Old Trail welcomes eateries

Old Trail Village in Crozet is welcoming a trio of eateries to the new commercial center, as Trailside Coffee, which is already open, will soon be joined by da Luca Cafe' and Wine Bar, and Anna's Ristorante Italiano and Pizza, (the latter a not-so-distant relative of Maury Avenue's Anna's Pizza #5, which is being opened by the daughter and son-in-law of Anna's owner Maria Buzzetta.)

Dish caught up with the owner of da Luca Cafe', Domenico D'Auria, an Italian-born home builder who wears a tool belt and a cooking apron. In fact, D'Auria built several of the homes at Old Trail before deciding to get into the restaurant biz.

D'Auria, who grew up in Naples, Italy, says that having commercial areas in close proximity to where you live is common in Italy. "It was very friendly and efficient," he says. “Community is very important to my family and me."

Whether or not Old Trail will become a full-blown community–- these three places are true trail-blazers, as they are seriously out-numbered by the un-leased and unsold places around them–- remains to be seen, but D'Auria's enthusiasm is certainly good PR.

"I am truly drawn to the concept behind Old Trail Village and wish for it to prosper," he says. I am from Italy, so I have a love of architecture and design, food and wine and–- most importantly–- building relationships with those in my community."