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Development: Loyalhanna's stone house tradition continues

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By Rick Stouffer
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The tradition of good food in the tiny village of Loyalhanna's stone house continues with the opening of the Bella Pasta Italian Ristorante. Owned by Michelle and Gene Cavaliere, the small (3,500 square feet), intimate eatery for many years was known as the Stone House, but actually got its start not in food preparation, but in body preparation, as in exercising. Early in the 20th century, the stone house was the home of the Loyalhanna Recreation Association.

Now, the Cavalieres -- he the former owner of a number of pizza shops in the Connellsville area, she with a background in food service -- are looking to take their love for food to the masses via Bella Pasta. Following an 18-month search for the right setting, the husband and wife settled on the Loyalhanna (Derry Township) location. "It has parking, a separate room for the bar and a huge fireplace," Michelle said. The restaurant seats 110, plus the dozen bar patrons, and employs some 34 full- and part-time personnel. Looking to satisfy his clientele, executive chef Michael Jaffre is willing to prepare dishes other than what is listed on the restaurant menu. If the ingredients are not available, they will be on your next visit.

  • An update on a Developments item we told you about a few months ago: Work is continuing on the Brothers Smail Acura dealership, next to Smail's Honda Village along Route 30 east of Westmoreland Mall. The dealership is slated to open the third week of September. The 24,000-square-foot facility not only gives the Acura dealership breathing room, but its separation from Smail's Lincoln/Mercury and Mazda franchises farther west on Route 30 likewise allows them a bit of flexibility. Groundbreaking for the new facility was held in late April, although actual construction already was in progress at that time. An estimated 30 to 40 personnel are expected to be hired to man the dealership. Acura, the luxury division of Honda, is following a path trod by many American car makes: construct new, "customer-friendly" facilities showcasing one brand of vehicle.

  • This column is devoted to informing readers about changes to the business landscape in Westmoreland, Fayette and Indiana counties. If you have an item for Developments, call Rick Stouffer at 724-837-6151, send an e-mail to , or drop us a note at Developments, c/o Business section, Tribune-Review, 622 Cabin Hill Drive, Greensburg 15601.

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