With the news that 14-year-old Brooklyn pizza trendsetter Franny’s will close comes the flip side of that coin: Former Epicurean Group (L’Artusi, Dell’anima, Anfora) co-owner Joe Campanale is taking over the space, partnering with former L’Artusi executive chef Erin Shambura, who also has experience at Lupa and Del Posto, for an Italian restaurant with lots of wine.
Though Campanale is staying tight-lipped for now on what more to expect, he does say it will be full service and “It will be a great place to drink wine. It’s not going to be a very fancy restaurant — no tablecloths — but it’ll be a more elegant and sophisticated restaurant for the neighborhood,” he says.
Campanale’s background is in wine — he had a precocious start in the hospitality industry as a Babbo sommelier in his early 20s before opening Dell’anima at just 24. L’Artusi and Anfora followed in the same group, though Campanale sold his Epicurean Group shares in 2016 following chef Gabe Thompson’s departure in 2015. Former business partner August Cardona is now running the group.
This restaurant will be Campanale’s first full project outside the Epicurean umbrella. Franny’s closes on August 20, after which he and Shambura will take over the bi-level space to renovate. There’s no timeline for when this restaurant-with-no-name will open. Stay tuned for more.