Carelli’s new patio seating gets ‘molto bene’ reception |

Carelli’s new patio seating gets ‘molto bene’ reception

Patrons enjoy the new outdoor dining section at Carelli's Pizzeria & Pasta during the Craig Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors after-hours mixer Thursday evening. Referred to by management as "Little Italy," the patio has been in the works for about two years.
Andy Bockelman

— This week saw a new modification on an old favorite in Craig.

Carelli’s Pizzeria & Pasta unveiled its long-awaited backdoor patio seating section during the Craig Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors business mixer Thursday evening to an overwhelming response.

Owner Brett Etzler said the project, nicknamed “Little Italy,” has been in the works off and on for the past two years. The patio will be available for regular use beginning Monday as patrons take advantage of the additional al fresco style seating it offers.

As time goes on, the staff plans to add a decorative fountain to the setting and a television hookup to ensure there are the same amenities available as there are inside when the patio is in use during the warmer months.

“We’re really glad to be able to do this for the mixer because this is the first time we’ve been able to host one in the four years we’ve owned the place,” Etzler said during a brief break from manning the restaurant’s pizza oven.

Those attending the mixer were able to sample much of Carelli’s menu, with standing room only in a matter of minutes.

Shannon Moore, Chamber membership director, said she received a considerable number of RSVPs for this particular mixer, with the average 50 to 60 nearly doubled.

“They’ve definitely filled it up back here,” she said.

Adriana Robbins, a Chamber ambassador through Bank of the West, said besides the food and new seating option, the turnout at Carelli’s was strong because of the type of people attending, namely those who haven’t been to mixers in the past.

“I’ve seen a lot of new faces here,” she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

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