Restaurateur Scott Jones announced that August 29 will be the final day of business for Cafe Italia, at least in its current form.
But fans of the Tex-Italian eatery need not despair: he plans to "end this chapter and begin fresh with an exciting new concept" in the same space...whatever "exciting" means. From now through the closing date, Cafe Italia will bring back some of its most popular dishes--which begs the question: if they were so popular, why did they go away? Also, there will be at least one menu item available at its 1984 opening-day price.
Louis Mendes, who opened the first Cafe Italia on Maple Avenue 25 years ago, has returned as general manager and will be part of the new concept. Also surviving the transition will be some of the restaurant's most beloved items; Jones will poll guests to ensure the favorites make the cut.
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As for what the new concept is, mum's the word until later in the summer. Will Jones join the "locavore" zeitgeist? Or will he return to his singing-waiter roots? Why not both? Maybe excitement comes in 'fear of death or dismemberment' form. For now, we can only speculate.