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AnnMarie Miller of Bradenton serves up omelettes to a table. Chef Jason Pantelis includes a piece of fruit on every plate, which cleanses the palate, he said.
East County Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2016 4 years ago

Leon’s House of Omelettes opens on State Road 70

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The breakfast and lunch café offers home-style comfort food.
by: Jessica Salmond Staff Writer

The smells of hash browns, coffee and fried favorites greet new customers walking into S.R. 70’s newest café.

Leon’s House of Omelettes, located in the old Chickadee's location at 7246 55th Ave. East, opened quietly Monday, April 18, but the breakfast-and-lunch joint already has “regulars.”

Jason Pantelis and Mike Nicovic, both of Cape Coral, decided to open a restaurant together. Leon's opened Monday.
Jason Pantelis and Mike Nicovic, both of Cape Coral, decided to open a restaurant together. Leon's opened Monday.

Friends Bob Bugle, Jack McEwan and Diane Cahill of Tara Preserve and Dee Levi of Tara Golf and Country Club have come to the café all three mornings for breakfast since it opened.

“The quality of the food is excellent. The pancakes just melted in my mouth,” Cahill said. “And they’re great with bantering.”

“They have great food — the pancakes and home fries,” Levi said.

The restaurant is owned, managed and chef’ed by two Cape Coral residents, Mike Nicovic and Jason Pantelis.

The two have both worked in restaurants for years. They met when they both worked for a restaurant in Cape Coral, and decided to go out on their own, become business partners and open their own place, Pantelis said.

They looked at about 30 locations but market researched pointed to east Bradenton, Nicovic said.

While omelettes may be the house speciality, there are lots of other breakfast and lunch options.
While omelettes may be the house speciality, there are lots of other breakfast and lunch options.

Nicovic is a father of four, and the restaurant is named after his only son, 10-year-old Leon, who was “pretty excited” to have the café named for him.

For now, the two will be commuting back and forth every day from Cape Coral. They’re waiting to move closer until this summer after their respective children finish up the school year.

Judy Miles, one of their new waitresses, came to Leon’s from the Recipe Box in Sarasota.
“I’m so excited about this place, I’m willing to travel,” she said with a laugh.

Pantelis was raised in South Carolina, and his upbringing influences his classic dishes such as corned beef hash and pulled pork sandwich. His father was from Athens, Greece, and his mother from Athens, Ga.

“I have a southern flair,” he said.

The restaurant is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pantelis said they will host events after hours and also offer catering.

John Hamilton, a Bradenton resident, spent 25 years in the Coast Guard as a cook. He said the corned beef hash was fantastic.

“I’m not leaving hungry,” he said. 

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