Reporting Sara Pelissero
It’s been three years since Figlio shut down its doors at its iconic Uptown location, leaving a superb-happy-hour-sized hole in our hearts.
But fear not, friends — in the same way that leggings and neon have made a comeback, Figlio has returned for round two. After a successful 25-year run, the new owners of Figlio are hoping a fresh location and expanded happy hour menu will help give this rebirth a lifespan just as long.
The “new” Figlio moves away from the bar scene and into a shopping center. Located at the trendy Shops at West End, owner and CEO of Kaskaid Hospitality, Kam Talebi, said the location is a much better fit than before.
“It certainly did start in Uptown but it’s no longer an Uptown concept,” he said. “If you look at Uptown, it’s really a lot more bars and cheaper food. All of us that sort of grew up with Figlio are now in the ‘burbs, and are going to a restaurant or shopping centers like this to dine.”
But even though the location may have changed, there’s still plenty of reminiscing for fans of the old Figlio. Talebi said they’re trying to revive the same vibe and personality of the former Figlio, while keeping the dishes that made it a success.
“We’ve got some of the elements that we’ve brought back — the neon sign, the signage, the menu. We’ve got about 18 menu items that actually came back from the original — the tortellini, the calamari, a lot of favorites that we’ve brought back,” he said. “All of the elements will sort of mirror what people would’ve experienced in the 80s but now in today’s standards.”
As far as the changes to the new Figlio, Talebi said they’ve expanded their menus — from the bar and happy hour selections to the entrees. Under the helm of Executive Chef J.P. Samuelson, they’re bringing more Mediterranean flavors, lighter Italian options and interesting flavor profiles.
The new restaurant also features a circular bar and an outdoor patio, plus a private dining area for family celebrations or client presentations.
Talebi said this Figlio fits perfectly with the brand they’ve already created through their CRAVE restaurants and Urban Eatery location. Adding an Italian concept that would appeal to casual diners was also a bonus, he said.
“Sopranos is a great restaurant but it ended up being more of a formal dining experience than casual,” Talebi said. “So when I looked at repositioning to the more casual-based Italian restaurant — I was a huge fan. I grew up with Figlio, I had friends that grew up with Figlio, so seeing it sit on a shelf at Parasole, certainly triggered a call to fill.”
It only took a couple of days for the deal to be finalized, and with the excitement they’ve already garnered in the West End location, Talebi isn’t ruling out an opportunity to expand.
“It’s a casual, fun restaurant and it has a potential to grow,” he said. “So we’ll see how we do here and if it does well, we’ll look into growing it.”
Figlio opens Monday. For hours, menus and more information, check out their website.