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Ristorante Teatro chef to open Gilardi's on Walnut

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Nicola Gilardi, former master chef at Ristorante Teatro, is striking out on his own to open Gilardi's, an Italian restaurant, at the corner of Walnut Street and John Q. Hammons Parkway.

Born in Italy, Gilardi grew up working in his mother's restaurant and then spent a number of years in the restaurant business working in Germany, New York and Chicago before coming to the Ozarks to help start Teatro. He was part-owner of Teatro, but has now decided the time is right to try it on his own.

"I feel good about this opportunity. I know that, as I'm doing this, I have only myself to blame if it fails. It's my opportunity to prove something to myself," Gilardi said.

Gilardi's wife, Monica, will also be a part of the business. The couple is financing the project themselves and renting the space, formerly the Carriage House Pub, from James Mace.

The restaurant will be open only for dinner initially, but may add lunch after a time.

Gilardi's will close on Sunday, but may open for private parties.

Gilardi said the location is ideal for his restaurant because of its proximity to other restaurants and nighttime entertainment spots.

"The downtown area in the past few years has really grown. People are starting to believe in and support downtown more," Gilardi said.

Gilardi was with Teatro for three years. At his new location, he plans to employ about 10 people. He plans to open the restaurant the first or second week of October.

Though Gilardi has worked in a variety of restaurants, he said he learned the most from his brother, Ezio, who still runs the family's restaurant in Chiavenna, Italy. Ezio Gilardi's restaurant, Uomo Selvatico, or "wild man," was part of Nicola Gilardi's inspiration for opening his own place.

"I had the idea for my own place for about 10 years, but I never took the steps. My brother has a successful place back in Italy; he has really taught me a lot about running a restaurant," Gilardi said.

Gilardi's will be a 40-seat restaurant which will also have an enclosed patio area for private parties.


Nicola Gilardi plans to open his 40-seat restaurant in early October in the building that formerly housed the Carriage House Pub.[[In-content Ad]]


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