A local Reading restauranteur has plans to bring more dining options to the area he grew up in.
Adam Cocuzza, who owns and operates Say Cheese and Nitro Bar, has plans to open a fast casual ramen eatery and West Reading Motor Club, a fine dining restaurant.
Noodl, he said, is slated to open by summer’s end. The West Reading Motor Club may take a bit longer, as Cocuzza has his plate full.
“I was hired to come up with a concept for the restaurant, something I love doing,” Cocuzza said. “I’m humbled by my partners, Turnberry Contruction Group, who hired me to create the space.”
Cocuzza said Noodl will be a modern take on ramen noodles, a street food in Japan, that many people here don’t know much about.
“You will walk up to a kiosk and order your noodles, broth and toppings,” he said. There will be a few ready-to-go offerings as well.
“It’s a build your own concept,” he said. “We won’t be traditional in that we won’t use the language, but the ingredients will all be traditional. It will be mentally digestible.”
There will be seating in the restaurant, but Cocuzza said it is basically a takeout place.
The West Reading Motor Club is planned for the first floor of the old West Reading Motor Club building at 416 Penn Ave., under Nitro Bar, which occupies the second floor.
The building has undergone major renovations to bring it back to its glory, he said.
“This had never been a restaurant. It’s a huge 20,000-square-foot building that we restored,” he said. “In fact, we got an award for the revitalization of the façade.”
Cocuzza said the restaurant will be “high end modern fine dining” using unique ingredients.
“It will be old school classic fine dining with a modern take,” he said, adding he hopes to have it open by year’s end or early 2023.
Cocuzza said he can’t guarantee it will open that soon as he is concentrating on expanding Say Cheese and working on opening Noodl.
Say Cheese expanded to add a bar. The cheese shop, which was located at the front of the restaurant, is being moved next door.
The expanded cheese shop will still sell domestic and imported cheeses. Cocuzza said he is expanding his liquor license so he can sell bottles of wine as well.
Nitro Bar was closed for two years during the pandemic, while Say Cheese was shuttered for a short time.
“We took the staff from Nitro to Say Cheese during that time. Now, we have a lot of shared employees because they liked working at Say Cheese,” he said.
The two establishments employ more than 50 people.