In the Know: Pate’s opens new Naples restaurant; Dixie Moon to reopen in Bonita

TIM ATEN
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If area restaurants are any indication, new life in the new year may mean that the local economy is turning the corner. Seeing more restaurants opening than closing is a good sign.

Passers-by are noticing the renovation work at the former location of the Romano’s Macaroni Grill in the Granada Shoppes at the southeast corner of U.S. 41 North and Immokalee Road and are curious about what is going on there. I’ve had at least three readers recently ask me.

I previously reported that Sweet Tomatoes is opening a restaurant there in the first quarter of this year, but because of the interest, I thought an update is needed. The chain’s target opening date for its first Collier County location now is March 22, about two years to the day when Macaroni Grill closed.

Eric Pate’s Backstreet Bar & Grill

After more than a three-year hiatus in Panama, Eric Pate recently moved back to Naples to open his new restaurant, Eric Pate’s Backstreet Bar & Grill, 849 7th Ave S., in the former location of Gina’s on 7th Ave and Nektar Restaurant.

Pate previously owned Cloyde’s Steak & Lobster House in Venetian Village for more than 15 years. His family continued operating Cloyde’s for a few more years until they recently sold it. Through a local restaurant dynasty begun by patriarch Cloyde Pate, the Pate family has been involved in the local dining scene for more than 40 years.

Old-timers may remember Pate’s Marker Four restaurant near the Cove Inn. Today, that Naples Bay location is the home of the Boat House restaurant, and also was the former site of the Chart House.

The Pate family owned and operated Corks Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 862 Fifth Ave. S., until a few years ago. Bert’s Seafood & Chowder House recently opened at Corks’ former location.

Eric’s brother, Stanley, owns Pate’s on U.S. 41 in the Ramada Inn of Naples, a Holiday Inn for many years until recently. Years ago, Stanley Pate owned Pate’s Piccadilly Pub on Fifth Avenue South.

Another brother, Nate, who once worked at the family’s Catch 22 in Bayfront Place, where Tavern on the Bay is located today, has teamed up with Eric at his new restaurant.

“We’ve been around awhile and have a very good following,” Eric Pate said. “I’m very excited to be opening this restaurant. I think we will have a pretty good season once everybody hears about us.”

Not only did Pate retain the chef from Gina’s, but he kept a few of the pasta dishes that were popular with Gina’s patrons. The menu includes Linguine with clams, Rigatoni alla vodka with grilled shrimp, and Penne alla Neapolitan with chicken, but the restaurant specializes in high-quality steaks and fresh seafood, Pate said.

“Most of the people around here are pretty familiar with Pate’s restaurants,” he said. “We serve big cuts of prime beef. We’re not shy.”

Backstreet Bar & Grill opens daily at 5 p.m., except Sunday, when it is closed.

The sign temporarily says 'Dixie Mo,' but the Dixie Moon Diner is expected to open under new ownership at the end of the month at 26930 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs.

The sign temporarily says "Dixie Mo," but the Dixie Moon Diner is expected to open under new ownership at the end of the month at 26930 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs.

Dixie Moon Diner

“Dixie Moon in Bonita is reopening, or so says the banner out front,” JackStraw commented on my recent column on restaurants opening and closing in 2009.

It’s true. A large banner at 26930 Old 41 Road proclaims, “Coming Soon — Dixie Moon Diner.” A smaller sign states, “New Owner — Let’s share the love Bonita.”

Dixie Moon Diner will be at least the third reincarnation for the restaurant. The original Dixie Moon Cafe at Old 41 Road and Dean Street closed for a couple of months in late 2008 and reopened later that year a few blocks north near the northwest corner of West Terry Street as Dixie Moon Cafe & Country Buffet. Then, it closed for good last summer.

Well, not exactly for good. New owner Necmettin Orcan and his general manager, son Ismail Orcan, plan to give the old diner new life when it reopens later this month.

While the diner’s exterior obviously lacks the charm of the original building in the city’s historic district, the interior makes up for it. Ismail Orcan enthusiastically talks up the place, proudly noting that the traditional American diner will have 250 items on its menu.

“Bonita needs a good place to eat,” he said. “I give my customers options from A to Z, breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Orcan has apparently done his homework. He said he visited many area diners and talked to restaurateurs to get an idea of what works.

The diner will offer a breakfast buffet on weekends and daily chef specials.

___

Connect with Tim Aten at naplesnews.com/staff/tim_aten. E-mail questions with your name and city of residence to intheknow@naplesnews.com.

Find a complete archive of “In the Know” at naplesnews.com/intheknow. Interactive In the Know, or iKnow, is at blogs.naplesnews.com/in_the_know/

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Comments » 23

bananas8187 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Davidh239 writes:

in response to snookinhardinfl:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Friday all you could eat fish and chips were great also. The "new" Dixie Moon is very nice inside. If it is kept clean and the food is good quality, they should make it.

jt1120 writes:

Funny how nothing can compare to the old Dixie Moon. I loved it, creaks and all. When they moved, it just wasn't the same. Let's hope this one does better. As for Pate's, that family has the magic touch. I've loved every place they have owned. Good eats in Naples!

naplesnative73 writes:

in response to bananas8187:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amen, Banana
I am one of those holding the bag from them. I wonder who will be next victim?

h20painter writes:

The Pate Group does a great job openning and closing restaurants

mothernature writes:

Will the Dixie Moon have a buffet for dinner too? I bet with 250 items on the menu that Gordon Ramsey would be having a massive heart attack.

