In the Know: Sam Snead’s stands alone; local pizzerias in and out

TIM ATEN
Sam Snead's Tavern changed its name Monday to Naples Tap Room & Grille in Naples Walk shopping center in North Naples.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

Sam Snead's Tavern changed its name Monday to Naples Tap Room & Grille in Naples Walk shopping center in North Naples.

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Q: Last night, I noticed a sign at Rattlesnake Ham­mock Road and Grand Lely Road advertising a Sam Snead restaurant opening in Lely Resort. Where is it and is it open to the public?

— Phyllis, Naples

A: Sam Snead’s Oak Grill & Tavern opened to the public March 7 in the former Flamingo Island Grill in the clubhouse of the Flamingo and Mustang golf courses in Lely Resort Golf and Country Club, 8004 Lely Resort Blvd.

No need to be a resort resident or country club member — or even a golfer — to dine or drink at the new restaurant and lounge that celebrates the golf legend with the per­fect swing.

The lunch menu fea­tures sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads and flatbread pizzas. The dinner menu includes appetizers, flat­bread pizzas, burgers, sal­ads, seafood, steaks, pork chops and ribs.

As is the case in every Sam Snead’s Tavern, the Lely location is decorated with unique golf memora­bilia. For each location in the small chain, the Snead family handpicks each piece to ensure authentic­ity and quality.

The new Sam Snead’s Tavern is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 239-793-6623.

After operating as Sam Snead's Tavern during the 12 years since it opened in December 1999, the Naples Walk location in North Naples closed in March 2012.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

After operating as Sam Snead's Tavern during the 12 years since it opened in December 1999, the Naples Walk location in North Naples closed in March 2012.

ORIGINAL SNEAD’S CHANGES NAME

Maybe there’s room for only one Sam Snead in this town. The longtime North Naples location of Sam Snead’s Tavern changed its name Monday.

After operating as Sam Snead’s Tavern since it opened in December 1999, the Naples Walk location on the southeast corner of Vanderbilt Beach and Airport-Pulling roads is now Naples Tap Room & Grille. An exterior banner temporarily is being used until the new sign is completed.

General Manager Josh Jennings, who started as a cook and has worked at the local tavern for its entire 12 years, said the decision was made to drop the Orlando-based chain’s franchise, which he said costs the business $80,000 a year.

“We just wanted to go in our own direction,” Jennings said. “It’s time to separate, do it on our own and do it better. We assume our fan base will still come. I don’t think they care about the name.”

The new direction turns to yacht club instead of country club, with plans to replace Snead’s golf memorabilia with nautically themed décor. The employees are staying, but the menu has changed.

“It’s the same old faces, great new menu,” Jennings said. “I want to still have that hometown, tavern feel.”

Menu changes include spiced-up salads and new dressings, the addition of wraps, ribs with a sweet apricot barbecue sauce, as well as recipe tweaks to crab cakes, soups and some of the sandwiches. Burgers have been given a separate place on the menu, he said.

Naples Tap Room & Grille, 2460 Vanderbilt Beach Road No. 408, is open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 239-592-9999.

Piola pizzeria closed in Mercato in early March after operating for nearly three years.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

Piola pizzeria closed in Mercato in early March after operating for nearly three years.

ONE PIZZERIA CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS

One North Naples pizza place recently closed, while another just fired up the oven.

Piola closed at the beginning of March after operating for nearly three years on Strada Place in Mercato. The contemporary pizzeria is the second dining venue to recently close along the main street of the development. Nearby, trendy Pure Urban Oasis closed three months ago.

Piola also is the second authentic Italian pizzeria to close recently in North Naples. Pizzaiolis closed its Neapolitan wood-fired pizzeria in nearby Shoppes at Vanderbilt in December, after operating for two years.

Piola, imported directly from Italy with the tag line “famosi per la pizza,” opened in the summer of 2009. The small, international restaurant chain offers a staggering menu of more than 60 mostly thin-crust, brick oven pizzas.

Naples was one of Piola’s six company-owned restaurants. Piola has eight other locations in the U.S., including three in the Miami area. Founded by two brothers, Dante and Stefano Carniato, in Treviso, Italy, in 1986, the chain has about 35 locations, including 14 in South America, seven in Mexico, and spots in Toronto, Turkey and Honduras.

Truly Organic Pizza opened Saturday next to Moe's Southwest Grill in the Granada Shoppes in North Naples

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

Truly Organic Pizza opened Saturday next to Moe's Southwest Grill in the Granada Shoppes in North Naples

Meanwhile, Truly Organic Pizza opened Saturday near Moe’s Southwest Grill in the Granada Shoppes on the southeast corner of Immokalee Road and U.S. 41 North.

About 400 people stopped by Friday for a pre-opening taste of the all-organic pies. Owner Jason Chang has USDA documentation confirming the organic certification authenticity of every ingredient.

All pizzas are 18-inch round pies handcrafted using only certified organic ingredients. The 12 specialty pizzas range in price from $16.96 for the The Classic (cheese pizza) to $26.95 for The Carnivore (Classic pizza with pepperoni, homemade sausage and Jason’s meatballs).

Truly Organic Pizza’s first location, 1016 Immokalee Road, unit 204, previously was home to Quiznos and Marsala Pizza & Wings. The pizzeria, open every day from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., includes free delivery. 239-598-8888

___

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.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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