Arlington, VA

Joe’s Place Pizza and Pasta at 5555 Lee Highway is closed for painting and, reportedly, some major changes.

A sign on one of the restaurant’s doors said it closed August 23 for painting and will reopen in a few weeks.

Buzz on the local Nextdoor social network suggests that the restaurant will be ditching its buffet — something that’s falling out of favor during the COVID era — and changing the menu, perhaps serving more upscale Italian cuisine.

Manager Rosario Farruggio told ARLnow today that the restaurant is not yet ready to publicly discuss the changes, but said some of the rumors on Nextdoor are “wrong.” He added that operating and now making changes to the restaurant during the pandemic has been especially difficult.

As of last week, a work crew could be seen inside the space. One worker told ARLnow the crew is painting the restaurant’s floors and walls and will be done in a month.

Joe’s Place previously closed in mid-April after its main oven broke down. It reopened in May for takeout and delivery, and its website says it has opened indoor dining as well as patio seating for “dining al fresco.”

The long-time local restaurant celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2018.

Joseph Ramos contributed to this report

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