Q: Any idea if Luna Rossa, which was on Vanderbilt, will reopen elsewhere? Their food was always fantastic.
— Cheryl, Naples
A: Luna Rossa chef/owner Antonio Scotto Di Perta does not plan to open another restaurant in the Naples or Fort Myers area. He said this area has too many restaurants and not enough customers to support them all.
Di Perta said he plans to move soon to Florida’s east coast, probably Miami or Fort Lauderdale, to open another restaurant, most likely with a new name.
Before opening Luna Rossa in the Collection at Vanderbilt, Di Perta formerly owned Luna Rossa restaurant and pizzeria at Miromar Outlets in Estero. That restaurant continues to operate under new ownership.
Jimmy John’s comin’ or goin’?
Q: Is Jimmy John’s coming to the plaza on Immokalee and Airport? There was a sign up for a couple of weeks but then it disappeared.
— Jerry Schoenfeld, North Naples
A: Yes, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches is still coming to Piper’s Crossing, but it probably won’t open until this fall, said Jack Crifasi of Crifasi Real Estate Inc., owner of the North Naples shopping center.
The local franchise sign was installed before the Illinois-based chain had wanted it up, so it was taken down.
“It was just put up too early,” Crifasi said.
Meanwhile, the sign for China Express is now up, replacing the sign for the vacated Sweet Tooth Bakery in Piper’s Crossing. Expect the new Chinese restaurant to open by the first of July, Crifasi said.
Industrial park clearing
Q: As you drive north on Livingston Road from Radio Road, the land on the left, right past UPS, has been cleared. Do you know what is going in on that property?
— Kathy Kunow, Naples
A: That’s going to be additional parking for the adjacent UPS Customer Center, 971 Commercial Blvd., East Naples.
That undeveloped industrial park property is part of the 14.31 acres from Progress Avenue south owned by Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. Until recently, UPS had developed less than half of the space it owns there.
That UPS center needs more space for tractor trailers to maneuver and for seasonal help to park their cars.
Children’s Museum of Naples
Q: Help, help, help! The grandkids are coming! I told them the museum would be finished by March. What happened? We haven’t heard a word about C’MON for weeks?
— Phyllis Hiley, Naples and Lakewood, N.J.
A: If you meant March 2012, Phyllis, you were on the money.
The opening gala for the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, or C'MON, is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2012.
“This is the first time we have narrowed it down to a month,” said Heather Patton, a spokeswoman for the museum.
It is understandable if you thought the museum would be open this spring. The projected opening was spring 2010 when ground was broken for the museum in January 2009. Later, the opening was changed to fall 2010 and then spring 2011.
“Now, this year, we have been able to actually announce a month,” Patton said. The main setback was permitting for the interactive museum’s extraordinary exhibits, Patton said. “Nobody had to permit a 20-foot seashell before.”
A huge banyan tree, one of 13 exhibits, recently was installed at the family museum. A 45-foot-wide canopy of 150 limbs, 350 branches and 100,000 leaves spreads out from the tree’s 30-foot-wide trunk.
C’MON will be a two-story, 30,000-square-foot museum located in the northwestern corner of the North Collier Regional Park, where the Sun-N-Fun Lagoon also is located. You probably have seen the striking, multicolored building taking shape off Livingston Road.
Other planned exhibits for children and their families to explore involve journeying through the Everglades, visiting a farm and produce market, getting hands-on in the art gallery, and experiencing the four seasons in Mother Nature’s House. Other areas of the museum celebrate cool things about the beach, green construction and even outer space. Outdoor exhibits will include a hedge maze, a rolling hill, a water play area and an amphitheater.
The museum also will have classrooms, cafes, a gift shop and a library.
In the meantime, Phyllis, if you are looking for fun things to do with the grandkids, Patton invites you to check out the museum-sponsored festivals and other events scheduled for almost every weekend. Go to the museum’s calendar online to see a complete schedule of events at www.CMON.org.
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