TimAten (staff) writes:

in response to mothernature:

Will the Dixie Moon have a buffet for dinner too? I bet with 250 items on the menu that Gordon Ramsey would be having a massive heart attack.

Unlike the previous reincarnation of Dixie Moon, the new owner does not plan to have a dinner buffet. The buffet will be used for breakfast only on the weekends.

rfn026 writes:

The old Dixie Moon was a wonderful place with great food. When they moved they lost everything. The place was dirty and the food was horrible. It was hard to even believe it was the same owner.

It's going to be interesting to see what the new owners do. They bought a damaged name and a bad location. I wish them the best of luck.

elnuestros writes:

bananas8187:

What a great business model. Just run a place during the season and rack up big numbers you use to impress the shiny new faces looking to buy a business here. Being clueless, they'd sign your contract and then spend the summer waiting for those magic numbers to re-appear. By October they'd have burned through all their capital and be behind on their bills. The contract's reversion clause would kick in and you'd take back the keys. Then you go stiff some quick-printer for the cost of new menus and voila, you're in place to run it until Easter when you hit the reset button again.

Think something like that would work in Naples?

StellaBlue (Inactive) writes:

Dang! Is snook my neighbor?

MautheDoog writes:

in response to rfn026:

The old Dixie Moon was a wonderful place with great food. When they moved they lost everything. The place was dirty and the food was horrible. It was hard to even believe it was the same owner.

It's going to be interesting to see what the new owners do. They bought a damaged name and a bad location. I wish them the best of luck.

Don't be surprised if the Old Dixie Moon ( Dean Street ) reopens and remodled as an authentic Olde Mexican Taqueria. It has the potential to be wonderful place to enjoy traditional Home Made Tamales, Mexican Cactus Salad, Enchiladas, Tortillas, Drinks such as Agua de Tamarindo and a miriad of Mexican deserts. As far as the new Dixie Moon, they have a good thing going! As well as traditional American meals, Turkish cuisine may also be on the menue. Old Bonita will soon be blossoming with new and wonderful businesses sooner than you think!

SARAHbellum (Inactive) writes:

I went to dinner at the new Pates Bar and Grill. The food was good. Our service was awfull. The owner has a nasty attitude as well. We had a party of 8 and spent quite a bit of money. I expected some better service.

SARAHbellum (Inactive) writes:

I forgot to mention that they were out of EVERYTHING. It was annoying to have the server keep coming back and saying "oh we are out of that for some reason", "oh we are out". She didn't have a clue before i ordered that these things were out. They didn't even have steak sauce for cryin out loud. What "steakhouse" type place doesn't have steak sauce?

SoMuchOlderThen writes:

Another brother named Nate ?

Nate Pate ?

bananas8187 writes:

in response to SARAHbellum:

I forgot to mention that they were out of EVERYTHING. It was annoying to have the server keep coming back and saying "oh we are out of that for some reason", "oh we are out". She didn't have a clue before i ordered that these things were out. They didn't even have steak sauce for cryin out loud. What "steakhouse" type place doesn't have steak sauce?

Pump 'em and dump 'em. Sounds like this one's off to a fast start.

parqueen writes:

What ever happened to Bella Vita and Johnnie's Italian Bistro. I know Ernesto and Johnnie were partners who split. Where are they are now, does anyone know? Their food was very New York Italian and good.

StellaBlue (Inactive) writes:

57, we would get along much better if it were not through these blogs.

So if ya want to move to Bonita, no Hatfields here.

tried_n_true writes:

in response to SoMuchOlderThen:

Another brother named Nate ?

Nate Pate ?

he's in between jail terms....

elnuestros writes:

"What "steakhouse" type place doesn't have steak sauce?"

The real question is what steak-lover pours that stuff on a good steak?

rogerkinghilljr (Inactive) writes:

Whats up with Blueberrys where Yesteryears then Dennys used to be? any good? chain or home cooked?

shuttertothink writes:

People who live in glass houses...

I have a lot of personal experience with the Pate family. I love them. The "Old Man" is cranky as hell but he's got to be close to 90 now and still working everyday. He has owned POPULAR busy RESTURANTS for years in this town. The opinion that they open simply to skim the fat off of season and then close is insane. Cloyed's was open for 15 years and run very well by Eric.
The personal attacks on Nate are just plain s----- and mean. The man was raised to run resturants. Seperate the man from the art. They are born to start succesful restuarnts and have a long history of doing so. Importaint people in this town who want to run succesful ventures come to them ! They have survived long after many have failed.
I for one, don't want to see the day you can't get a slice of "Pate prime rib" in this town. The man is an institution and should be treated as such.

BlueTonguedVole (Inactive) writes:

What's for dessert?

StellaBlue (Inactive) writes:

Humble pie! And pasta..............

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