IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Restaurant serves up taste of Philly in Marathon

September 26, 2011 

Rich Wells removes a fresh-baked pizza from the oven at Baricci Cafe, which recently opened in Marathon.

BY RYAN MCCARTHY — rmccarthy@keynoter.com

Any Philadelphian would feel right at home ordering off the menu at Marathon's newest eatery.

From hoagies and cheesesteaks to homemade pizza and tomato pie, the Baricci Cafe brings the classic tastes of South Philly to the heart of the Florida Keys.

Rich and Barbara Wells, along with son Josh and his wife, Erica, run Baricci and come from a long line of restaurateurs and chefs. Josh's grandparents own a catering business that at one time catered for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The family owned a business by the same name in Philadelphia for 10 years and twice won Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philly" award for their panini sandwiches. They're served on homemade focaccia bread.

Rich and Barbara have been coming to the Keys for 30 years and been full-time residents for 10 years. Josh has spent time living in the Keys before now as well.

Josh said the family had been discussing opening Baricci back up in the Keys for quite a while.

"Eight months ago our location opened up, the ball got rolling and we realized we're doing this," he said. The cafe has been open a couple of weeks now.

Josh added that he's hopeful the Philly-style menu will catch on quick with Marathon residents. Everything in the restaurant is made on site.

"There's definitely a learning curve, but we feel confident that we make good food and it tastes the same everywhere," he said.

Outside of the Philly classics, Baricci also serves their famous pressed sandwiches, cold sandwiches, soups, salads, and family-style dinners from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There's also a variety of homemade cupcakes to choose from.

Baricci is open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It's located on 53rd Street across from Publix.

Longtime resident plans eatery

Ralph Lucignano, owner of Keys Fitness and Marathon Liquor & Deli, is planning a restaurant of his own adjacent to his existing businesses near mile marker 50.

Construction is ongoing, but Lucignano told the Keynoter plans are preliminary at best. He said he hasn't decided yet what type of menu the eatery would have.

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