Franco Russo and Wayne Entsminger have enjoyed so much success with their Two Meatballs in the Kitchen Italian-themed restaurant in Cape Coral that they decided to buy the place next door, even thinking of calling it Next Door.
They used Next Door 1339 LLC to purchase the building at 1339 Cape Coral Parkway for $750,000 in October 2021. By the time the craft cocktail and restaurant opens, they hope by the end of this year, it will have a different name as another Cape Coral restaurant beat them to Next Door.
Entsminger said he and Russo plan to rehab what used to be called The Backyard Beer Garden—and prior to that, Two Amigos Mexican restaurant. Both concepts fizzled, closing even before the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down bars and restaurants in March 2020. “We’re going to try a new concept in it,” he said. “It will be a tavern, a speakeasy. Craft cocktails, burgers, appetizers. We’ll have garage doors, and we’ll be able to open it all up.”
Delays in getting permits from the city of Cape Coral and supply-chain delays, including a six-month wait for a walk-in freezer, keep pushing back the projected opening date. “Hopefully, we’ll get it open by the first of the year. We love the Cape. The Cape has been good to us. We think something next to us will enhance and complement what we have.
“We feel there’s a missing piece here that we can provide with the entertainment and the craft cocktails along the parkway.”
The Cape Coral Two Meatballs in the Kitchen opened in 2020 after the business partners bought the property in February 2019 for $550,000; they also own the Two Meatballs location at 8880 Salrose Lane near Daniels Parkway.