Camino to replace Il Cane Pazzo
Il Cane Pazzo, the Italian eatery in the corner of the Vinegar Hill Theater building on Water Street, has closed, soon to be replaced by Camino, a Mediterranean-style restaurant which the owner says will "draw from all the Southern European cultures."
Three years ago, Fleurie and Petit Pois owner/chef Brian Helleberg opened Il Cane Pazzo in the long-lived L’Avventura space. At the time, Helleberg admitted that he wasn't really looking for a new restaurant, but he saw it as a chance to preserve a successful business and help its former employees.
"The restaurant really had a good reputation," said Helleberg, "and the people who worked there were so eager to come back."
In the end, though, Il Cane Pazzo appears to have became somewhat of a third wheel, and after his landlord balked at some renovation plans, Helleberg decided to sell and focus exclusively on Fleurie and Petit Pois, both of which have introduced expanded menus and hours.
So, in July, Helleburger sold Il Cane Pazzo to one of its employees, Drew Hart, who, along with partner Sean Thomas, hope to reopen as Camino (not "El Camino" Hart emphasizes) near the end of August.
"It won't be uppity," says Hart, "more like a trattoria or a bistro."
Like Helleburg, Hart says he had not been looking to open a restaurant, but with some encouragement from Thomas, a veteran of the local theater and restaurants scenes, he decided to take the plunge.