Q: When is Gatsby’s going to open?
— Shirley Kengott, Bonita Springs
A: After a series of delays, Gatsby’s Pizza opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday in its new location at 4450 Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs.
Although it could be another week before the restaurant receives its beer and wine license, the new Gatsby’s has a license to serve its intoxicating pizza. Fans of the pizzeria’s previous locations in Bonita, North Naples and even Ohio have been awaiting the regional return of its thin-crust pies.
Photo by SHEILA MESULAM // Buy this photo
North Naples residents Greg and Jackie Chapin, the original owners of Gatsby’s near Columbus, Ohio, beginning in 1977, operated Gatsby’s for eight years in Wiggins Pass Crossing in North Naples. In August 2011, the Chapins relocated Gatsby’s to the Island House on Bonita Beach Road in a partnership that lasted only weeks.
Then, they wanted to open this time last year in their new digs, but it took the transplanted Buckeyes longer than anticipated to create their new restaurant space. But the wait is over.
The new Gatsby’s is across from Master Bait & Tackle in the small center fronted by C Level Coffee & Wine Bar. The pizzeria is open every day: 4 to 10 p.m. Saturdays, 4 to 8 p.m. Sundays, 4 to 9 p.m. Mondays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. 239- 676-5011
BUFFALO WILD WINGS
Q: Please give an update on Buffalo Wild Wings! I’ve been waiting long enough. I need some Asian Zing and spicy garlic wings in my life!
— Brady Cohen, East Naples
A: You’ll have to drive to Fort Myers to get some Zing or wait at least another three weeks for Buffalo Wild Wings to open its first Collier location.
I hesitate to publish another start date for the local Buffalo Wild Wings, which originally was to open in December, but the regional franchisee is now shooting for the third week in February, said Penny Thomas of Bruno Enterprises Inc., the Indiana-based home office for the local franchise, Spreading Our Wings Inc.
The plywood panels on the front windows of the old Blockbuster store in the Courthouse Shadows shopping center are not hiding much. I poked my head inside last weekend and saw a lot of work remains to convert the nearly 6,000-square-foot former video store into a new sports bar.
CHECKERS DRIVE IN
Q: Checkers on the East Trail has been bulldozed.
Any idea what will be happening there?
— Jerri F., Naples
A: Nothing is happening there for now, and the former drive-in restaurant property is not on the market, said Dale Chlumsky, the Naples man who owns that half-acre lot as well as at least another 2.5 acres that wrap around it.
Checkers’ twin drive-thru, which closed about three years ago, was razed last week at 1841 Frederick St. and U.S. 41 East in East Naples.
“We had planned to take it down, but then we had some interest in it, but it was nothing that materialized,” Chlumsky said. “I just gave the order that I wanted it leveled and graded out.”
Chlumsky, who sold the property to the fast-food franchisee more than 20 years ago and bought it back about two years ago, said the corner looks a lot better now.
“I’ll be happier to drive past it, I can tell you that,” he said.
MORE LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS
■ Subway is planning to open three new sub shops in the area next month, according to Joe Candito of Candito Management Group, the area franchisee for the national chain.
In addition to the store set to open in Pebblebrooke Center on Collier Boulevard near Immokalee Road, two other Subway stores are opening in Lee County, Candito said.
A new store is scheduled to open at the end of February in the Center of Bonita Springs shopping center on the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road. Another Subway is opening in February in the Lee Memorial HealthPark medical center, 9981 S. HealthPark Drive, in south Fort Myers, Candito said.
■ Il Nonno Pizza opened Dec. 10 in Hitching Post Plaza, across from Eagles Lake Community Park on U.S. 41 East at Barefoot Williams Road in East Naples.
“Il Nonno" means "The Grandfather" in Italian. "It’s what we call my grandfather,” said Noemi Bieco, owner of the local pizzeria.
Bieco uses family recipes from Naples, Italy, and even has some specialty pizzas from Argentina on her full menu available for dine-in, carry out or delivery.
Il Nonno is open daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 239-919-8599
■ R’s Diner is the new name for Nana Vetta’s Country Diner, 11518 U.S. 41 E., also at Hitching Post Plaza. The new name is a nod to the first names — Raymundo, Rufina, Reuben, Raoul, Rosa and Ruby — of the Hernandez family, who has owned the newly remodeled restaurant for at least five years.
New tables, booths and counters are highlighted by fresh paint, ceilings and lighting.
“It’s a little bit brighter than before,” Rosa Hernandez said.
A few items also have been added to the menu, including skillet dishes, omelets, eggs Benedict, breakfast burritos, and more salads, Rosa said.
The diner is open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays (prime rib night), Fridays (fish and chips night) and Saturdays (Tex-Mex night); and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. 239-732-6614
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"In the Know" is published Mondays and Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.