He sees bocce and the new Bella on the Vine function centre, which will have an official grand opening on 5 April, as the next chapter in the restaurant’s story. Capable of holding up to 275 people, the elegantly decorated venue has a grand ballroom and an outdoor courtyard, allowing for outdoor bocce events as well as indoor events on the portable courts.
“We are Italian, so it’s ingrained in our genes to play bocce ball. All our uncles and grandparents used to play it in alleyways or the backyard, especially after the family meal on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s new to a lot of people in Texas but bocce is always well received when people see what it is. It’s not a hard game to learn, it’s just a matter of showing people how to roll the ball and how to keep score.”
While the grand opening of Bella on the Vine is still to come, the courts have already been used at the venue for Christmas parties and team building events. The most recent function, for a local bank, saw around 60 staff enjoy a banquet and an evening of bocce ball. Business events, fundraisers and bocce leagues are all major parts of the facility’s future, Mr Dante says.
“We jumped in pretty heavy,” Mr Dante jokes. “But if I was trying to build permanent courts and protect them while they weren’t in use it would have been a lot more expensive. We see the portable courts as the best way to grow the sport.”
Mr Dante said the portability of the Packabocce courts and their ease of storage were major factors in his decision to use them.
“When you have a venue like ours you never know when an event is going to pop up, so it’s great to have courts we can bring out and set up quickly.”
Packaworld Chief Executive Peter Roberts said he was thrilled to hear that bocce ball was on the rise in Texas.
“These courts have been created to help people bring the game to new communities, venues and locations. The setup at Bella on the Vine is top notch and with John and his team behind it I’ve no doubt the hard work growing the game in Converse will bear fruit.”
The portable courts created for Bella on the Vine measure 46-feet by 7.5-feet, and were tailor made to fit the venue, Mr Roberts said.
Standard court sizes produced by Packaworld include 60-foot by 12-foot Competition Packabocce courts, 30-foot by 8-foot Recreational Packabocce courts for social leagues and cruise ships, and 22-foot by 6-foot Mini Packabocce courts for retirement villages, backyards and those with less space.
Bocce ball is still growing in Texas but is highly popular across the USA. Hundreds of social leagues are run across the country, including by the American Bocce Company, which uses Packabocce courts across more than 50 leagues in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin and Florida.
To find out more about Packaworld’s portable bocce ball courts, visit our Packabocce page >>