By Andreas Butler
For Hometown News
Zappi's Italian Garden is coming to Downtown Daytona Beach.
It will consist of Zappi's Italian Garden Restaurant and Zappi's Vacation Villas and will be at 128 S. Beach St. where the Beach Street Courtyard condominiums once stood.
The building is being renovated. It is scheduled to open in November and create an estimated 20 or more jobs.
"We feel fortunate to have this building and to have this opportunity," said Paul Zappitelli, owner/general manager. "We have had a wonderful team around us and the city of Daytona Beach has been wonderful. The only challenge that we really had so far was getting the plumbing done."
The establishment aims to provide an upscale family- style Italian restaurant and hotel.
"I believe that the city and its residents appreciate a homegrown establishment over the larger franchises up and down the International Speedway," Mr. Zappitelli said. "There is a lot of excitement in the air. When you stand on the sidewalk and see this place, you will feel it."
The cost of purchase and renovations for Mr. Zappitelli stands at a whopping cost of $2.7 million. But he will receive $80,000 in grants for the project.
After searching around Florida for a location, Mr. Zappitelli and his family chose Daytona.
"I, my wife, Jennifer, and our nine-year old son, Jackson, had been looking for a good, solid investment in Florida for the past four years. We visited other cities and their redevelopment departments. After coming to Daytona we found one and made the purchase," Zappitelli said.
The Zappitellis are Canadian nationals of Italian descent with a career in hospitality and food service.
"I was raised in a kitchen since I was three years old. I was also a duty manager at the Sheridan Hotel in Canada for 20 years. My father owned a restaurant. I did my job during the day and ran his business at night. We sold his business back in 2007. That's another reason why I am doing this. You do what you know," Mr. Zappitelli said.
Zappi's Italian Restaurant and Grill will consists of a fine restaurant with two kitchens. They will serve Italian food, seafood and steak as well as wine, beer and liquor.
The outside will have 100 chairs with tables and lawn chairs for dining. There are also plans to bring in live entertainment occasionally.
There also will be a pizzeria next to the restaurant with take out and delivery. It will have a private dinning room and board room in the back with two 50-inch flat screen televisions, which can be used for either dinner or meetings.
Upstairs are the Villas, which are condos that have been converted into hotel rooms.
"Hotels formally were not permitted on Beach Street but the redevelopment office here added hotel designation to the entire street. These are really nice and upscale and there is a great view," Zappitelli said.
The building also has two store spaces available for rent in the front.
The next step for the Zappitellis will be to find employees.
"Early in November we plan to set up tables outside and have people come in with their resumes and come apply for positions," he said.
For more information go to italiangarden.com.