Bella Vista, AR (Nov. 13, 2014) - A new restaurant offering authentic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine will be coming next year to the Bella Vista Country Club.

Nik and Megan Paunov and their partner, Mike Rusev, signed a lease agreement with the Bella Vista Village Property Owners Association on Monday, Nov. 4. Café Amici is expected to open in January 2014. Doors will open when the lessees receive a liquor license through the state and approval through the Arkansas Department of Health.

The restaurant will offer a sit-down dining area, as well as a sports bar atmosphere with televisions. At first, the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. In the spring, the restaurant’s hours will be extended to include breakfast and will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Additionally, Café Amici will be available for private parties and events, as well as catering. The restaurant plans to offer live music and dancing on occasion, Nik Paunov said.

The menu will include traditional Italian dishes, such as Baked Ziti and Chicken Alfredo, as well American favorites, including chicken fried steak, hamburgers and sandwiches. Café Amici will also offer daily and seasonal specials, including soups and salads made with fresh ingredients.

Nik Paunov, who was recommended by the association’s Restaurant Ad Hoc Committee, said he and his partners plan to serve great tasting food made with fresh, quality ingredients, provide friendly service, offer onsite management for quality control, market aggressively and work with area businesses.

Paunov has 10 years of experience in the restaurant business at Piccolino in Denver, Colo. He served as the restaurant’s owner for four of those 10 years. His wife, Megan, has seven years of experience in the food and beverage industry. She served as Food and Beverage Manager for Carnival Cruise Lines for four of those seven years. Rusev will be assisting with the restaurant’s operations. He served eight years as the food court supervisor for Chartwells at the University of Arkansas.

The Bella Vista Country Club Restaurant has been vacant since Jan. 31, 2012, when Ken and Juanita Phillips shut the restaurant’s doors and relocated to the Highlands Clubhouse. The Bella Vista Country Club – built in the 1960s – was designed by world renowned Architect E. Fay Jones. The restaurant, which overlooks the scenic Bella Vista Country Club Golf Course, is the perfect setting for large dinners, parties and dances.

“We are excited about our partnership with Nik, Megan and Mike,” General Manager Tommy Bailey said. “They not only bring experience and quality food, but also a great deal of enthusiasm.”

Bella Vista Village
The range of activities and amenities available at this 36,000-acre recreational and retirement community in Northwest Arkansas includes boating and fishing on seven private lakes, eight golf courses, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis, fitness, and a shooting range. Home sites from $500 to $50,000; Homes, Condos, Townhomes and Villas from $35,000 to $1 million+.

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