Callaro’s Steak House, the downtown Lake Worth restaurant formerly occupied by L’Anjou, was sold for $1.4 million on July 13 to a company based in Philadelphia.
“I did it because they were frequent customers in the restaurant and they loved the staff and loved everything about the restaurant,” said Danny Callaro, a managing member of the site on 717 Lake Ave. “It was the perfect storm.”
Callaro said he didn’t know the name of the company that bought the restaurant and directed additional questions to Keith Scragg, a chef — and co-owner — who plans to remain.
Scragg said he doesn’t know much about the company and only met them twice.
“I know they want to put in a wine room and they want another kitchen,” Scragg said.
The restaurant closed recently for renovations and it plans to reopen under new ownership in August or September.
“They just want to tweak the restaurant a little bit with the menu being more Italian and having a more expensive wine list,” he said. “They also want to do some renovations in the kitchen.”
Callaro said the new owners saw the eatery was busy, loved the service they got and would like to keep the entire staff.
“Everybody who works at the restaurant has a job when it reopens,” Callaro said. “What each individual decides to do is up to them, but most of them have said they’re going to come back, but I’m sure unemployment is not going to satisfy them, so I’m sure they’ll be looking for jobs in the meantime.”
Callaro, who also runs Riggins Crabhouse in Lantana, said the sale of the restaurant wasn’t easy on him.
“When you have a restaurant with your name on it, it’s bittersweet,” he said. “But the offer that was made to me … was something I felt comfortable with knowing the staff was going to keep their jobs.”
Callaro said the deal was done in a short amount of time.
“Back in December they came to me and then I had a deposit check three days later,” he said. “They didn’t want to take over the restaurant in the middle of season, so they agreed to let us stay until July.”
The steak house relocated in 2011 from Manalapan, where it operated for 10 years.
He said he’s going to miss Lake Worth.
“We were there since 2011, and we had great customers who followed us from Manalapan,” he said. “We had a lot of great customers who liked the vibe and feel of the restaurant, and hopefully they’ll come back when it reopens.”