Palm Beach

May 15, 2011

Interview with restaurateur Steven Dapuzzo of SoLita Italian

I sat down with Steven and Susan Dapuzzo of SoLita Italian recently to interview them for the Spotlight Series. This was one of the most fun interviews I’ve done to date we did more laughing about the answers to the questions that it really should have been captured on video; Spotlight Series goes multimedia?? One of the more humorous tongue in cheek comments was “getting SoLidia.” No matter what type of business you’re in there is that period of time especially when you first open where it totally and completely consumes you, it envelopes you, it becomes a part of your being, in the case of SoLita, the entire team now has “SoLidia.” When Ryan, the General Manager of the Delray location joined us he was looking “all that” ready for a big Friday night and I commented on his shirt in which the cuffs and collar had a detailed stitching that looked very similar to the scroll artwork of the wall paper in SoLita. I said to Ryan your shirt “looks like the wall paper, is that a uniform?” and without missing a beat Steven said “not a uniform he’s got SoLidia.” So in good fun, lots of hard work and plenty of hours the team at SoLita has completely embodied their newest addition.
I met Steven over a year ago just as he was opening the Las Olas location I interviewed him for an article for one of the magazines that I contribute to. The one thing that struck me about Steven was his genuine kindness, he’s a nice guy, a real down to earth person not someone caught up in all the hype, but a business owner who’s got a lot of responsibility to and for the people that work in his restaurants. This week’s Spotlight shines on restaurateur Steven Dapuzzo of SoLita Italian.

South Florida Food and Wine: On the heels of SoLita Las Olas’ one year anniversary you open SoLita Delray, what made you choose that location?
Steven Dapuzzo: Downtown Delray is hot and continues to grow. It’s a diversified and sophisticated market with that city feel similar to Las Olas.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is a typical day for you as a restaurateur with two locations?
Steven Dapuzzo: 18 hours.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?
Steven Dapuzzo: Meeting and achieving my own goals. There is so much to do that is based solely on me that managing my own time is demanding.

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Steven Dapuzzo: A big bowl of rigatoni with Sunday gravy, a dollop of ricotta, a good meatball, and a slab of chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream.

South Florida Food and Wine: Two SoLita’s…are there plans for a third?
Steven Dapuzzo: I’ve heard that rumor (remember you read it here first, this is what some would call a “scoop”)

South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Steven Dapuzzo: Houston’s in Pompano with Susan. We had the veggie burger and the rotisserie chicken on their house salad.

South Florida Food and Wine: This is not an easy business, what motivates you to be bigger, better, stronger?
Steven Dapuzzo: I have SoLidia, and I want to pass it on

South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Steven Dapuzzo: Lie on the couch and watch movies that I’ve seen three times.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one piece of advice you would offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
Steven Dapuzzo: Create a plan, execute it to the fullest and when in doubt go with your gut instinct.

Click here to read previous Spotlight interviews

Visit the SoLita Italian website

SoLita Las Olas
1032 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 357-2616

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SoLita Delray
25 NE 2nd Ave
Delray Beach, FL 33444 (561) 899-0888

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