For those saddened after That’s-A-Some Italian closed in Poulsbo after over 30 years, there is now something to cheer about as a new Italian restaurant has opened in the same space.
Dalla Baia, which means from the bay, is co-owned by Sandy Kolbeins and Cecilio Tope. Kolbeins owns The Loft and Valholl Brewing as well, also downtown. Tope has been the bar manager at The Loft since it opened. Both decided to pursue this new opportunity.
“When I opened my first place I had the help from someone that I worked with, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to pay it forward,” Kolbeins said about Tope. “I approached Cecilio, and we decided to buy That’s A Some Italian, renovate and turn it into our new venture.”
The two are friends with former That’s-A-Some owner Tom Pelland, who was looking to retire amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees from the old restaurant will carry over to Dalla Baia, and they are looking to hire more staff. Kolbeins said it was important to keep Italian cuisine as Pelland established such a good rapport with customers for so long.
“The space was in need of a renovation,” he said. “The fact that this place has been iconic for over 30 years … Tom has some longtime customers that will come here for Italian. We want to make sure we’re not pushing them away.”
Kolbeins said the menu will be altered a bit, describing the cuisine as “modern” and bringing an “urban restaurant to the rural community.” Additionally, he said it’s still a “come as you are” and family-friendly atmosphere. The restaurant serves a collection of wines and is in the process of getting a full liquor license.
“Everything is from scratch,” he said. “We’re trying to really make it about the dish that’s put in front of you. We want to still keep it approachable and affordable.”
Kolbeins said they have a wall inside consisting of Poulsbo business signs throughout the years made by local Bill Austin. Fittingly, one of those signs is That’s A Some Italian. Looking ahead, Kolbeins expects a busy next few months given that this will the first summer in a few years since COVID restrictions have been lifted.
“People have been locked up, and they want to go out,” he said. “We’re trying to focus on doing it right. I’ve been really fortunate with The Loft in this town, and my hope is that we’re able to repeat that at this restaurant. Also to allow for Cecilio and his family to share some of the success that I’ve had.”