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The wait is over as Spoleto - My Italian Kitchen near UCF is officially open for business.

While its grand opening is still a few weeks away, the Italian addition to the Plaza on University held its soft opening Monday.

With popular chains of Italian restaurants in Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica, the franchise chose Central Florida for its first location as it expands into the United States.

"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 preferences.

"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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Marina Guerges is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @marinaguerges or email her at MarinaG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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