Just a few blocks from Jonesboro’s main downtown strip rises a two-story Tuscan-style building that will house Valenti’s Italian Restaurant soon.

Second-generation owners Adam and Lucy Valenti are betting on Jonesboro as the site of their second location for the popular Moore County restaurant (located in Vass, a stone’s throw from U.S. 1).

“We did a lot of research on demographics and knew we wanted to be in Sanford,” Lucy Valenti said about how they chose the Jonesboro area. “We get asked a lot why we didn’t go to Pinehurst or Southern Pines, but our current location is just 10 minutes away from there.”

They happened upon the spot where O’Connell & Martin Eye Associates sat at the corner of Main and Dalrymple Streets. A tree had recently fallen on the practice, and it was for sale. They jumped at the opportunity.

“It was really fate and luck,” she said about choosing Jonesboro for a new location. “We looked at some places in Tramway and other places in town, then we found this location. We owned it for four years before we started building.”

Valenti’s, now in its 25th year in Vass, is well-known in the Sandhills area for its pizza, Italian dishes, salads and more. They expect to bring people into the Jonesboro area who may not normally visit.

“We’re a destination restaurant for people,” she said. “We have customers from all over who drive to Vass to eat with us. I expect our customers to do the same in Sanford.”

An opening date for the new restaurant has not been set yet. Lucy Valenti said it could be later in the summer. Like most of the country, the construction job has dealt with supply issues for materials, delaying the opening.

They are also having trouble filling open positions at both restaurants, she said.

“We are very excited,” she said of the opening. “We’re hoping and praying that people get back to work and we get back to normalcy.”

— by Jonathan Owens

What to Know

The popular Italian restaurant Valenti’s will expand from its location in Vass to a second spot in Jonesboro. The restaurant is currently under construction. 

Location: Valenti’s will be located on Main Street in downtown Jonesboro at the Dalyrmple Street intersection (behind Piggly Wiggly).

The Food: Pastas, chicken, steaks, pizza, cannolis … Italian all the way.

Website: Learn more at valentis.biz, where you can also apply for a job

Is it any Good?: If you trust the reviews on Trip Advisor, Valenti’s rates a 4.5 out of 5. One reviewer called the Vass location a “hidden culinary gem.”