Yoshi Sasaki, a Hilliard businessman, will reopen the Italian restaurant at the end of May.

After nearly eight years in business, Luce has been sold.

The upscale casual restaurant in Powell will close for a month for renovations and reopen as Luce Nuovo.

Yoshi Sasaki, a Hilliard businessman, is the managing partner of an investment group that purchased Luce (pronounced loo-chay) from the Ciotola family and Randy and Amy Turturice.

The sale was complete April 29.

Sasaki, who's the CEO of a consumer-electronics company, said he likes the location and loyal clientele at the Italian restaurant, 3499 Market St.

"I'm interested in the food business. I like food. I like wine," said Sasaki, who previously owned a Japanese-cuisine restaurant in Tokyo.

He said he will completely transform the space by brightening the interior and installing new furniture. He has hired Sicilian-born Deborah Quinci, a private chef in Columbus, as general manager.

She has developed a "clean and simple" menu of Italian dishes, such as Bologna-style lasagna with pork and beef ragu, sheets of homemade pasta and a layer of bechamel. Pizzas will remain part of the menu.

There will be a few French touches, such as bouillabaisse. Quinci said there will be an emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients and scratch-made fare.

For example, the restaurant will make its own ricotta, mozzarella and terrines. Prices will be slightly more expensive, Sasaki said.

Next is the wine list. Sasaki said he will assemble a first-rate food-friendly wine list with upscale choices and build a walk-in wine cellar.

Previously scheduled banquets will be accommodated during the renovation process, Sasaki said.