According to head chef Bruno Beqiri, Bruno's Italian Restaurant has no connection to the long-standing Bruno's Little Italy, despite occupying the same space in the Colonnade Shopping Center at 315 N. Bowman Road. In between Bruno's and Bruno's, the space housed Dona's Little Italy, which operated for roughly two month and closed about two months ago.
Beqiri describes Bruno's Italian Restaurant as "romantic and upscale," serving homemade traditional Italian antipastos, appetizers, entrees and desserts. All bread and sauces are made in-house, and the menu includes items such as minestrone soup, seafood, cannoli and tiramisu, stone-baked, hand-tossed pizza, calzones and vegetarian and meat-hearty pastas. Lunch specials start at $8, and dinner prices are slightly upwards. Bruno's has applied for a liquor license, and Beqiri expects to begin serving alcohol in September.
Beqiri grew up in Albania, about 70 miles from Italy. He studied the culinary arts in Italy and Switzerland, as well as in the U.S. He's been in Arkansas for about 20 years, and he's had a hand in restaurants such as La Bella Luna in Conway and Mona Lisa in Little Rock.
Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun.