Italian restaurant’s new owners grow dining possibilities | Business

The economic shutdown ensuing from the Covid-19 pandemic has led to various shop and restaurant closings throughout the place.

And it is really taken its toll on Citrus County smaller-small business owners, numerous of whom have been compelled to shut in current months for lack of enterprise.

But that is not the story with La Casa di Norma in Crystal River. The former homeowners of the Italian restaurant had lengthy sought to retire and market the spot. Not only did they find a inclined purchaser ready to choose a probability on the latest financial ailments, but the new owners have currently commenced expansion ideas.

Deisy Rivas and German Perez acknowledge their pals believed they have been crazy to acquire now. But they could not resist the prospect.

“I adore this cafe,” stated Deisy Rivas.

Rivas said she and her spouse ended up regulars as nicely at the cafe and got to know the previous proprietors, Licio and Norma Ortiz, well. 

Rivas and Perez, the two from Venezuela, mentioned they want to create on the restaurant’s achievements and add a number of extras.

And they have presently done so. 

They’ve tweaked the inside decor a little bit and included some further Italian entrees to the menu. On the wall are framed images of some of the regular patrons. They have also expanded the hrs of the location: 2 to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and closed Sunday.

Rivas reported business enterprise has been steady but she thinks a lot of men and women never know about the transform of ownership. She’s hoping term-of-mouth will aid. The couple also put in outside seating in situation patrons fearful about the pandemic are however unwilling to dine inside.

Helping out at La Casa Di Norma are the couple’s 11-yr-outdated daughter, Isabella, and cook dinner, Nicholas Arias.

Norma Ortiz reported she is happy the restaurant they owned for 26 several years will go on on with the identical Italian flavor.

The pandemic did not hinder the Ortizes from placing the cafe on the industry. When the new homeowners ended up located, it was time for Licio and Norma Ortiz to recognize their aspiration of touring.

“We are planning, as shortly as this virus goes away, to journey all more than the entire world,” she reported.

The cafe is at 1609 Southeast U.S. 19, in the Crystal River Buying Center. It received its name — The Property of Norma — from Norma Ortiz. She and her spouse owned it for 26 years.

Ecuador-born Licio was the chef and Norma did waitressing and a very little bit of anything. They looked on the staff as their grandkids.

Norma Ortiz, who emigrated to the U.S. from Salerno, Italy, explained the COVID-19 pandemic did not figure into the choice to retire. The restaurant was for sale prior to the virus hit.

At 68 decades outdated, it was just time to retire, she stated.

Norma reported the new operator retained the name due to the fact of its identify recognition.

Ortiz explained it was tricky leaving a place that experienced been a aspect of them for so prolonged.

“We have a lot of reminiscences,” she said. “A great deal of stunning memories.”

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