- May 31, 2017
As people began arriving at Amore Restaurant, Liana Vitorino had a mission.
She wanted them to have a final happy night in the restaurant’s location.
Vitorino, along with manager and husband Tito Vitorino and Amore owner Howard Rooks, invited guests for a farewell dinner May 26. Amore closed at the end of the night, but Rooks finalized a deal on a new Burns Court location earlier in the day. He looks forward to seeing familiar faces when the new location opens, hopefully on July 1.
But the Longboat Key location was home for so many. Holly Hennessy called it the neighborhood “Cheers.” Jimmy Loftis said it was a place where everybody was happy. It was a place Murf Klauber and his friends visited each night during season.
“First of all, the building is the finest building on Longboat Key, and it is a model of what should be in the future,” Klauber said.
As Liana Vitorino continued to greet guests, she was given hugs and presents. She said some regulars were so regular she didn’t need a reminder to make a reservation for them.
“They became my family,” she said. “Hopefully they will have time to drive downtown and see me.”
And it wasn’t much easier for Rooks, who mingled among the crowd of about 170 people.
“Very mixed emotions,” he said. “I’m very excited about the new place. I will miss this because so many people loved this place, and so did I.”