Cornerstone Builders SWFL Founder to Open Restaurant
For most of his life, Leopardi has been a successful businessman in the home, bath, and kitchen remodeling industry, however, his lifelong dream has been to embrace his Italian heritage and open an authentic Italian restaurant. After a lifetime of making dreams come true in other people's kitchens, he has finally decided to welcome others into his with the opening of this restaurant.
"My passion is to give people service and quality they won't get anywhere else. I know this is only made possible with God's help because every good gift is by Him and through Him," Leopardi commented.
Leopardi's wife, "Mama Gina," will also play an integral role in the new restaurant, bringing her authentic recipes from northern and southern Italy to the restaurant's menu.
"I combine the best ingredients from both regions, which is what makes my dishes uniquely Italian and authentic," she explained.
Gina was born into the restaurant business as her father, who was born and raised in Naples Italy, was the chef and owner at the well-known Ciros Italian Ristorante in New York City for more than 20 years. At the young age of three, she had already started helping in the kitchen at home and the restaurant. Gina and her mother, also raised in Italy, spent their weeks in the kitchen making homemade pasta, sauces, and various other Italian dishes.
"Everything was always fresh – no cans, no jars," Gina said. "The kitchen is always where I have spent most of my time. With 36 people in the family, including children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, I have a lot of mouths to feed and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Leopardi's Italian Restaurant will offer a casual family dining atmosphere and feature an Italian menu with some of Leopardi's family recipes. A children's menu will also be offered, and seating will be available downstairs and upstairs with indoor and outdoor options for both.
The restaurant's General Manager, Greg, was born and raised in New York City and has 35 years of experience owning and operating restaurants.
Leopardi's Italian Restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. For more information visit Leopardi.com or call (239) 887-4940.
Samantha Scott, APR, Pushing the Envelope