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Calabrese: Redefining Dining with Style

Newly Updated Atmosphere and Menu Make For a Warmly Welcoming Experience

Calabrese, a beloved local restaurant nestled in the heart of Southlake, recently received a stunning remodel, transforming its atmosphere into a warm and inviting haven for the community. The inspiration behind this metamorphosis draws from the laid-back lifestyle and simple elegance of the Calabria region in Italy, aiming to create an environment where everyone can feel at home. 

“Our previous design felt very formal, lending Calabrese to become a ‘special occasions’ restaurant,” says Shawn Horne, "Director of Good Times and Leisure" at Calabrese. “With the new design, we hope guests feel welcome to come anytime, not just for special celebrations.” 

The remodel encompassed a variety of updates, breathing new life into every nook and cranny of the establishment. The furniture was completely revamped, and the interiors underwent a dramatic transformation. The addition of an upstairs patio offers an al fresco dining experience, surrounded by beautiful live flora and grape vines, providing a taste of the Italian countryside. Now adorned with collapsible windows, the bar invites guests to revel in an "in the round" experience, fostering community and connection.

“Collaboration with Raquel Renda, the talented wife of owner Oscar Renda, played a crucial role in the remodel's execution,” says Shawn. “Her impeccable taste and design input was instrumental in shaping the enchanting environment that now greets patrons at Calabrese. Her vision for Italian chic and leisure living shines through every detail of the space.”

Cozy and comfortable seating arrangements were thoughtfully selected, ensuring every diner's comfort. The once-open downstairs patio has been enclosed, equipped with full heating and air conditioning, allowing guests to enjoy the outdoors year-round. Additionally, a walk-in wine cellar now graces the lower level, inviting guests to explore an exquisite collection of wines.

“My favorite part of the remodel is the gold Vespa with reclaimed wine corks that cover the seat and license plate,” says Shawn. “It pays homage to upcycling and is the ultimate leisure symbol of the good life in Italy. We added a vintage Lambretta scooter to the front door that inspires nostalgia in the Italians who dine with us regularly.” 

Calabrese's journey towards creating a more welcoming experience doesn't stop with the remodel alone. The menu has been meticulously crafted to cater to all generations and dietary preferences, including a new plant-based menu section and vegetarian options. With diverse recipes to satisfy various cravings and budget-friendly offerings, Calabrese ensures that there is something to delight every discerning palate.

As part of their commitment to continuous excellence, Calabrese has already envisioned a new hopeful future addition: a subterranean wine cellar with a dedicated space for special events and wine production. Community members can be on the lookout for even more greatness to come from Calabrese.

As Calabrese continues to evolve, it remains committed to delivering exceptional service and creating an atmosphere where individuals of all backgrounds can come together to enjoy good food and good company. With its charming redesign, inspired menu and unwavering dedication to inclusivity, Calabrese has undeniably transformed into a cherished community gathering place, bringing a taste of Italy to the heart of Southlake. So next time the family is seeking a warm and inviting dining experience, traverse to Calabrese, where the flavors of Italy and the comforts of home await.

“Just like a fine Italian wine,” says Shawn. “Calabrese continues to improve with age.”