Q: We have been waiting for quite awhile for the Dunkin’ Donuts to open in East Naples. When will it ever be open? Help!
— Arlene, East Naples
A: August is the target opening month for the Dunkin’ Donuts in Courthouse Shadows shopping center in East Naples, according to local franchisee Jim Grifoni.
The new Dunkin’ Donuts will be built on a half-acre outparcel just south of Burger King at the southernmost tip of Courthouse Shadows. This unique store will replace the Dunkin Donuts location that closed years ago in nearby Naples Towne Centre.
“It’s really going to be nice,” Grifoni said. “I’m really looking forward to that store opening up.”
Gulf Coast Donuts LLC will use about 2,000 square feet of a 6,000-square-foot building it is planning to build at that location on U.S. 41 East. Space will be available for one or more tenants providing a good fit with Dunkin’ Donuts, Grifoni said.
Although he said it is too early to mention details, Grifoni plans another East Naples location on Airport-Pulling Road, as well as other sites. Grifoni, who now operates seven Dunkin’ Donuts in Collier County and Bonita, plans to have 20 local stores operational within the next five years.
Before a new East Naples location opens, expect another Dunkin’ Donuts store to open in March at 4800 Golden Gate Parkway in the former Golden Gate location of Saltwater Cowboys Bar & Grill.
Meanwhile, the Bonita Springs location for Dunkin’ Donuts closed on Christmas at 8951 Bonita Beach Road, and reopened Jan. 5 in Springs Plaza, located on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road. The new 2,028-square-foot, stand-alone store — the former location of Jimmy's Roadhouse — has a drive-thru window.
Q: For months, there has been a sign for the Manhattan Steak House outside of the old Bella Vita restaurant site off U.S. 41 in Bonita Springs. Do you know when and if it will ever open?
— Jim Lebo, Bonita Springs
Q: Really enjoy your weekly feature. On Burnt Pine Drive, near the southernmost entrance to Pelican Landing, there have been signs for Manhattan Steakhouse for nearly a year, but no sign of an opening. What’s going on there?
— Larry Ward
A: Manhattan Steakhouse is targeted to open near the end of the month, said owner Bella Purisic.
The new restaurant’s final inspection is scheduled for today. If all goes well, expect the steakhouse to open in about 10 days, Purisic said.
The 2,395-square-foot unit was formerly Bella Vita Ristorante in Burnt Pine Plaza, 24940 U.S. 41 S., just south of Pelican Landing and U.S. 41’s intersection with Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs.
Manhattan Steakhouse shares family ownership with Molino’s Ristorante, located in The Promenade at Bonita Bay.
More area restaurant news
■ Shula’s Bar & Grill had its grand opening ceremony Tuesday afternoon in the pre-security main terminal at Southwest Florida International Airport. Shula’s Bar & Grill is a new concept made especially for airport travelers and created by the Shula family of restaurants founded by legendary Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula. The first location opened last May at Miami International Airport. The new airport eatery’s all-day menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, and features hamburgers, appetizers, cocktails and wine.
■ Barbatella opened during the weekend at 1290 Third St. S. in downtown Naples. The “spirited Italian trattoria and gelateria” from Chef Fabrizio Aielli and his wife, Ingrid, operators of Sea Salt, is housed in two separate buildings around a courtyard fountain.
The casual dining and gelato side has wood tables, brick floors and terrazzo counters, while the more sophisticated bar next door features a copper bar, long wood communal tables, deep booths and 1,400 plaster medallions on the ceiling, according to a news release.
Barbatella, which features pizza, pasta, sandwiches and homemade gelato, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant has 150 indoor seats and another 60 on the outdoor terrace.
The restaurant boasts a two-ton, wood-fired pizza oven built in Italy. Parts of the 50-year-old buildings and the courtyard were renovated with $3 million in private funding provided by Neapolitan Enterprises, the restaurant’s owners, and other local investors.
■ Pizzaro's opened about two months ago in the former home of Olympia Cafe in Bonita Springs. In addition to pizza, the restaurant has wings, burgers, deli sandwiches, salads and many choices of traditional pasta dinners. A reader wrote in to rave about its deep-fried stromboli and Philly cheese subs. Pizzaro's, located at 24611 Production Circle in the City Mattress plaza just north of the intersection of U.S. 41 and Old 41 Road, delivers and is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.