In the Know: Are Gatsby's Pizza and Ric's Cafe reopening in new locations?

TIM ATEN
In late August, Gatsby’s Pizza closed in North Naples in order to merge with Island House Café, opening in its larger venue at 3801 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

In late August, Gatsby’s Pizza closed in North Naples in order to merge with Island House Café, opening in its larger venue at 3801 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs.

Gatsby’s Pizza hopes to open soon in a corner suite of Liberty Bank Plaza, 4450 Bonita Beach Road, near the crossing of Imperial Shores Boulevard/West Avenue, in Bonita Springs.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

Gatsby’s Pizza hopes to open soon in a corner suite of Liberty Bank Plaza, 4450 Bonita Beach Road, near the crossing of Imperial Shores Boulevard/West Avenue, in Bonita Springs.

Jackie and Greg Chapin are the owners of Gatsby's Pizza.

Photo by SHEILA MESULAM // Buy this photo

Jackie and Greg Chapin are the owners of Gatsby's Pizza.

Q: Do you have an update on Gatsby's Pizza? The last I heard, they were going to open at another location on Bonita Beach Road. Are the owners going forward with those plans?

— Carolyn L., Naples

Q: A previous article mentioned that Gatsby's Pizza was reopening in the shopping center at Imperial Shores and Bonita Beach roads. I have walked through the center, and there was no sign of any pizza restaurant going in. Did they change their mind?

— Ron R., Naples

Q: Please can you find out if we are ever going to get our Gatsby's Pizza back? It is the best pizza and I am anxious to know when Greg and Jackie will be back.

— Darla Routson, Naples

Q: Are there plans to reopen Gatsby's Pizza? We have not been able to find pizza that compares to the delicious ones that Gatsby's served.

— Linda, Naples

Q: Any word on when Gatsby's Pizza will open up in Bonita Springs? We all miss them!

— Candace Heaston, Naples

Q: Please update whether Gatsby's will reopen.

— Paul, Naples

A: The many die-hard fans of Gatsby's Pizza undoubtedly will be thrilled to learn about plans to reopen the local pizzeria this summer in a new location on Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs.

"We hope to reopen by the end of July," Jackie Chapin said. "God willing the creek doesn't rise and more obstacles do not come our way."

Jackie's husband, Greg, has had health issues, and the Chapins had a false start when they briefly relocated last August to the Island House in Bonita. The partnership didn't pan out, leaving Gatsby's without a home for more than six months.

Until last fall, the Chapins operated their pizzeria for eight years in Wiggins Pass Crossing in North Naples after operating the original Gatsby's near Columbus, Ohio, beginning in 1977.

Gatsby's new location will be in a corner suite of the L-shaped Liberty Bank Plaza, 4450 Bonita Beach Road. The Chapins and some of their biggest fans have been busy painting and prepping the place.

"The venue will be larger with a waiting area and a piano bar, so be surprised," Chapin said.

Despite all the changes, Gatsby's will please its fans with the same menu, which showcases the Chapin's popular thin-crust pizza.

"We are anxious to get open again," Jackie Chapin said. "We miss all of our customers."

Ric's Cafe & Grill, a popular breakfast-lunch eatery on the corner of U.S. 41 and Seventh Avenue North in Naples, closed at the end of April.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

Ric's Cafe & Grill, a popular breakfast-lunch eatery on the corner of U.S. 41 and Seventh Avenue North in Naples, closed at the end of April.

What was once a franchise of Manhattan Bagel, owner Ric Thomas bought the franchise in 2000 and made it into his own in 2004 and named it Ric's Cafe.  August 2, 2009, file photo.Kelli Stanko/ Special to the Daily News

Photo by KELLI STANKO // Buy this photo

What was once a franchise of Manhattan Bagel, owner Ric Thomas bought the franchise in 2000 and made it into his own in 2004 and named it Ric's Cafe. August 2, 2009, file photo.Kelli Stanko/ Special to the Daily News

Dairy Queen's classic red A-frame has been a Naples fixture since at least the mid-1950s.

File

Dairy Queen's classic red A-frame has been a Naples fixture since at least the mid-1950s.

Ric's Cafe & Grill

Q: Prior to closing, some of the employees at Ric's Bagel Cafe at the corner of Seventh Avenue North and Ninth Street informed me there was a possibility of Ric's reopening in a different location. Would you be able to find out if they plan on opening again in the near future? We thought they had the best bagels.

— Mike Templeton, Naples

A: A possibility still exists that Ric's Cafe & Grill will reopen elsewhere in the Naples area, but owner Ric Thomas is still trying to decide if it is something he wants to do in the current economy.

"I'm still in a quandary," Thomas said. "Every time I talk to someone in the industry, it gets worse."

Although Thomas said it is tough to refuse a particular offer to open in Naples Towne Centre on U.S. 41 in East Naples, he still is finding it difficult to make a business decision.

"I have a very short window of opportunity in which to pull the trigger," he said. "I have to make a decision here one way or another within the next couple of weeks."

Thomas' idea is to open a new location that possibly could function as a central commissary kitchen to provide baked goods for two additional express units — one downtown and one in North Naples.

Until closing at the end of April, Thomas operated an eatery for more than 11 years on the corner of U.S. 41 and Seventh Avenue North in Naples. Manhattan Bagel became Ric's Cafe in 2004.

Thomas sold his property at 694 U.S. 41 N. to a franchisee of Dairy Queen, which will relocate this year from its longtime, landmark location about three blocks south. Information about the new DQ and its old A-frame is coming soon.

___

Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to intheknow@naplesnews.com.

"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.

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