By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Legions of customers who have enjoyed eating at Angelo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria for nearly 40 years will have at least one more summer to stop by at the landmark Sea Isle City eatery.
Owner Angelo Camano placed the restaurant up for sale for $5.4 million in February, but has decided to withdraw the listing and will reopen for the bustling summer tourism season.
“I’ve owned and operated it for 39 years. It’s been our life for us in Sea Isle City. It’s been very nice for us,” Camano said of the family business.
With the restaurant no longer on the market, Camano will celebrate his 40th summer in Sea Isle this year, a major milestone reflecting the popularity of one of the beach town’s most iconic businesses.
“It will be one last summer for the loyal fans to eat there and enjoy,” said Nick Preuhs, a broker with the Long & Foster Sea Shore Team, one of the real estate companies that had been handling the sale.
Preuhs said the plan is for Camano to place the restaurant back on the market in the fall. Camano, though, left open the possibility that he may not sell the restaurant after all.
“That is what we’re thinking, but we’re not 100 percent sure of that. We’re going to give it some consideration,” Camano said of possibly relisting the restaurant in the fall.
The three-story building at the corner of Landis Avenue and John F. Kennedy Boulevard occupies one of the most prominent locations in the heart of the downtown business district.
In addition to the restaurant, the building includes eight income-producing residential rental units known as the Surfside Suites on the top two floors. The residential units had been part of the sale before the building was taken off the market.
“We had a flurry of activity with the listing, but unfortunately no offers came across the table that were acceptable,” Camano explained.
Now 64 years old, Camano has been weighing his options for the property as he considers the possibility of retirement from the restaurant business.
“It’s up in the air,” he said in an interview Wednesday.
Camano and his late father, Alex, were in the construction business when they built the restaurant in the 1980s on property formerly occupied by a gas station.
Angelo’s Ristorante was at the forefront of a development trend in Sea Isle for mixed-use projects combining commercial space such as restaurants, bars or retail shops on the first floor with residential space on the second and third stories.
The combination of commercial space on the first floor and residential units on top would give the buyer plenty of options for the Angelo’s property if it goes back up for sale.
Angelo’s hit the market at a time when Sea Isle is benefiting from red-hot real estate sales for both homes and commercial space. Preuhs said several offers were made for Angelo’s in the short time it was on the market, but none were satisfactory.
Sea Isle’s real estate surge has been fueled in part by investors and second homeowners perceiving the shore as a safe haven from the coronavirus pandemic.