In April of 2020, Vine & Olive’s Executive Chef at the time was the one who planted the seed for a pizza concept after he walked by the empty space, which used to be Bullman’s Pizza and already had a wood fire pizza oven. V&O was closed for dine in business due to the stay-at-home order during the Pandemic. Naomi recalls being so overwhelmed with uncertainty and mentally drained fighting for survival that her first response was “I’m not opening another f’n restaurant”.
But something in the back of her mind wouldn’t allow her to dismiss the idea completely.
So she quietly started researching pizza concepts. Riverstone does not have a pizzeria in the neighborhood. Given the foot traffic from the residential and commercial activity and the four hotels within walking distance, there’s room for another family friendly restaurant here. Plus, fast casual trends and delivery are only increasing in popularity. This could be a way to diversify and offer something different than what she created at Vine & Olive.
When Naomi found herself getting up at 6am to research potential names for the new restaurant, she knew it would be a go. She wanted a thoughtful name for her new venture. Nothing generic or expected but something that had special meaning. After writing out three pages of potential names, she found Vicino, which means near or close by in Italian. Vicino is literally around the corner from Naomi’s first restaurant, Vine & Olive. It was meant to be.