Judith Chapman: Excited About Restuarant Face-Lift

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Judith Chapman is is excited about an Italian face-lift this summer... for her restaurant in Palm Springs, that is!

"After 25 years, my man James figured he could redecorate, so the old St. James is closed and we're opening a brand-new, fabulous restaurant, Vineyard Tuscany Grill," Chapman told Soap Opera Digest. "It's the same location, but we're transforming it."

Judith Chapman Still
The first change will be the look.

"Though St. James wasn't an India restaurant, it had an India ashram look," Chapman said. "We're replacing the arches and fountains, and transforming it into a Tuscan villa. I haven't been home for three weeks, but James has already started the renovations, so I'll be pestering him. 'I think we should do it this way!' "

The long-time The Young and the Restless actress is sure to have an opinion on the food, too, but doesn't anticipate having any objections to the new menu.

"We're in business with the Italians!" she cheers. "We're going into partnership with Chef Mario Marfia, who worked for Robert De Niro's restaurant Ago and other fabulous places in Los Angeles, and the front man of Ago South Beach, Davide (Alessandrini). Mario's from Sicily and Davide's from Sardinia. It's our favorite food and it's going to be brilliant."

The best thing about the partnership is that Chapman will have more time with her man.

"James hasn't been in the kitchen for a long time, but he oversees everything," she said. "Now, he wants to slowly move to the background while someone else takes over, so we can spend more time together, with less of the headaches and responsibilities of day-to-day management and just relax."

After a quarter of a century, he's already getting started. "I just called him and he was at Mario's tiny restaurant in Palm Desert," Chapman said. "I said, 'It sounds like a wonderful life,' and he said, 'Oh, it is!' "

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.