Fells Point has welcomed a new addition to its collection of hot spots with the Prima Dopo Cucina and Cocktail House.
The restaurant, which opened its doors just weeks ago at 1724 Thames St., offers Italian-inspired cuisine with an emphasis on house-made dishes and hand-crafted cocktails.
“Prima dopo” which means “before and after” in Italian, reflects the owner’s vision of creating a place that guests want to frequent before dinner, after dinner, or any time of day for that matter.
“We want you to come for lunch and it’s so good that you come back for dinner, or stay to get a dessert cocktail, or do late night after you finish your dinner,” said general manager Deron Garrity.
“Begin your day with us and end your night here as well,” Garrity added.
Owner Dominic Lascola has been in the hospitality industry for decades, starting his career in Ocean City’s Fager Island. He worked his way up to become a partner in Power Plant Live! and later opened his first big project, Frank and Nics West End Grille, which closed in 2020 due to the pandemic.
In addition to Prima Dopo, the restaurateur is currently linked to El Bufalo tequila bar, Zen Den restaurant, and Raw and Refined in Canton.
Lascola started the process of converting Prima Dopo’s building, which at the time was The Preservation Society, into a restaurant before COVID-19. Construction and permitting came to a halt during the pandemic which turned the project into a three- to four-year process.
In December 2022, they kicked off their soft opening with walk-in guests only for a limited food and drink menu. But now the space is fully open and welcoming reservations or walk-in guests.
Prima Dopo’s food menu features classic dishes like rigatoni, spaghetti carbonara, chicken marsala, a variety of pizzas that are prepared in an open kitchen setting, and pastas that are all formed in house.
“Guests can expect a different take on Italian food, putting our own little twist on items,” Garrity said. “For instance we do a different take on chicken parmesan, squid ink bucatini, and our salads. Adding a twist that we think is a little more nuance than your basic spaghetti and meatballs.”
The restaurant also offers traditional Italian desserts like tiramisu, a full bar with hand-crafted cocktails, and a wide selection of wines to complement each dish.
Visit Prima Dopo’s website to make reservations or for any additional information.