Q: Do you have an update of when the Buffalo Wild Wings will be opening up? Thanks.
— John Strathmann, Naples
A: Collier County’s first Buffalo Wild Wings is a month behind schedule. Expect the new fast-casual grill and sports bar to open next month in a former Blockbuster store in East Naples, said regional manager Andrew Lloyd.
“January 15 is the projected opening date now,” Lloyd said.
Although the new 6,000-square-foot location will not feature the latest redesign for the chain, it will sport an outside patio. The parking lot of the Courthouse Shadows shopping center is even being redone to accommodate it, Lloyd said.
And don’t expect the Minneapolis-based chain with Ohio roots to stop growing locally. It is looking for a location in the Bonita Springs area to build another Buffalo Wild Wings next year, Lloyd said, noting that the company wants locations at least 15 miles apart.
B-Dubs, as it is nicknamed, opened its only other Collier-Lee location two years ago at The Forum shopping center off Interstate 75 in Fort Myers.
Taps Bar & Lounge
Q: What is the latest information on the opening of Taps Bar and Lounge in Mercato? There are rumors that they're having trouble obtaining a liquor license.
— Molly P., Naples
A: The opening of Taps Bar & Lounge has been postponed a couple of months, but rumors regarding its liquor license are unfounded, said owner James DeVito.
Taps, which originally had planned to open in November in Mercato’s Piazza, now is targeting an opening date in late February or March, DeVito said.
The delay is because of an architectural design issue. An elevation oversight meant plans had to be redone last month to omit second-floor office space that originally was planned, DeVito said.
“Unfortunately, we had to go back to the drawing board with our plans,” he said. “You’ll start seeing some action in the next couple of weeks.”
Taps is still planning a 3,200-square-foot venue with another 1,000 square feet under a porch near The Counter burger cafe in the North Naples shopping center.
Taps offers 60 wines by the glass and about 30 beer brands on tap and 350 in bottles, including imports, craft beers and micro-brews. Its lunch-dinner menu features 22 tapas choices, 11 sandwiches, eight bruschetta offerings, nine salads, a soup of the day and five desserts.
Taps has two other locations in Tampa and Winter Park.
More local restaurant news
■ Gustitos Bakery - Peruvian Café opened this fall in the Bed Bath & Beyond Plaza on the northwest corner of Airport-Pulling and Pine Ridge roads in North Naples. Co-owner Gonzalo Torres and his father and sister are capitalizing on more than 25 years of family history in the bakery business in Peru to bring their unique, local business to Naples.
“There are no Peruvian bakeries here,” Torres said. “Nobody is doing what we are doing, so why not bring something new to Naples?”
The empanadas have been the standout since the bakery café opened Sept. 13 in the former location of Sugar Palm Bakery. The new bakery even already caters its empanadas to a chain of Peruvian restaurants on Florida’s east coast, Torres said.
The baked empanadas — Latin American turnovers — are filled with either sweet fillings such as apple and coconut-pineapple, or a savory stuffing such as cheese, spinach, artichoke, beef and chicken.
Gustitos’ all-day menu also features pork or chicken tamales served with a Criolla sauce of onions, tomatoes and cilantro, Torres said.
“It really gives it a different touch when you eat it,” he said. “It’s like introducing new flavors.”
The bakery café also has morning pastries, lunch combos, bread, rolls, sandwiches and desserts. Six to eight moderate batches of bakery and pastry products are prepared during the day to assure fresh baked goods are always available.
Gustitos, 5417 Airport-Pulling Road, is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. 239-254-8115.
■ Jaegerhaus recently relocated to Green Tree Center of North Naples from its previous location on U.S. 41 in Naples and added lunch to its lineup. The German restaurant reopened Dec. 5 in the former home of Taste of Chicago, which closed in April in the shopping center on the southwest corner of Airport-Pulling and Immokalee roads. The new space is between Naples Olive Oil Co. and Em-On’s Thai Café.
“This is a great spot,” said chef/owner/manager Sebastian Heyer, whose family relocated from Germany in 2009 to take over the local cafe. “The whole location is better.”
In early October, Jaegerhaus closed the original location opened in May 2006 in Tower Plaza behind Mel’s Diner. Heyer said diners will find the same popular menu at the new location with each dish prepared from scratch using authentic German recipes and fresh ingredients.
“It’s basically all the same,” he said. “We just changed locations.”
Jaegerhaus serves hearty, authentic Old World comfort food, including Jaegerschnitzel, sauerbraten, Wiener schnitzel, spaetzle, potato dumplings, German potato salad, potato pancakes and apple strudel. It also offers imported wine and beer, such as Beck’s Oktoberfest amber beer and Krombacher pilsner.
Jaegerhaus, 2366 Immokalee Road, now is open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 9:30 p.m. for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. (239) 325-9677.
■ Jack and Rita's Homemade Ice Cream opened on Black Friday, Nov. 23, near the new Jaegerhaus location in Green Tree Center. The new local business continues a streak of ice cream parlors there, the last being Naples Ice Cream Factory, which closed in early September. It was PJ Skinny’s Homemade Ice Cream before that.
“This particular location has been an ice cream store about 18 years with four different owners,” said Jack Taylor, who co-owns the new shop with his wife, Rita.
The Taylors, both 70, were childhood sweethearts in the Boston area and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August. After enjoying a seasonal residency here for 25 years, the couple sold their recreational vehicle park in Massachusetts and moved down full time.
But they got restless this spring when their golf buddies and friends migrated North. The Taylors weren’t going to just sit around during their first summer in Naples.
“We still want to do something, but it’s extremely hard at the age of 70 to get a job. Sometimes, when you want to work, you have to buy your own business,” Jack Taylor said.
One of the couple’s children – they have five, as well as 16 grandchildren – suggested they start an ice cream store. The rest is history – and their future.
“Even at the age of 70, we like the daily challenge the business presents. That’s what drives us,” Taylor said. “Our mission is to make the best quality ice cream that you can buy here in Southwest Florida.”
This is an old-fashioned, hard ice cream store, right down to the pink-and-white décor. You won’t see any frozen yogurt or gelato here, but you will find 44 flavors of ice cream available daily, rotated from a repertoire of more than 75 flavors.
“Because we make the ice cream here, we can control its quality and taste,” Taylor said.
In addition to retail, the store supplies ice cream wholesale to some area stores, restaurants and golf courses, he said.
Jack and Rita's, 2378 Immokalee Road, is open every day from noon to 9 p.m. 239-260-1407.
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"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.