La Bella Montagna, a new Italian pasta house, opens July 1 in the former Mountain Restaurant site. Chef and proprietor Mariah Melendrez Tartaglia and partner Tony Nardi plan to serve up Tartaglia’s personal and family recipes, recipes born of her Sicilian and Roman heritage. Tartaglia has had two restaurants in the past, one in La Mesa, Calif., and one on the central Oregon coast.

For many years Tartaglia was a social worker in San Diego, but said that although valuable work, it did not feed her soul. Cooking is for her a personal experience that gives her great emotional satisfaction. “I will make comfort food,” said Tartaglia. “How we eat is the most important part of keeping a family together. It’s how I raised my boys and how I’ll treat the community,” she said.

Mariah Melendrez Tartaglia (left) and Tony Nardi in front of their about to open La Bella Montagna (The Beautiful Mountain). Photos by Marshall Smith

Tartaglia and Nardi plan to cater to locals, keeping prices reasonable and featuring a broad base of Italian choices. La Bella Montagna will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Brad Rechtfertig, accomplished triathlete, builder and owner of Sunshine Design and Custom Homes, plans to open a newly constructed mission architecture-themed 8,500-square-foot bed and breakfast in the spring of 2013. It is currently under construction on Pine Crest Avenue as one of the newest private sector startups in Idyllwild.

Spiros Groubos and Chris Titus new proprietors of Idyllwild Vacation Rentals.

In other business changes, Chris Titus has taken ownership of Idyllwild Vacation Rentals from previous owner Dick Rennick. Assisted by Spiros Groubos, IVR is moving across the street to 54280 N. Circle Drive, next to Village Properties. “Our goal is to provide the best customer service and help more people become acquainted with Idyllwild,” said Titus.


Rough Riders Sporting Goods Store opens between Mountain Do’s and the Lumber Mill on June 29. Proprietors Bruce

Jennifer and Bruce Fey of Rough Rider Sporting Goods Store on Highway 243.

and Jennifer Fey will market skateboards, BMX bikes, scooters, rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly T-shirts, tennis shoes (Vans and Converse) and military fatigue clothing and accessories, including retro items. Rough Riders will be open from Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Irvin Designs in Oakwood Village, Jim Irvin proprietor, specializes in custom home additions and remodeling. He is available Tuesday through Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.