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Well-known Southwest Florida restaurant owner retires, sells three brands

Skip Quillen opened his first restaurant, Pazzo! Cucina Italiana, nearly 30 years ago in Naples.


  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 8:45 a.m. June 22, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Skip Quillen, here with grandsons, has been in the Southwest Florida restaurant business for some 30 years.
Skip Quillen, here with grandsons, has been in the Southwest Florida restaurant business for some 30 years.
Courtesy photo
  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
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One of the more prominent restaurateurs in Southwest Florida, Skip Quillen, has retired and sold his ownership in the Culinary Concepts restaurant group to another well-known brand. 

The buyer is Phelan Family Brands, which owns eight concepts, including Pinchers, Deep Lagoon Seafood and Texas Tony’s Rib & Brewhouse.  

Financial terms of the sale weren't disclosed. The four Culinary Concepts locations — Chops City Grill, Pazzo! Cucina Italiana  and Yabba Island Grill on Fifth Avenue South in Naples and Chops City Grill in Bonita Springs — will continue to be “managed by current staff and changes in operations are not expected,” a release on the sale states. 

Quillen, who opened Pazzo! Cucina Italiana on Fifth Avenue South nearly 30 years ago, calls the sale and retirement a “very bittersweet goodbye.”

“How lucky was I,” Quillen adds in the statement, “to fulfill my dream to not only open my own restaurant, but open five restaurants and do it all in Southwest Florida, the most beautiful and friendliest place on earth?

“It has been my supreme honor to work with the greatest team on earth at Culinary Concepts throughout every facet of my professional career and in my day-to-day life. It has been a joy to work with the best employees, incredible customers, loyal purveyors, lawyers, repairmen and competitors.”

 

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Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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