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From left, Robert Reynolds, Primerica; Jacob Fakouri, E Jacob Fakouri Construction and Bass Pro developer; Steve Bernard, Client Technology Services; David Albrecht, Sac Au Lait co-owner with children Kate and Nicholas; Scott Harms, Bonta de Forno general manager; Isais Gomez and Chef Alba Gomez, Sac Au Lait co-owners and Bonta del Forno owners; Lori Johnson, Hancock Whitney Bank; Joe Moore, Re/Max First and Sac Au Lait co-owner; Chris Geraci, Anthem Bank; and April Wehrs, Livingston Parish Chamber president/CEO.

An official opening for Bonta del Forno, 2660 Sac Au Lait Blvd., in Denham Springs was held July 15 with the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce.

Original Bass Pro developer Jacob Fakouri was recognized by the new Sac Au Lait center partner, Joe Moore. Moore said the strip center is 9,800 square feet and has four suites inside the center, two of which are occupied.

Isaias Gomez is a partner in the development and also owner of the Italian restaurant Bonta del Forno. Gomez said he had his eye on this parcel of land, and the partnership was developed to complete the vision, which included adding an Italian restaurant. Gomez has been in the restaurant industry for 30 years and is part owner of Sarita's in Denham Springs.

The restaurant was near opening as the concerns for coronavirus and the related mandates on businesses were escalating.

"Obviously the timing, in line with the virus concerns, brought our expectations a bit lower, but we have been pleased with the response in the area given the circumstances," Gomez said. "We are functioning and filling to the 50% mandates most days and evenings, particularly later in the week." The restaurant uses fresh ingredients.

The restaurant includes a private wine room with seating for eight. Also on premises are dining areas, a bar and a separate meeting room for 40 guests. The entrance includes a fountain with a seating area.