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Gamberetti’s Italian Restaurant, a business that started in Salem in 2010, opened up its second location in downtown Albany in early February, and things have been going well so far, said owner Treva Gambs.

Gambs said her eatery specializes in comfort food and has a casual atmosphere.

“I want food I’m going to have at home, that I would serve to my own family,” she added.

The menu includes dishes as simple as spaghetti with meatballs. But there also are more complex options, such as spicy seafood ravioli.

Though Gamberetti’s offers a selection of Italian and Northwest wines, local microbrews and a full bar, the restaurant is family-friendly, with a children’s menu.

Gambs also is using family recipes, including several that she’s gleaned from chefs that she worked under.

Other recipes come from Gambs’ travels in Italy to the Tuscany and Piedmont. She’s planning another journey to southern Italy to explore seafood recipes.

Gambs has been in the restaurant industry for 30 years. She said she’s found a natural niche because she’s competing not against other local eateries, but against chain restaurants like the Olive Garden.

“But we’re making it from scratch, we’re making it to order,” she said. That also means restaurants can easily modify dishes compared to chain restaurants. Don’t like mushrooms? They won’t go into the sauce.

Though Gamberetti’s is new on the scene, the business is already forming local partnerships, and Gambs hopes to create more. The restaurant’s bread, for example, comes from Natural Sprinkles Co. in downtown Albany.

Gambs said she chose Albany in part because the downtown is vibrant, and especially so on First Avenue. The Albany Downtown Association also enthusiastically supports businesses, she added.

“They're doing great promotions and they’re drawing business down here,” Gambs said.

Gamberetti’s storefront, which once housed The Cellar Cat, Wyatt’s and other businesses, also was attractive.

“I walked in and it’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s it,’” Gambs said.

Gamberetti’s, 211 First Ave. W in Albany, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call 541-497-2181 or go to the business’ Facebook page.

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Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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