When the new Pasghetti’s Italian restaurant was announced last year, most Branson observers were delighted at not only the prospect of a great new Italian restaurant, but also the engaging and interesting exterior as shown in the initial renderings:
Eccentric decor has typically been welcomed and encouraged in Branson. Much of the town is decidedly a tourist trap, and most visitors enjoy the departure from typical generic suburbanism. Hollywood Wax Museum’s Branson location re-built it’s exterior a few years ago into a massive facade of a New York skyline complete with a giant King Kong replica that is always fun to drive past.
However the final end result of Pasghetti’s exterior leaves much to be desired. Nearly all the details promised by the early artwork have been dropped, leaving a brick box with sparse detail accentuated only by the signature giant meatball and a small tomato oddly positioned on the top corner. That would have been bad enough, but to add insult to injury the meatball is comically bad looking, even by Branson’s usual tacky standards. You can see a few photos of the end product in this review.
Pasghetti’s is a great restaurant, and the interior seems to be nicely finished and detailed, so the poor result of the exterior is somewhat mind-boggling. What drove the changes from the initial concept pitch? Why is this end result deemed acceptable? Branson has plenty of eye-sores, so it is easy to understand that adopting any kind of standards is an uphill battle, but this fresh disappointment should be turning some heads and rekindling the conversation on what kind of standards we should hold new developments in Branson to.
Branson is currently in the initial stages of a massive new project to rebuild the 76 strip, dubbed “The Spirit of 76″. The project aims to help transform the 76 strip from endless parking lots and strip retail into a walkable and entertaining destination that new generations of guests will be attracted to. This project was supposed to be a highlight of the new 76, but instead it simply shows that rebuilding the road won’t be enough to keep Branson attractive to future generations. A degree of oversight is sorely needed in Branson to hold developers accountable and stop the decades-long trashing of Branson’s potential.
It wouldn’t take much to make Pasghetti’s exterior into the exciting and intriguing destination point it was intended to be. The facade is an unworthy reflection of the great restaurant inside. Let’s hope a renovation is in the works, but until then we certainly encourage checking out the interior and their great food and wine line-up.