LoGelfo family buys La Bella

Published 1:16 am Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Co-owner Debbie LoGelfo stands in front of the renamed LaBella Slices & Ices Tuesday with her co-owner husband John (center) and son John Jr. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

The co-owners of Blackbeard’s Slices & Ices in Bath have purchased La Bella Pizzeria, a mainstay restaurant on Washington’s Main Street.
John and Debbie LoGelfo recently announced the grand opening of the newly renamed LaBella Slices & Ices, sited at 126 W. Main St.
LaBella was founded by Gary Tomasulo and his wife, Marie, who ran the business after her husband’s death in 2009.
Debbie LoGelfo said she and her husband had known Gary and Marie Tomasulo for years. She indicated the purchase of LaBella was a natural fit for both families, which hail from New York.
“It’s kind of like come full circle, the whole thing,” she said.
The couple’s son, pizza chef John LoGelfo Jr., will work full-time at LeBella.
“We’re just really happy and excited to be a part of all the progress and growth that’s going on in downtown Washington,” he said.
Frank Pearson, head chef at Blackbeard’s Slices & Ices, will continue in his role at the Bath restaurant.
The son makes specialty pizzas — cold-cut pies, pizza with spinach and roasted garlic, others — that will have pride of place on the new menu at LeBella.
The expanded menu also will include more pasta dishes; hot and cold subs; homemade desserts, among them cheesecake; and, of course, Italian ices.
“We’re going to try to step up the menu a little bit,” Debbie LoGelfo said.
John and Debbie LoGelfo moved to Bath from New York after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks led them to re-evaluate their lives, the wife said.
John LoGelfo was an engineer with the Long Island Rail Road, and brought people out of New York City on the day of the attacks, she said.
Their search for a better life brought the couple back to eastern North Carolina, where John LoGelfo had been stationed as a Marine at Camp Lejeune.
A real-estate agent showed the relocating pair the for-sale house in Bath that would become home to Blackbeard’s Slices & Ices.
“As soon as we crossed over that bridge, we knew that was where we wanted to live,” Debbie LoGelfo said of Bath. “It was just beautiful.”
The family took up residence in Bath in 2005.
John LoGelfo Sr. acknowledged running two businesses will be a major task, but suggested the family is up for the challenge.
“Since we’ve been in Beaufort County, we’ve always loved the downtown area of Washington,” he said, adding it was Gary Tomasulo’s vision to bring more tourism and commerce downtown.
The LoGelfo family intends to continue that vision, he related.
Blackbeard’s Slices & Ices is located at 101 N. Main St., Bath.
Winter hours there are 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
LaBella’s hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
If you’d like to nominate a Beaufort County-based business for BizLine, call 252-946-2144, ext. 230, or email jonathan.clayborne@thewashingtondailynews.com.