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New name for Mama Maria

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Mama Maria restaurant has new owners, a new look and will soon boast a new name: 900Park. The remodeled restaurant includes a lounge that offers finger foods like nachos and wings.

Co-owners Zitta and John Ferriello took charge of the restaurant in October. Why 900Park? The name comes from the address of the restaurant, 900 Morris Park Avenue, and its Morris Park neighborhood roots, Zitta Ferriello explained. 900Park sits at the corner of Bronxdale and Morris Park avenues.

The new lounge, outfitted with plasma televisions, sofas and plush chairs, is the cherry on top of a restaurant-wide remodel. The Ferriellos want to maintain the restaurant’s reputation for fine Italian cuisine but also draw a hip, new crowd.

“We do very well here with Italian food and have a full menu of Italian favorites in the restaurant section,” Zitta Ferriello said. “The lounge has a separate menu with party foods. If the patrons from the restaurant want to come over to the lounge and have a drink after dinner, they can. We also have a DJ in the lounge on the weekends.”

The Ferriellos decided that Morris Park residents would appreciate the name change and lounge, they said. For the most part, the hours of the lounge will be the same as the restaurant, open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to midnight on weekends. The lounge sits next to a full bar in the restaurant.

“A lot of people really don’t know that the lounge is here,” Ferriello said. “We want to let them know they can come here to relax.”

The Ferriellos have four children, who attend St. Clare’s School. John Ferriello grew up in Morris Park. For the past 14 years, the couple has operated a fast food concession at Orchard Beach during the summer.

“We had been looking to purchase a restaurant because the beach isn’t year round,” Ferriello said. “We wanted something to invest in that was year round. We found it close to home.”

The lounge seats about 35 people. In addition to the lounge and the restaurant, 900Park boasts a private party room that seats 85 people.

“Business has been good,” Ferriello said. “It started out slow at first but has been picking up every week. We get a lot of support from the parents at St. Clare’s School and that is greatly appreciated.”

The Mama Maria’s awning will come down and a 900Park canapy will take its place.

“If you’re in the mood for a good Italian meal, think of us,” Ferriello said. “But if you’re in the mood for a good salad or wrap in a relaxed atmosphere, think of us too.”

For more information on 900Park, call (718) 892-3830.

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com

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