During the month of December, Matzaluna, The Italian Kitchen, is offering customers special deals for its 19 years on Sanibel Island.
The restaurant, part of the Prawnbroker Restaurant Group along with The Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market, opened its doors on December 1994 in order to attract crowds who were on vacation and wanted something different than fish.
"The original premise was that we had Timbers since 1976, but it always was that a large part of our crowd was here for a week, so we felt that our product was good enough to get people three nights out," said Mark Blust, vice president of Marketing and Operations for the Prawnbroker Restaurant Group.
Matzaluna, The Italian Kitchen, is open seven days a week from 4:30-9:30 p.m. Mckenzie Cassidy.
Nineteen years ago the restaurant group purchased the building that once belonged to an old American-style restaurant on the island, and opened the family-friendly Matzaluna.
In recognition of their time on the island the restaurant is offering 19 percent off entrees in December. They are also in the process of redesigning approximately 30 percent of their menu by the week of Christmas.
Matzaluna's menu currently offers traditional Italian fare such as Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna, Fettucine Alfredo and Wood Fired Pizza, but the new menu will feature items that first appeared as weekly specials, such as Sal's Famous Chicken Wings, which Blust described as "killer" and are now getting a permanent home on the menu.
The restaurant is also offering locally-brewed craft beer on some of its eight taps. Certain beers are always on tap, like the Italian-imported Peroni, but others are rotated in for customers such as Gateway Gold from the Fort Myers Brewery Company.
The craft beers are popular because tourists want to sample local products when they visit a new place.
"People who visit Florida want to experience Florida," said Blust.
They will continue to play with various concepts and seasonal flavors for the craft beer service.
Matzaluna, The Italian Kitchen, is at 1200 Periwinkle Way. It's open seven days a week from 4:30-9:30 p.m. For more information, call 472-1998.