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A popular chain of Italian restaurants in Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica has chosen Central Florida for its first location as it expands into the U.S.

Spoleto - My Italian Kitchen is set to open in January at Plaza on University, the student-housing complex across from the UCF campus.

"We chose the UCF area because it's a great demographic for us to reach and capture coming out of the gate," president of Spoleto USA John Velasquez said in a release. "Orlando is also a growing city that can propel our brand to future growth throughout the country."

Guests will have the option of choosing from popular Italian dishes such as pasta, flatbreads, salads and soups while interacting with a chef to create their own recipe to fit their preference.

"It's like having your own Italian kitchen and you're the chef," Velasquez said.

Average menu prices range from $9 to $12, including a drink.

A second location is planned for Winter Park, anticipated to open by the end of April.

Spoleto has plans to open several locations throughout Orlando and then expanding into other Florida markets before moving to other states, according to the company's press release.

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