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Expansion at Youngstown restaurant to support ‘largest bocce league in America’

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown’s Design Review Committee listened to an idea for improving a nearly 100-year-old business in the city.

Cassese’s MVR has big plans for the future to stay a preferred destination.

Owner Joe Cassese understands that bocce is a popular game in the Valley and how important it is to Youngstown.

“Bocce is an event that brings people together,” he said.

Bocce’s history at MVR started in the 1970s. It expanded to four courts in the ’90s and runs a league with 86 teams, which Cassese believes is the largest in America. But the season only goes from April to September.

“There’s no question that that’s where we’re at right now. It’s vital that we’re able to continue to bring customers in throughout the winter months,” Cassese said.

MVR has developed plans for a $500,000 project to add a fifth court and expand the upper patio, but the key piece is enclosing the area.

“There will be garage doors and sliding windows surrounding the outside. Oh no! we won’t lose the summer feel. Once April hits, everything opens up,” Cassese said.

Cassese’s MVR knows people love the pizza and Tressel Tortellini. It’s kept them in business since 1927.
Joe Cassese is a 4th generation operator. He’s laying the groundwork to complete a century in business and keep the MVR relevant.

“You do it with good food, good product, great employees, which we have all that. And you give yourself an atmosphere and a facility that hopefully keeps people turning their attention and heading towards Youngstown,” Cassese said.

The work could begin within two weeks, after getting the necessary permits. The project could be done as soon as March.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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