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Springfield, MO

Head chef buys south-side Nonna’s

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The head chef of Mangia: A Nonna's Italian Kitchen purchased the south-side restaurant with plans to reopen it under a new name.

Nichole Bowen, along with her parents Collin and Suanne Bowen and a silent partner, closed on the purchase Jan. 19 from Nonna's owner Shawn Kraft. Mangia operated its last day Jan. 20, and Nichole Bowen plans to reopen the cafe as Mi Mi’s Place on Feb. 1.

Bowen, who has worked for Kraft both at the Nonna’s restaurant downtown and at Mangia, said she was pursuing a bar venture when Kraft approached her with the deal. Kraft continues to own and operate the downtown Nonna’s.

“The price he offered me, I just couldn’t say no to,” Bowen said, declining to disclose terms.

Bowen retained the 3512 S. National Ave. restaurant’s 10 staff for Mi Mi’s Place, which she said would serve “a mixture of italian food and American comfort food.” Spaghetti, lasagna and fettuccine Alfredo will join the likes of crab mac-and-cheese on the menu, she said. Bowen also took over the lease in the Bradford Center owned by South National Centers LLC.

Bowen said Mangia averaged about $60,000 a month in sales.

“To start off with that would be nice,” she said.

Kraft, who also owns Casper's Chili Parlor, launched the south-side Nonna’s in late 2011.

The Springfield News-Leader first reported on the sale.

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