Zola under new ownership

Zola New World Bistro has been sold and is closed for renovations.

The announcement was made on the downtown State College restaurant’s website and Facebook page.

Zola owner Dave Fonash, who could not be reached for comment, said in October that he and co-owner Paul Kendeffy weren’t trying to sell the bistro, but left the possibility open for suitors.

“Against popular belief, we are not trying to sell Zola’s,” Fonash said at the time. “We’ve had no shortage of interest in it. I’ve certainly talked to a lot of people about it, and as a business owner I’m always willing to talk, but we’ve not sold it, and we’re not trying to sell it.”

Fonash and Kendeffy said in the post that Zola would retain its upscale atmosphere under new ownership, but with improvements.

“We are currently closed in order to conduct some very significant renovations as Zola has been taken over by a new ownership group,” the announcement said. “Have no fears the new group is dedicated to keeping Zola as Zola. They are excited for some new dynamic interior changes and giving the space a fresh vibe. The renovation and license transfer process will start immediately with a re-launch slated for early February.”

According to a statement on the Zola website, renovations would involve the lighting, floors and paint and a new state-of-the-art wine room in the front of the restaurant.

The statement also said Fonash would continue to work at the bistro to “help with the transition and operations” but that Kendeffy would not.

“From the both of us, we sincerely appreciate the exceptional support over the years and we look forward to seeing the brand grow and continue to thrive,” they said, adding that Facebook followers can read updates on the Zola page.

Fonash and Kendeffy opened Zola, at 324 W. College Ave., in 2002 and co-own The Gamble Mill in Bellefonte, which is on the market.

The Gamble Mill, which they bought in 2008, was listed at $1.3 million in October and is now listed at $1.2 million.