After a nearly 17-year run, Cirella’s Italian Bistro & Sushi Bar permanently closed May 20 in Bonita Springs.
“Seventeen years was a good run,” chef-owner Michael Cirella said.
Cirella’s specialized in Italian-American comfort food, as well as sushi. The local restaurant was launched by a New York family of restaurateurs in August 2006 in the Prado at Spring Creek retail center off U.S. 41 at 25265 Chamber of Commerce Drive. A second location of Cirella’s opened in 2018 at Vanderbilt Commons in Collier County, but it closed in March 2022.
Cirella’s lease in Bonita was up May 31, so Cirella closed early to give himself time to clean out his longtime space. He said he just didn’t have the mindset to struggle through another slow summer season although the Collier County resident doesn’t know what he is going to do next.
“It’s a little depressing. I think I’m done with the restaurant business for a while,” he said. “I wish all the luck to the next person who comes in there.”
A leasing representative for Isram Realty Group, owner of Prado at Spring Creek, could not be reached for comment about possible plans for the 4,170-square-foot space vacated by Cirella’s. Anchored by Prado Stadium 12 movie theater and Big Lots, the center’s other local restaurants include Jimmy P’s Charred, El Basque Vin & Pintxo Bar, Habaneros Mexican Restaurant, Shaking Crab and Sushi-Thai Too.
Cirella recently posted a message and a thank you note on the home page of his restaurant’s website under the heading “Time to Say Goodbye.”
“After thinking long and hard we have decided to close the restaurant. COVID, workforce shortage, losing some of the passion, but most of all getting older and not as young as we used to be all contributed to our decision. We would like to thank our wonderful guests for 17 years of your loyalty,” Cirella wrote.
“On the road of life there will be unexpected stops, detours and turns along the way. Sometimes you will even get lost. That is what makes life such an interesting journey and adventure and, if happiness is the goal – and it should be – then adventures should be a priority. This was an adventure! We have no regrets! Every ending has a new beginning; looking forward to ours!”
Cirella recalls great memories, great people and especially his great staff. “We would like to thank you for your support and patronage,” he said. “Please support your favorite local restaurants. It’s important to our community.”
Cirella’s reward gift certificates will be honored through September at Naples Coastal Kitchen, 13500 Tamiami Trail, in North Naples.