20190517_new_sonsofitaly

The Sons of Italy Hall’s spaghetti dinners should be “getting some white shirts dirty” after Labor Day, said Sons of Italy leader Dan Matuella.

The Sons of Italy Hall should be a 10th Street showpiece when it reopens, says Sons of Italy Nebraska President Dan Matuella.

The popular Omaha hall is expected to serve up spaghetti again in late summer after multiple delays.

The hall was damaged in January 2017 in an accidental fire caused by the spontaneous combustion of cleaning towels in the kitchen.

“It’s full speed ahead,” Matuella said. “I think getting stocked up, getting all the furniture in place, everything in order ... I can see us maybe opening it up to folks mid- to late August. I suspect we’ll do the Thursday spaghetti dinners after Labor Day.”

The hall is in the Little Italy neighborhood at 1238 S. 10th St. The Sons of Italy group is a nonprofit fraternal organization that raises money for local and national charities. The Omaha chapter has been around since the 1920s.

The Sons of Italy had hoped to reopen in September 2018, then pushed back the reopening to this spring. That was delayed, too, now till later this year.

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“We’ve had some starts and stops,” Matuella said. “Bids, insurance, this and that. The insurance shortfall was larger than we’d anticipated.”

Matuella said the shortfall was originally believed to be between $400,000 and $500,000 but ended up being more and, along with an increased cost of lumber, the total estimated cost landed between $1.4 million and $1.5 million.

Thanks to a significant donor who Matuella said has been a prominent figure in the 10th Street beautification process, the organization has gained ground and is currently about $400,000 short of the total needed for renovations and repairs.

The group has opened a line of credit to close the gap. Matuella said he foresees more public support once the hall is operational. The new hall will have a capacity of more than 300.

“It’s going to end up being a showpiece for the 10th Street corridor,” Matuella said. “I know people are eager to get some spaghetti dinner, and we’re looking forward to getting some white shirts dirty again.”