Frank and Donna Colleli started Villa Nova in 1978. Their first two years were spent converting the bar (previously known as the Vogue Lounge)into a restaurant and bar, changing, replacing, and fixing up the establishment. Frank had previously owned numerous restaurants and pizza shops around central Ohio, including Frankie’s Pizza and Franco’s.
In 1986, they decided to sell Villa Nova and retire to Florida. Frank’s son John had been working in the kitchen at the time of the sale and continued to work there (under the new ownership) until 1998, when he convinced Frank and Donna to come out of retirement to buy back Villa Nova and make it what you know today.
In 2014, Frank passed away. Villa Nova is currently owned by John, his wife Meghan, and his brother Frankie with Donna enjoying retirement life and socializing with all of our wonderful customers.
Frank always loved going to thrift stores and antique shows. He developed an obsession with teapots. He spent years hunting down the perfect teapots. Once he got a teapot he would then go through a rigorous routine to make it shine perfectly for the shelves of the Villa.
We have a gigantic teapot that was on Antique Roadshow and an itty-bitty teapot (made out of a penny) we call the smallest one ever! He took such pride in his teapot collection that he wanted to share it with the world. What better place than his other love…. the Villa Nova.
The pressure gauges lining the walls of the bar, like the many teapots, were a labor of love bordering on obsession. Although the collection grew with the restaurant, the passion behind them started several decades earlier. As a younger man, Frank spent some time with the merchant marines.
It was working in the boiler room of various ships that he developed his connection to the sea and all things nautical, as evidenced by the fourteen-carat gold fishhook dangling from his ear. Though Frank passed on in 2014, his gauge collections stands as a testament to his seafaring ways,