Specialty culinary experiences will raise flavor factor for Wellen Park

VENICE, Fla. (Dec. 22, 2021) – Restaurants specializing in rustic Italian cuisine, tavern fare, steaks and super premium ice cream are coming to Downtown Wellen, the central hub and gathering place for Wellen Park, the master-planned community. The four locally owned establishments – Mirabella’s Italian Coastal Cuisine, Oak & Stone, Villani & Co. and Bright Ice – will add to Downtown Wellen’s eclectic flavor and social nature with indoor and alfresco dining, barrooms and even a beer wall destined to become popular hangouts.

“These thoughtfully designed restaurants complement the vision, energy and excitement of Downtown Wellen,” said Rick Severance, president of Wellen Park. “They have the same creative spirit as Wellen Park and are dedicated to establishing a true sense of community and togetherness.”

Mirabella’s Italian Coastal Cuisine is the newest venture for Wellen Park residents Jeffrey and Kathleen Ziccardi who are also the proprietors of the popular Ristorante San Marco in downtown Venice. Their latest endeavor offers 166 indoor and outdoor seats and a large bar and features nearly century-old Sicilian recipes found in a journal written by Kathleen’s grandmother, Mirabella.

“We will offer a culinary journey through Italy focusing on the freshest foods and wines only we can source,” says Jeffrey Ziccardi. “Mirabella’s will feature coastal Italian dishes, pasta and seafood, fresh organic vegetables and lighter, healthier recipes that fit with Wellen Park’s healthful lifestyle.”

Sarasota-based Oak & Stone’s Downtown Wellen restaurant is its first two-story venue and will capitalize on views of the 80-acre Grand Lake with a 1,000-square-foot rooftop patio and expansive indoor and outdoor seating for 185 guests. Oak & Stone is known for its tavern food, 50-tap beer wall and lively social atmosphere, said cofounder Brett Decklever. Menu items include wings slow roasted in a stone oven, artisan pizzas, burgers and healthier choices like quinoa and veggie bowls.

“We’re incredibly excited about this opportunity,” said Decklever. “Oak & Stone complements Wellen Park well.”

Villani & Co., one of several Wellen Park restaurants created by Venice-based OTW Restaurant Group, specializes in steaks and seafood and offers a raw bar, an extensive menu of small plates, sharable cheese and charcuterie boards, and a large selection of bourbon, whiskey and scotch.

“Villani & Co. is an incredible culinary mix and dining concept,” said Tommy Villani, managing partner of OTW. “It has an amazing raw bar and a contemporary American vibe.”
OTW also operates Irma’s Tacos in Wellen Park’s Marketplace and Barrel & Bean in the Wellen Park Welcome Center.

Founded in St. Pete two years ago, Bright Ice specializes in small-batch, super-premium ice creams that are made in house and offer playful twists to classic flavors. Selections include deepest darkest chocolate secret, chocolate cookie cake and cream, lemon with crystallized ginger and roasted strawberries with brown sugar and balsamic.

“Wellen Park feels very symbiotic for us – it’s bright, modern, all natural and focused on people feeling good. It has the same energy as our brand. Wellen Park is the perfect fit. It’s everything we want to be.”

Currently under construction, the food and beverage establishments will open with the first phase of Downtown Wellen, anticipated for the fourth quarter of 2022. Additional restaurants are also being finalized and are expected to be announced soon, including the premier lakefront restaurant. Designed as the vibrant gathering place for both the community and larger region, Downtown features the 80-acre Grand Lake, retail shops, waterfront dining, pedestrian-friendly streets and public community spaces.

Downtown Wellen will also have a permanent food truck park, event lawn and Town Hall for concerts, events and other community gatherings. Nature-inspired features like a children’s playground blending into its surroundings and a hammock grove with a lounge area under a nearly 100-year-old heritage oak tree connect visitors with the outdoors and provide spots for rest and relaxation.

A 2.8-mile trail circles the lake, creating opportunities for biking, walking and running. The future lakefront also has an outfitter offering kayak and paddleboard rentals from a floating dock.
Wellen Park has been named the No. 5 top-selling master-planned community in the U.S. for 2021 by prominent real estate consulting firm RCLCO. Wellen Park offers a vibrant mix of residential, commercial and recreational options in three districts: West Villages, Downtown Wellen and Playmore. The community currently has approximately 9,000 residents and at full build-out will have more than 50,000 residents and 22,500 homes.

The community’s brand and vision are rooted in wellness. Wellen Park’s wellness focus is holistic and practical, designed to give residents greater opportunities to connect with one another, take care of themselves and encourage a healthy and active lifestyle, all within an inclusive, genuine community vibe.

For more information about living at Wellen Park, call 941-229-7124, go to or visit the Welcome Center at 12275 Mercado Drive in Venice, Fla. The Welcome Center is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m.


Jennifer Hamilton, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, [email protected]

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