Q: I noticed Freddie Rebel’s on Shirley Street is “closed for remodeling.” As this place hasn’t been open that long (two years), I wonder if it’s one of those “forever” remodel projects?
— Vincent Tormey, North Naples
A: The original operators of Freddie Rebel’s Neighborhood Sports Bar & Grill have returned and plan to reopen the North Naples bar next week.
Longtime local husband-and-wife restaurateurs Fadi Rabil and Chrissy Bianchi-Rabil are back at the helm of the sports bar and restaurant at 5310 Shirley St., just north of Pine Ridge Road. Another local couple subleased the bar from them during the first half of this year but closed the bar last Friday.
“I am very excited about reopening Freddie Rebel’s,” Bianchi-Rabil said. “I’m thankful to have a second chance at it. That’s a landmark, and I don’t want to lose that landmark in Naples. I look at this place as absolute sacred ground, and it would just be a shame to walk away.”
Before closing in October 2009, Stevie Tomato’s Sports Page operated there for at least 10 years. The popular bar had been simply named the Sports Page beginning in the early ’80s, and it was The Little Brown Jug before that.
The Rabils opened their remodeled version of the bar two years ago, naming it Freddie Rebel’s after a common mispronunciation of Fadi Rabil’s name.
“This time around, I am going to play a larger role in the place,” Bianchi-Rabil said. “I am going to be much more involved. I’ll be here a lot more.”
The woman behind the self-named Chrissy’s restaurants in the Naples area said she has put her heart and soul into the old place.
“I designed the menu. I did a lot of research and came up with a menu that works,” she said. “Nothing fancy, just real — probably as noncorporate as you can get.”
The Rabils are developing a new team and sprucing up the place for a relaunch, Bianchi-Rabil said.
“We’d like to be open next Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, a few days before the first (weekend of NFL) football games (Sept. 9-10),” she said.
In addition to Freddie Rebel’s, the Rabils continue to operate three other local restaurants: Chrissy B’s in North Naples, and Chrissy’s Courthouse Tavern and Sweet Pea’s in East Naples.
TERI’S SUMMER BREEZE CAFÉ
Q: I’m curious if Teri’s Summer Breeze Café, which was in the Publix/Kmart shopping mall at Bonita Beach Road and U.S. 41, has ever reopened. They closed sometime in April, and it was rumored that they might reopen on Bonita Beach Road.
I sure hope so; it was one of my favorite breakfast places, along with a great Friday night fish fry!
— Ron Klinect, Livonia, Mich., and Bonita Springs
Q: Does Teri’s Summer Breeze Café have a new site, and when will they open?
— Barb Gilb, North Naples
A: Despite its local popularity and earlier plans to reopen, Teri’s Summer Breeze Café is not reopening now, said former owner Jessica Layton.
The breakfast-lunch venue had a nearly nine-year run in the Center of Bonita Springs when it closed at the end of March. Layton told customers on her café’s last day she would reopen this fall elsewhere in Bonita.
“I changed my mind. I’m not going to open another restaurant,” she said last week. “I’m going to go to college.”
Layton said she plans to major in resort and hospitality management at Florida Gulf Coast University. She said she will miss her café and its loyal customers, who have continued to email her and send Facebook messages inquiring about the café’s future.
“I’m going to miss it. I know I will,” she said. “I already do.”
Teri’s Summer Breeze Cafe was opened in June 2003 by Jessica’s mother, Teresa “Teri” Layton. Jessica Layton continued to run the restaurant after her mother died in November 2008.
Jessica is the third generation of restaurateurs in her family. Her grandmother, Barbara Salter Hunter, started the Shady Rest Café in 1978 on Kelly Road, now Bayshore Drive, in East Naples. Hunter also opened the former Three Sisters Café on Davis Boulevard in East Naples.
Teri Layton eventually bought Three Sisters from her mother but later sold it to open a larger restaurant — Teri’s Country Café — in Bonita. Later, she opened the smaller Teri’s Summer Breeze Café.
MORE LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS
■ The Counter Custom Built Burgers opened Saturday in Mercato in North Naples. This is the California-based chain that gives patrons a clipboard to check off items wanted for each burger. Choose among beef, turkey, chicken and veggie burgers, burger size, type of bun, 12 cheeses, 20 sauce options, four of 20 different toppings, and from nine premium toppings.
The Counter, 9110 Strada Place, unit 6130, accepts fax orders at 239-566-1044. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. 239-566-0644.
■ Gyrene Burger opened its second area store on Aug. 8 in Naples Park Plaza, 9331 U.S. 41 N., next to Joe’s Diner in North Naples. The first location, which opened at the end of last year, is on U.S. 41 near Central Avenue in downtown Naples. Gyrene’s two-burger menu now includes bags of hand-cut fries for $2.29.
Both locations are open 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. For free delivery, which averages 11 minutes or less, call 239-254-1001 in North Naples or 239-263-4110 in Naples.
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.