Following two months offline, Vesuvio’s Pizza rebooted itself in mid-November in a new location 6 miles south from the Naples Park area where the pizzeria operated for decades.
The new Vesuvio’s is inside the Gulfcoast Inn at 2555 Tamiami Trail N. in Naples. The pizzeria joins the longtime popular Harold’s Place poolside tiki bar and Fujiyama Steak & Seafood House at that same address. Vesuvio’s replaced Club Sushi, which closed Sept. 5 at Gulfcoast Inn.
The original Vesuvio’s shuttered Sept. 19 after the lease for the local business was not renewed in Plaza Park Center in North Naples. The pizzeria was relocated and reopened in phases starting Nov. 16 for takeout only. Dine-in started the next week on red-checkered tablecloths and its fully stocked, remodeled bar opened Monday, Nov. 29. It’s a big deal for Vesuvio’s, which previously served only beer and wine.
“The biggest thing is the bar. People are coming for the bar. It makes a world of difference,” said owner Tony Amico, who has been serving Naples since 1983, when he launched Vesuvio’s at age 19.
Regulars from the previous location also have discovered that the new place also has more seating in a more modern setting, as well as TV screens for sporting events. “It’s comfortable and laid back,” Amico said.
The opening menu is abbreviated from what Vesuvio’s normally offers because “Pizzaman Tony” is a bit shorthanded now. “It’s just me in the kitchen,” he said. “Once I get a helper, I’ll slowly add some stuff. I have dinners I’m going to put back and hot subs and more appetizers.”
Though temporarily shortened, Vesuvio’s menu still provides a taste of what the local pizzeria has showcased for nearly 40 years in Naples. New York-style pizzas are available in 12-, 16- and 18-inch sizes and the pizzeria offers Sicilian and Chicago deep-dish pizzas. Calzone, stromboli, salads and cold subs also are available with starters such as garlic knots, fried ravioli, mozzarella sticks and wings with a variety of sauces. Tiramisu and profiteroles are available for dessert.
Despite the circumstances and stress of having to relocate his business, including his pizza oven and all his kitchen equipment, Amico feels fortunate to have been invited by Gulfcoast Inn management to join the local hotel’s hospitality family. He’s already seeing new customers who are patrons of the 86-room hotel.
“Everybody here has been helpful and everybody has been great here,” he said. “It turned out for the better.”
Vesuvio’s Pizza is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday, and closed Mondays. For takeout orders, call 239-594-1966.