Downtown Sanford restaurant the Steele Pig has been sold and will reopen with a new menu later this week, the Rant has learned.

Commercial real estate broker Brandon Atkins and Chris DeLambert, marketing director at downtown’s Temple Theatre, have purchased the restaurant from Richard Blackwelder.

The Steele Pig’s new logo.

“We’re going to take this week to put our menu together and work some things out, but we look forward to being open again by Friday,” DeLambert said.

The restaurant – known for its modern take on southern food – opened in 2000 as Bella under then-owner Joe Delvecchio with an upscale Italian concept. It became Bella Bistro under second owner Chad Blackwelder, shifting to an Americana menu featuring offerings like duck, sea bass and more. Blackwelder rebranded it the Steele Pig in 2010, creating a menu with items ranging from pulled pork to burgers and roasted quail. Blackwelder sold to his brother Richard in 2014.

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DeLambert said he and Atkins don’t plan on making major changes to the menu, although as with any change in ownership, the duo expects to add their own touches on the downtown mainstay. Sam Watson, who had worked at the Steele Pig under previous owners, will return as the restaurant’s chef.

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