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Longtime local restaurateur Skip Quillen could easily sit back and rest on his laurels but, instead, he chooses to keep his venues fresh with unmistakable attention to detail.
Quillen reopens Chops City Grill on Friday, four months after he temporarily shuttered the Bonita Springs steakhouse and a couple of months shy of its 20th birthday, for a sophisticated and luxurious makeover to the tune of $1 million. The restaurant’s interior — flooring, ceiling, walls, lighting, booths, tables and chairs — were renovated or redesigned during its summer hiatus.
Quillen hopes the new chairs he ordered arrive by dinnertime Friday anyway. The supply chain issue was the one aspect he couldn’t control this week during dinner reveals for family, friends and VIPs before opening Oct. 8 to the general public. He politely asked that the tables with temporary wooden chairs not be photographed. The image did not quite fit the bi
g reveal he had anticipated with new upholstered chairs. He even apologized to guests with a note on each table.
“Although our picture is almost complete, our brand new chairs that were ordered well over six months ago have still failed to arrive (we were told it will be any day now). We hope for your understanding in these crazy times,” the note reads. “However, we look upon this situation with pride and triumph as we luckily kept and stored our old chairs, painted 160 of them in one day and opened this restaurant on time!”
Looking past the chairs, guests will see muted deep purple walls with silver accents, dark brown woodwork, crushed black velvet banquettes and private booth draperies. New large, Italian crystal chandeliers illuminate the 20-foot antique bar and new acoustic ceiling tiles were installed to reduce noise levels.
“It was time for a redo,” says Quillen. “We renovated the entire steakhouse interior with spectacular results.”
Those familiar with Quillen’s previous renovations will recognize his upscale, classic style. As founder and owner of Naples-based Culinary Concepts restaurant group, he has honed that upscale dining style for decades.
All three of his downtown Naples restaurants—Pazzo Cucina Italiana, Yabba Island Grill and the original Chops City Grill—have had major makeovers in the last five years, and he replaced his 10-year-old Blue Water Bistro at nearby Coconut Point with The Saloon wood-fired grill in 2017.
In addition to reopening with a refreshed look, Chops in Bonita will have a new menu, too. The traditional American steakhouse will feature 25 cuts of USDA Prime beef plus domestic Wagyu steaks from Idaho’s Snake River Ranch and Sakura Farms in Ohio, imported Carrara 640 Wagyu from Australia and Miyazaki A5 from Japan.
The restaurant also offers unique seafood such as Thai snapper, Nordic rosefish, scorpion fish and Faroe Island salmon, as well as more than 30 rotating fresh vegetables. The full bar has more than 50 creative craft cocktails, nearly 100 whiskey selections, a 300-plus bottle wine list, and non-alcoholic selections.
Chops City Grill, 8200 Health Park Blvd., on the eastern side of U.S. 41, offers both indoor and al fresco dining. The 250-seat restaurant is open 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For reservations, call 239-992-4677.