Q: My husband and I are true fans of Gatsby's Pizza. We recently drove to the intersection of Bonita and Imperial Shores, but there were no signs that any work is being done or that they are planning on opening in that area. Could you give me any current information on their plans?
— Kathy R., Naples
A: You were in the right place, but maybe at the wrong time.
Gatsby's sign recently was erected in a corner suite of the L-shaped Liberty Bank Plaza, 4450 Bonita Beach Road, and crews have been busy working to prepare to open the new place in Bonita Springs during the first or second week in September, said Jackie Chapin, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Greg.
The Chapins originally had wanted to open this summer, but still plan to be open in time to serve as a meeting place this fall for transplanted fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes. The new venue will be larger with a waiting area, piano bar and outdoor seating.
The Chapins and some of their many fans have been busy painting and preparing the new restaurant. They even have constructed a huge, red "O" between the kitchen and dining area as a pizza pass-through.
It's been a year since Gatsby's Pizza first relocated from Wiggins Pass Crossing in North Naples to Bonita Beach Road in a partnership with the Island House that didn't pan out. Until last fall, the Chapins operated their pizzeria for eight years in North Naples after operating the original Gatsby's near Columbus, Ohio, beginning in 1977.
Despite all the changes, the food is promised to be familiar. Gatsby's will feature the same menu, which showcases the Chapins' popular thin-crust pizza.
Tropical Palm Cafe closed?
Q: Recently, my husband and I went to the Tropical Palm restaurant for lunch, and even though a sign said it was open, it wasn't. My question is, are they still in business?
— R. James, Naples
A: Tropical Palm Café permanently closed at the end of last month, confirmed a representative for the company that owns Neapolitan Way shopping center.
"They were out as of July 31," said Chris Gavrelis of Madison Marquette, which is working to find a replacement for the vacated space.
Because café owners Gezim and Diana Toska usually closed their business during the month of August for vacation, neighboring businesses did not know the café had closed for good. The restaurant's white table linens and place settings remained in place, so it looked as if the cafe could reopen at any time. Even the last specials of the day – steak and eggs, crabcake Benedict, and cream of chicken soup – remain displayed on a message board on an easel near the café's main entrance.
The Toskas owned the café for many years, but they were at least the third owners. Original owners Kate and Joe Okuniewicz sold their Tropical Palm Café to Dave Crisovan when they left in 2005 to open K.J.'s Tropical Palm Café, which is now Mongello's Restaurant on U.S. 41 East.
More local restaurant news
■ Just A Nibble sandwich and pastry shop opened Aug. 6 across from Cambier Park in downtown Naples. That location, 635 Eighth St. S., was the home of Fifth Avenue Deli for last two and a half years, but it previously was the longtime location of Trixie's Torpedo Sandwiches.
The new shop’s menu offers soup, salads, sandwiches and pastries. The prime rib sandwich ($11.95) is the most expensive items on the menu. Other sandwiches, made from meats roasted in house, range in price from $7.95 for the chicken salad or liverwurst to $9.95 for turkey, corned beef, or New York-style pastrami. Pastries ($4-$5), made from scratch in-house, include almond torte, cheesecake and cookies.
“Apple strudel is probably one of the most popular things I do,” said owner Louisa Tumelaire, a Holland native who has offered her “Dutch Treats” baked goods at Third Street South Farmers' Market for more than eight years.
Just A Nibble’s summer hours are 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays. Call for free delivery: 239-403-7373.
■ DQ memories: After more than 50 years, Dairy Queen in Naples soon is moving three blocks north. Do you have cherished memories or photos at the original red-roofed DQ? Help us share them with other readers. Please email your story and/or your photos by Monday to: email@example.com. Make the subject line "Dairy Queen memories."
Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"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.