[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he story of Anacapri Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar is a romantic one. It’s the story Giuseppe and Maria Zuozo, a young couple who fell in love with the burgeoning neighborhood of Pinecrest during a January 1990 vacation and decided to make a life for themselves there.
After returning to their home in New Jersey, they sold their share in their restaurant there and moved back to Miami, opening Anacapri in a small shopping center off South Dixie Highway just months later in April.
It wasn’t long after that business began to really take off. As word of mouth traveled, customers near and far began coming in to feast on their high-quality authentic Italian cuisine. The couple’s hard work and incomparable passion has endured now for a quarter-century and, as the city around them has grown, so has the restaurant. The original location has expanded to include a cool wine bar, wine cellar and Italian Market and they now have additional locations in Coral Gables and Miami Springs.
“It’s a beautiful feeling to have grown in this community and to have seen everyone grow up along with the restaurant,” says Giuseppe Zuozo. “A lot of the kids that came around when we first opened are now adults and many of them are married and have kids of their own. Many of our chefs and waiters have been here for a long time also, many for up to 20 years. We’re one big family growing together.”
Today, the restaurant remains a familyowned business. Their son Andre now manages their original Pinecrest location while Giuseppe and Maria oversee daily operations of their other two locations and the Italian Market.
“You hope that your kids will take over and continue doing what you did, carrying on your dreams and making it their own,” he says. “I’m very proud of what Andre is doing.”
Although the Zuozos suggest that some of their success is attributable to just being in the right place at the right time, they acknowledge that more than anything it was their devotion to the business and attention to detail that made their upscale restaurant the gem in the heart of Pinecrest that it is today.
“Firstly, it is beautiful to see that after so many years we are still around and doing a good job,” he says. “But to keep up with those things, especially in the restaurant business, is a lot of work. It’s many hours away from home spent making sure that things stay of the same high quality. You have to love it, because it is not easy.”
Anacapri Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar is located at 12669 S. Dixie Hwy. For more information, call 305-232-8001 or go to www.AnacapriFood.com.