It all started with a small panini shop in the Fairhope French Quarter 16 years ago. Now Panini Pete's influence has stretched across Baldwin County and beyond.Pete Blohme and operational partner …
It all started with a small panini shop in the Fairhope French Quarter 16 years ago. Now Panini Pete's influence has stretched across Baldwin County and beyond.
Pete Blohme and operational partner Nick Dimario have a lot of exciting projects in the works for the PP Hospitality Group brand, which currently consists of Panini Pete's and Sunset Pointe in Fairhope and Squid Ink and Mob Town Proper in Mobile.
Blohme and Dimario are constantly working to improve their current brands, grow their team and innovate. Here is a look at what they have coming for fans.
Panini Pete's for dinner? Yes please!
The flagship of the PP Hospitality Group brand has expanded and taken on a second identity. Panini Pete's by day and Panini Pete's Pizza and Pasta by night. Guests won't see any change to the menu during breakfast and lunch, but on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night the menu is all new.
After acquiring the empty storefront across the hall in the Fairhope French Quarter, Blohme and Dimario added a bar and additional inside seating. They saw the opportunity to add dinner a few nights a week too.
"We love Italian foods and decided to make it happen," Blohme said. "The pasta and pizza dough are made from scratch. We have our homemade mozzarella, and we are using San Marzano Valley tomatoes from Italy that are just delicious."
The menu features a selection of paninis, salads, bruschetta, a selection of six pizzas and six pasta dishes and traditional Italian desserts like cannoli.
Blohme said the response has been amazing despite opening without any fanfare just a few weeks ago. With just a few social media posts to his legions of followers the evenings have seen consistent business and even sold out of pizza and linguini this past Saturday.
Panini Pete's is located at 43 S. Section St. in Fairhope's French Quarter and is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Panini Pete's Pizza and Pasta is open Thursday through Saturday from 5 until 9 p.m.
Ed's is coming to Spanish Fort
Ed's Seafood Shed was a Causeway staple for over 15 years when PP Hospitality Group acquired it in 2018. It had fallen on tough times and the facility was in rough shape. Blohme and Dimario decided to give themselves two years to turn it around or they would rebrand it. They updated the facility, added new menu items, kept what worked and brought the brand back. They were kicking butt until an early morning fire rendered the facility unusable.
"We had this brand that we had restored, and Nick and I had to have some tough conversations and decide what we wanted to do," Blohme said. "Dimario heard a little bird say something about Beef O'Brady's moving and we started talking about it."
PP Hospitality Group has signed the lease but must wait until Beef O'Brady's moves out at the end of November. They hope to have everything complete and opened by the end of February 2023. The plans call for the addition of garage doors that will give the space that indoor/outdoor feel and a patio with string lights.
When Ed's Seafood Shed reopens, patrons can expect a few tricks, twists and innovations but it will still have the soul of Ed's Seafood Shed. And in case you were wondering, breakfast will return.
Ed's Seafood Shed is scheduled to reopen sometime early next year at 6450 U.S. Highway 90 Suite J., Spanish Fort. Follow Ed's Seafood Shed's Facebook page for updates.
Fire on the Causeway
Blohme and Dimario have taken a news headline and turned it into a restaurant concept. The burned-out Ed's Seafood Shed building on the Causeway will eventually become an upscale live fire restaurant. This restaurant duo is turning lemons into lemonade.
The live fire cooking brings great caramelization to everything from whole fish to blistered green beans.
"We are going to feature that style of cooking and showcase Gulf Coast seafood in a way that is not being done here locally. We will have a bar and we will still have a fryer and great fried shrimp. It is going to be something we can all be proud of," Blohme said.
Fire on the Causeway is projected to open at the end of 2022 or early 2023. Fire on the Causeway will be located at 3382 Battleship Pkwy., Spanish Fort.
The New Squeeze
When Fairhope Chocolate moved out of their Fairhope French Quarter location, PP Hospitality Group was quick to scoop up the empty storefront. Not wanting to take away business or seating from Panini Pete's, Dimario tossed out the idea of a juice bar.
"I thought it was a great idea for Fairhope. Nobody is doing that other than Fairhope Juice Company. They are doing great juices and selling them wholesale," Blohme said. "We will have a brick-and-mortar right there in downtown fixing juices to order. We also incorporated the fruiteria style which are Mexican style fruit juices that are so good and delicious."
The Fairhope Squeeze Juice Bar and Fruiteria menu will include fresh squeezed juices, cleanses, detoxes, smoothies, fruiteria-style drinks and some grab-and-go food. Construction is underway and Dimario said they are shooting for the first or second week of August to open.
The Fairhope Squeeze Juice Bar and Fruiteria will be in the Fairhope French Quarter.
Move over Moonpies
PP Hospitalities has one more large-scale construction project underway, but this one is in Mobile. The former Moonpie General Store location in the RSA Bank Trust Building will transform into a food hall by early 2023 if everything goes as planned.
Parc Le Tralour Food Hall and Event Center will feature four to five food stalls that are exclusively PP Hospitality.
"We are doing the whole thing and running the food hall," Blohme said. "We have a pizza brand, taco brand, Panini Pete's is going to anchor it and we have a chicken sandwich brand and it is going to be an event center. We will do lunch and happy hour because we will have alcohol and we will rent it out for events."
The plans are 90% complete and the project will soon go out to bid. Dimario hopes that it will be complete in about six months. Mob Town Slice, Taco Mysterio, Panini Pete's and Pickled Chickens (Dimario said they are the bad boys of chicken) could be open as soon as January of 2023.
Parc Le Tralour Food Hall and Event Center will be located at 107 St. Francis St., Unit 115 in Mobile. For updates follow Panini Pete on Facebook or Instagram.