Downtown Bay Shore’s new sit-down Italian eatery swung its doors open on Thursday.

ITA Kitchen, which is short for Italian American, started accepting patrons at 5 p.m. It is located in the old Gino’s Pizzeria at 45 West Main Street.

It has been a longtime coming for ITA’s owner, Salvatore Sorrentino, who has longed wanted to open a restaurant in the area.

“We were really excited to open,” said Sorrentino moments before his restaurant’s launch. “People keep telling us there is nothing like us on the strip. People say that we are needed.”

The 2,300-square-foot establishment features a mix of booth and table seating, with a 20-foot bar.

The owner describes his establishment’s vibe as a place that’s somewhere in the middle of casual and elegant, while offering an eclectic menu.

Among his favorite dishes to make is his Shrimp Luciano, which is served in a white wine lemon butter sauce with a touch of marinara, and sauteed spinach.

This isn’t the first rodeo for the 37-year-old when it comes to serving up Italian-American dishes. At 18, he began working as a chef at his family’s restaurants. The family previously owned Matteo Restaurants, which has locations in  New York and Florida, and now operates Andrea’s 25 in Commack.

According to Salvatore, his menu will be 90 percent different from his family eateries.

Scroll down to see photos of the new space.

hours of operation

ITA Kitchen will offer a lunch and dinner menu. The restaurant will be open for lunch, from noon to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. ITA’s dinner begins 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Tuesday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant will be closed on Monday.

Click here for our prior coverage.