Chatham Family's Son With Special Needs Inspires New Downtown Restaurant

A Chatham family held the grand opening for their new restaurant on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Sorriso Kitchen
Sorriso Kitchen Photo Credit: Sorriso Kitchen

Sorriso Kitchen on Main Street offers breakfast, lunch and more -- including a full day of training for members of the special needs community.

More than $31,000 had been raised on a Kickstarter campaign to help the Bellas family open its restaurant.

"Sorriso means 'smile' in Italian and is the name of our new breakfast and lunch eatery inspired by our son, LJ who has Down Syndrome and brings a smile to everyone he meets," the family wrote.

"Our intent is to attract area residents, especially young families for a delicious meal, superb coffees and beverages for both eat-in and take-out."

The 45-seat eatery's menu was prepared by CIA-trained Chef Ryan Chatfield and uses farm-to-table ingredients for Italian and Greek-inspired items.

The restaurant will be closed Mondays so that LJ and his peers at ECLC of New Jersey can spend time honing culinary skills.

"The goal is to offer them a positive experience in a workplace where they’ll be respected, accepted and encouraged," the Kickstarter says, "as they acquire the real life job skills they need to become employed in the community."

Sorriso Kitchen, 252 Main St., Chatham, (973) 665-8068

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