Tre Nonne closes; In its place, Que Viva opens a Latin restaurant

Italian restaurant Tre Nonne has closed for good, selling its business to the owners of food truck Que Viva Latin Street Grill.

Tre Nonne has been in business since 2016 at 177 Jonestown Road in the Summit Station Shopping Center. Started by three Italian-Americans from Brooklyn: Tony and Alice Maresca, who are husband and wife, and Debbie Maresca, Tony’s sister.

Tony Maresca said the family’s health problems were the main reason for selling the restaurant. “It’s been a good trip,” he said. “But we have a lot of health problems in the family. It makes it impossible to run a restaurant full time.”

In a Facebook post, the owners thanked all their customers and staff. “We have had the privilege over the past seven years to get to know and befriend all of you, to the point where we all consider you part of our extended family.” We have so many fond memories here that it is very difficult to say goodbye and from the bottom of our hearts we thank you all for your support and understanding.”

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The owners of Que Viva plan to convert the Italian restaurant into a Latin American fast food restaurant featuring their popular empanadas, arepas and more.

Husband and wife Eric and Jessica Balseca started Que Viva in 2019 with Eric’s parents, Bolivar and Patricia Balseca. Eric and Jessica grew up in North Carolina, but their truck was inspired by the Colombian and Ecuadorian heritage of Eric’s father and mother, respectively. And they also sprinkled in inspiration from other Latin American countries.

Eric Balsecca said the new restaurant will also be called Que Viva Latin Street Grill. “To start, we’ll have all the main categories that are on the truck: arepas, empanadas, jibaritos (plantain sandwiches) and rice and stir-fry bowls,” he said. “But we will expand them further. We currently have Argentinian and Colombian empanadas, but every country in South America has its own version. So instead of two empanadas, we might have five.”

The restaurant will initially be open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday, he said.

It will serve beer and mixed drinks. Customers will order at the counter; staff will deliver food to the tables.

Eric said his parents will continue to be involved in the business. “They are still the main inspiration behind all the great flavors. We use their recipes,” he said.

At the moment, the family is carrying out a major cleaning and repair of the premises. The kitchen needed some minor modifications to accommodate Que Viva’s menu. The dining room gets a new look to fit the Latin American theme. “We’re brightening it up with more colors,” Balseca said. “We want it to look like a street in a South American city.”

He said the family plans to keep the food truck, but its use will likely be limited to large festivals and catering events.

Balsecca said he hopes to open the restaurant in the third week of April.

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