SOURCE: PHL Local Gaming, LLC

Millennium 3 Management

October 02, 2013 08:00 ET

PHL Local Gaming: Chef Nunzio Patruno Would Return to Philly, Heading Its Fine-Dining Italian Restaurant

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - October 02, 2013) - PHL Local Gaming, LLC, one of six bidders for the available casino gaming license in Philadelphia, today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with Nunzio Patruno, former top chef at Philadelphia's Monte Carlo Living Room, and current owner/chef of Nunzio's Ristorante Rustico, in Collingswood, NJ, to return to the City of Brotherly Love to operate a fine-dining, Italian restaurant at PHL Local's proposed Casino Revolution gaming facility.

Patruno, who was born in Italy's Puglia region and grew up in Castellano Grotte, near the Bari, came to the U.S. in the early 1980's as part of a group that opened five restaurants in the Philadelphia area.

In his role as top chef at the Monte Carlo Living Room and Club, at Second and South Streets, in Philadelphia, Patruno brought fine-dining Italian cuisine to that trendy section of the city. During his tenure there, Travel + Leisure Magazine included Monte Carlo Living Room on a list of America's Top 50 Restaurants, as judged by a panel of 15 national food critics. Commenting on his visit to the restaurant, as part of that project, Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan wrote, "Unsung chef Nunzio Patruno sets new standards with northern Italian classics."

Patruno left Philadelphia in 2003 to open "Nunzio's," in Collingswood, but, over all those years, he continued his long-term friendship with one of his most loyal customers, Joseph Procacci, CEO of Procacci Brothers Sales Corporation and chairman/CEO of PHL Local Gaming.

"From the outset, we always said we wanted to have a high-end Italian restaurant as part of the 'Casino Revolution Experience,'" said Procacci, "and I could think of no one more qualified to do that for our patrons than my good friend, Nunzio Patruno. I'm ecstatic that he considered our invitation. We'll cross our fingers, now, and trust that the Gaming Board sees the merit in our overall proposal."

If successful in its bid for the available casino management license in Philadelphia, PHL Local Gaming, LLC plans to open "Casino Revolution," a $428 million, four-star quality "destination-caliber," 250-room hotel and gaming facility. The casino will offer 2400 slots, 105 table games, a steak house, a coffee/espresso bar, a high-end Italian restaurant, a 300-seat buffet, a 156-seat café and a covered, 1600-car garage.

PHL Local Gaming has said that it is able to open its casino at least 6 months earlier than any of the other five bidders, producing 600 jobs, $10 million in wages and $42 million in state and city taxes, before any of the other bidders would be able to open for business. Given its 25-acre site, PHL Local Gaming also has emphasized that it has the capacity to expand to the Commonwealth's 5000-slot maximum, over time, unlike most of the other bidders.

PHL Local has also announced a plan to introduce the Lower South (LoSo) Entertainment Center, a new, family-focused recreational and entertainment district, in the current South Philadelphia Food Distribution area, if the company is successful in its bid. The Center would serve as a catalyst and cornerstone for economic transformation in the area, and would include attractions such as food-and-beverage and retail businesses, soccer fields, racquet sports, an indoor swimming pool, a zip-line park, rock-climbing facilities, a golf-driving range, a dry ski/skateboarding park, a water park, and areas devoted to music and live entertainment.

Photo Captions

Caption 1

PHL Local Gaming, one of six bidders for the available Category 2 gaming license, in Philadelphia, recently announced its agreement with Nunzio Patruno (pictured), former top chef at Philadelphia's Monte Carlo Living Room, and current owner/chef of Nunzio's Ristorante Rustico, in Collingswood, NJ, to return to Philadelphia to operate PHL Local's fine-dining, Italian Restaurant at the proposed Casino Revolution gaming facility, if successful in its bid.

Caption 2

Nunzio Ristorante Rustico (pictured) is a BYOB, family-dining, Italian restaurant, in Collingswood, NJ, owned by principle Nunzio Patruno, former top chef of the Monte Carlo Living Room, a fine-dining restaurant that was once located in at Second and South streets, in Philadelphia. Recently, Chef Patruno, and PHL Local Gaming, LLC, one of six bidders for the available Category 2 license in Philadelphia, reached an agreement where Chef Patruno would operate the fine-dining, Italian restaurant for the proposed Casino Revolution gaming facility, if PHL Local is successful in its bid.

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