta”.
“When you enter our restaurant, you can taste real home cooking in Italy. That’s the key point to our food, the other is that it’s all made from scratch, for every order.
During the COVID pandemic, Bella’s had to close its doors for four months, according to Lee, but had to adjust to stay in business by offering take-out orders only. Luckily, Bella’s is still around and serving its clientele.
Lee said Bella’s has been open for 11 years now for 12 years in a building that was built in 1890, which is more than 130 years ago.
Since its childhood, Bella’s has seen customers from different states, such as Michael Hake, a customer from Denver, Colorado who was passing through Kansas and decided to stop by Bella’s. Hake said next time he’s in Junction City he might just visit Bella again.
“The vibe is good, I like it,” Hake said. “Yes, it’s not too loud, so you can still have a good conversation and they play good music, and the staff seem friendly.”
Their hours are 11:30 to 21:00 Monday to Saturday and 12:00 to 21:00 on Sundays. Bella’s also has a bar that offers specialty cocktails or wine that you can share with your meal. If you want to check out their menu and more, click HERE.