Good news! Pazzo! & Chops/Naples reopening Nov. 21
November 7, 2022
Here’s some good news from Culinary Concepts:
Pazzo! Cucina Italiana and Chops City Grill/Naples will reopen on Monday, Nov. 21 for the first time since Hurricane Ian.
Both restaurants have been rebuilt from scratch. Owner Skip Quillen has been part of the Southwest Florida restaurant community for 28 years. Like many of the neighbors on 5th Avenue South, both restaurants had to overcome the storm’s fury that sent more than 50 inches of water into the buildings. “We lost every bit of our cooking equipment. All of our coolers in the back. Every wall had to be ripped out and fully rebuilt. Basically starting from scratch all over again,” he says.
It hasn’t been easy work, but the team began rebuilding just one day after the storm. Skip wanted to return to work quickly so his 300 staff members could keep their jobs. Everyone has been working nonstop to rebuild both restaurants and replace the equipment that was lost. That work has been worth it, especially for the people who love the restaurant, like Chops corporate bar manager Kendra Rizzi (see attached photo), who has worked there since the legendary steakhouse opened in 1997.
“It’s my second home. And people love this place. It’s like their second home, too,” Rizzi adds.
“We want to show our customers that everything can move on and we can move forward as a community,” says Skip. He promises Pazzo! and Chops/Naples will be back, fully staffed, with a full menu and bar. Three other Culinary Concepts restaurants: abba Island Grill, also located on 5th Avenue South, Chops City Grill/Bonita Springs and The Saloon American Craft in Estero, reopened Oct. 4.
The weeks of recovery work was completed with the people in mind for both the people who work at the restaurants and people who come through the front doors.
Around Naples, it’s still anything but normal. Skip wants to do what he can to bring some normalcy to our community.
“I am very proud to show the community that we can do this,” says Quillen. “It’s the community feel of 5th Avenue South. That’s who we are. We are part of this community. And we’re glad to be back.”