Italy Cafe owner glad to leave the commute behind

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2008

By Paris Goodnight
The new Italy Cafe, open in the former Alli’s restaurant location at 1504 Jake Alexander Blvd., offers all you’d expect from an Italian eatery ó but it’s not affiliated with a takeout operation under the same name.
Sam Ali originally opened the Italy Cafe in 1995 in the Innes Street Market near Lowe’s. But he sold out some years later and opened restaurants in Lexington and Mooresville. He was driving back and forth while gasoline was still more than $4 a gallon, and finally decided to give that up.
“This is my hometown,” he said. “I wanted to open for my friends, my customers.”
His new restaurant can seat 140 and has a full bar, offering beer, wine and mixed drinks.
The Italy Cafe is open weekdays 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and open until midnight Friday and Saturday nights. Karaoke night is also Saturdays.
The restaurant has 15 employees.
Ali said lunch specials start at $5.95 and includes items like sandwiches or stromboli. He offers senior citizens a 10 percent discount, corporate discounts of 20 percent to employees with ID for places like Food Lion and the VA, and a 25 percent discount for military or law enforcement officers in uniform.
He said the restaurant will be open Christmas and New Year’s days.
He offers the Sunday Ticket package that shows more NFL games in addition to the ones on regular television channels.