Following a December full of restaurant debuts, January and February promise at least 16 new dining spots.
COMING IN JANUARY
►Trattoria Abruzzo: The second location of Trattoria Abruzzo is expected to open this week in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples.The restaurant will have authentic Neapolitan pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven, fried pizzas, more homemade pastas and specials, full bar with craft cocktails, specialty cocktails and a bigger wine list
►Havana Blue Cuban Cuisine & Lounge:Havana Blue is expected to open this week in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt retail center. Expect a menu of Cuban-style specialties and late-night hours on the weekends with live entertainment. Havana Blue inherits a large bar and expansive seating options indoors and outdoors that previously were home to Salsa Cuban Restaurant & Lounge, French Folies, The Basin and Absinthe.
►Island Gypsy Poolside Cafe: is targeted to open this month in a space that most recently had been Pate’s Island Club but formerly was the Island Club and Island Pub for 30 years. The casual concept tropical oasis is tucked away on a poolside island in the center of Park Shore Resort off Neapolitan Way in Naples. With predominantly seafood dishes on the menu, a large portion of which will be the same as the original Gypsy location.
►Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar: Coming to the former spot of Masa Mexican restaurant in the Mercato, Florida-based Rocco’s Tacos is targeted to open in mid-January. This will be the first location in Southwest Florida for the popular Mexican restaurant brand.
Rocco’s sets its full bars in the center of its dining rooms. The casual restaurants are known for a taste of Mexico with menus for lunch, brunch, dinner, drinks and late night, featuring guacamole made tableside, hundreds of types of tequila and a vibrant nightlife.
►Yard House: The upscale casual restaurant concept will open Jan. 21 in Park Shore Plaza on U.S. 41 in Naples.
The new, two-story, 11,000-square-foot building will accommodate nearly 400 guests indoors and out. The restaurant, built around an expansive bar features 130 beers on tap, has a glass-enclosed keg room, miles of beer lines, and also has craft cocktails and an extensive menu of salads, street tacos, grilled burgers, seafood, steaks and ribs.
►Newk’s Eatery: Two local franchises in North Naples will introduce the region to Newk’s Eatery, a fast-casual concept featuring an open kitchen with a made-to-order menu of soups, salads, artisan pizzas, toasted sandwiches and desserts, and with beer and wine on tap.
The first of two local franchise locations will open Jan. 21 in Sutton Place, the Naples Boulevard retail strip recently built in front of Hollywood 20 cinema. The second location will open most likely in late spring or early summer in the new Logan Landings retail center under construction on the southeast corner of Logan Boulevard and Immokalee Road.
►K-Rico Mexican Grill: The former longtime Roy’s Restaurant is being converted to a Mexican restaurant in Bayfront, the mixed-use center on the Gordon River at Goodlette-Frank Road and U.S. 41. K-Rico is expected to open in late January or early February, and will feature authentic Mexican and Southwestern cuisine for lunch and dinner with an approachable price point.
COMING IN FEBRUARY
►Jimmy P’s Charred North: is targeted to open in February in the recently closed space of Sunshine Café in the Prado at Spring Creek center on U.S. 41 in Bonita Springs.
Charred North will have the same dinner menu as the original Charred steakhouse, as well as the majority of the lunch menu from the Jimmy P’s café in Bonita. The steakhouse will have about 90 seats and offer beer and wine.
►Nawty Hogg Backyard BBQ: The restaurant is expanding its mobile operation with a brick-and-mortar location targeted to open around Feb. 1 in the former location of Joey D’s in the Publix-anchored Brooks Village center at Collier Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road.
Expect counter service and a little sit-down area but no servers. It basically will be the same fast-casual concept and menu of pulled pork and chicken, brisket and ribs offered by the food truck.
Nawty Hogg will continue serving its barbecue topped with creamy macaroni and cheese at the food truck park as well as at the Twins’ spring training games in Fort Myers.
►485º: The owners of The Sizzle Truck also are pulling out the stops for a stationary location in East Naples. The new 485 Degrees restaurant is targeted to open in February in the unit vacated last month by Mitch’s Cookie Cafe in Pelican Larry’s Plaza on Davis Boulevard in East Naples.
Chef Z plans street food, small plates with a tapas mentality and handcrafted sandwiches, including The Sizzle Truck’s signature New England-style steak and cheese, chicken souvlaki and shrimp po' boy, with fresh vegetables prepared daily, and all condiments and sauces are homemade. The new local eatery will be open for lunch and dinner hours for takeout and dine-in with about 25 to 30 seats, including bar seats.
►Mitch’s Cookies Dessert Bar & Soda Fountain: The owners closed their original Mitch’s Cookie Café just before Christmas in order to make the move 2½ miles west on Davis Boulevard to Kings Lake Square in East Naples; the new Mitch's will open in February in the Publix-anchored retail center, and will have a selection from about 30 varieties of large gourmet cookies, cookie sundaes and a complete old-fashioned soda fountain experience with Royal Scoop ice cream and items such as egg creams, malted milkshakes and root beer floats.
► Industry Pizza & Slice Shop: is planned for mid-February in Orange Pine Plaza, the L-shaped retail center that wraps around the Speedway gas station at Pine Ridge Road and Yahl Street. The new pizzeria will move into the small unit that formerly was Smilin’ Dog Bakery in the same strip that also hosts Patric’s, Bonjour and Chinatown restaurants.
In addition to large slices available for lunch or dinner, the pizzeria plans to offer pizzas as large as 24 inches and Detroit-style squares as well for dine-in, takeout or delivery. Craft beer also will be sold.
► Mister O1 Extraordinary Pizza: The new pizzeria is shooting to open in early February at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples.
Its top-selling “star pizzas” are created by making cuts at the edge of the pizza and folding the flaps over to make a crust with eight points — actually eight pockets filled with ricotta cheese. The Naples restaurant will have beer and wine, including a more extensive wine menu than the Miami locations, Kennedy said.
►Barbosa Kitchen is targeted to open in February 2019 on Fourth Avenue North in Naples in the space that formerly was IM Tapas.Barbosa will offer Spanish-Cuban fusion, Spanish tapas and modern Cuban cuisine. In addition, expect beer and wine to be available.
► Cafe Luna: A longtime local restaurant concept with a full bar is returning to East Naples and expects to open Feb. 1. Cafe Luna plans to move into the Lakewood Plaza building on U.S. 41 East that had been the home of Bill’s Steak & Seafood for the last four years.
The restaurant is known for its pizza, classic Italian-American dishes and "Veally Good Deal" special for two dinners and a bottle of wine.