The wait is almost over.
Buca di Beppo, an Italian chain restaurant, is expected to open on the lower level of White Marsh Mall on Jan. 7.
But don't expect much fanfare on its first day—a grand opening celebration is expected on a later, yet-to-be-determined date, according to a representative of the mall at 8200 Perry Hall Blvd.
The mall first announced in February 2012 that Buca di Beppo would fill the 6,944-square-foot space left vacant by the former Lin's China Buffet.
Initially, the Italian restaurant was projected to open in spring 2012 and then fall 2012, according to announcements on the mall's website.
Buca di Beppo began hiring workers in November.
The restaurant chain has 86 locations nationwide and features family-style Italian food, ranging from margherita pizza to chicken parmigiana. At least one table in each location features a bust of the Catholic pope.
The chain was acquired by Planet Hollywood International Inc. in 2008, according to the company website.
Two other eateries also opened inside the mall in recent months and a third remains under construction.
Charley’s Grilled Subs, an international franchise specializing in cheesesteaks, filled a 429-square-foot space in the mall's food court, replacing Churro's.
The planned Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille—an East Coast sports bar chain offering burgers, wings and sliders—remains under construction. It will take the place of the former Ruby Tuesday, a 5,776-square-foot space opposite Red Robin, the mall announced.