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In the Know: NeNe’s on Marco Island adds 2nd location in Naples |

In the Know: NeNe’s on Marco Island adds 2nd location in Naples

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3 new dining options are launching in the first week of December.
Tim Aten

 

A new breakfast-lunch restaurant is continuing a more than 30-year string of eateries at a location on Pine Ridge Road near U.S. 41 in North Naples.

After a couple of chains (Long John Silver’s seafood and Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken concepts), a trio of Italian ristorantes (Chianti’s, Tre Amici and Tre Fratelli’s) and a more than seven-year run by the Loving Hut vegan franchise, a café that has found success on Marco Island is moving in.

NeNe’s Kitchen is set to open Friday morning in a building that has been newly painted light yellow with blue trim.

“I have a lot of people that come to Marco and asking, ‘When you coming to Naples?’ So, here we are,” owner Bob Natale said.

Natale, originally from Chicago, took over ownership of the former Taste of Chicago spot on Marco in 2005 and has found success during the last decade with NeNe’s, a family business named after a nickname for the owner’s Italian grandmother.

“She just passed. She was 97, so she lived a great life,” Natale said.

NeNe’s serves a classic menu of American comfort food, the same breakfast and lunch items and affordable prices available at the Marco location.

“I bring a lot of that flavor from Chicago. I’ve got the Vienna hot dogs that I put on the menu which are really good,” he said. “And we do the skillets and I’ve got the Crunchy French Toast, which is our signature dish that’s made with corn flake batter. And then we do a homemade chicken salad sandwich which is good, too. Everything here is made fresh.”

Although breakfast fare includes an egg served with hash browns and toast ($4.99), three buttermilk pancakes ($6.29), an old-fashioned waffle ($6.99) and three-egg omelets ($9.99), NeNe’s extensive menu is full of surprises such as a bacon waffle ($7.99). The forementioned Crunchy French Toast ($9.99) is topped with strawberries and whipped cream. The Baked Apple Pancake ($9.99) is a fluffy soufflé with Granny Smith apples, brown sugar and cinnamon.

The Eggs Shrimp Florentine ($11.99) features a jumbo English muffin, two poached eggs, shrimp, spinach, ham and hollandaise sauce. NeNe’s BLTE ($8.99) has bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and an egg any style on grilled sourdough bread.

The lunch offerings include hot sandwiches ($5.99-$12.99) served with potato chips or french fries; grilled or blackened tostadas, quesadillas and tacos ($8.99-$9.99); cold sandwiches and wraps ($8.99-$9.99) and salads ($5.99-$9.99).

Expect NeNe’s to eventually roll out a dinner menu.

“In another year or two, I’m going to incorporate dinner. We do dinner from November through April in Marco,” Natale said. “I do filet, lobster and prime rib, so it’s a nice menu for season.”

The nearly 3,000-square-foot restaurant has about 100 seats for dining in. The interior features NeNe’s yellow-and-blue color scheme with a beachy Florida nautical theme.

“We are going to do catering and deliveries too,” Natale said. “There’s a lot of different office buildings and what-not in the area on 41 so, if they want it, I’ll deliver. Not a problem.”

Of course, the original location on Marco will remain open, too.

“Absolutely. That’s the mother,” Natale said.

NeNe’s Kitchen, 975 Pine Ridge Road, is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. For more information call 239-260-1216 or go to neneskitchen.com.

More restaurants opening this week

Bistro Bagatelle bringing French cuisine to East Naples 

The Rooster Food + Drink ready to crow in Naples

For the latest in local restaurants coming and going, see Tim Aten’s “In the Know” columns archived at naplesnews.com/intheknow, and on Facebook at facebook.com/timaten.intheknow.

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