Two weeks ago, Chef Gordon Ramsey and his Kitchen Nightmares team visited Nino’s Italian Restaurant located in Bixby Knolls in Long Beach. The local eatery opened in 1958, and its dark decor and Italian dishes have remained largely unchanged since.
Now the restaurant has a new coat of paint, a new modern look, and a fresh focus on food.
Arthur Smith, executive producer of the Fox’s hit television show, decided to help the Long Beach institution out of their situation after learning that the restaurant has been owned by one family for the past 54 years.
“This restaurant is an American dream,” says Smith. “You have two immigrants, Vincenzo Cristiano from Italy and Inge Cristiano from Germany, who came here and after a year opened this restaurant. For 54 years, Nino’s clothed them, sent them to school and provided for the family, and unfortunately the family was falling out because the restaurant was falling apart. This week has been about bringing the family back together, and keeping their American Dream alive.”
While Ramsay says that change is often difficult, it is a way for your restaurant to stay current and refreshing. Restaurants like Nino’s often make the mistake of trying desperately to cling to their few remaining guests rather than focus on bringing in new ones.The newly updated menu and decor have set Nino’s back on the map in a city that is becoming known more and more for its many great restaurants and gastropubs.
Posted by Melanie Figueroa