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Sicilito’s Pizza and Restaurant is now being managed by neighboring business owner, Richard Barnick, who has owned Tsunami Surf and Sport since 1997 in the same building complex as Sicilito’s, at 445 Conger Street in Garberville.

Barnick recently told the Redwood Times Sicilito’s is still owned and operated by the Shapiro family. When the previous management lease expired in October of last year Kalila Shapiro, who lives in Southern California and oversees the restaurant for her father Robert Shapiro, asked Barnick to put his restaurant skills to work.

Though Barnick has owned and managed his retail surf and sports shop for years, he has restaurant experience, too, from his younger days. He said he started in restaurant businesses as dishwasher and worked his way up through the ranks to catering and management.

Barnick characterized Sicilito’s as primarily a family restaurant with sports on the big screen television.

The menu is mostly the same right now, Barnick said, because that is what people are used to. Sicilito’s makes their own pizzas, pasta and dinner dishes, sandwiches, burgers, appetizers and beer and wine. The fish and chips are very popular, Barnick said. There will probably be changes and additions to the menu as time goes on and the restaurant reinvigorates. Barnick has been spiffing up the restaurant and is hiring experienced, local staff.

While brightening up the dining room, Barnick has retained the woodstove in the dining room and the vintage metal signs and photographs that adorn the walls and creates Sicilito’s Americana atmosphere. Barnick considers himself a board-sports guy, but the big screen television usually shows sports of the variety the diners want. Barnick said he thinks it would be fun to have some local live dinner music one night a week.

Sicilito’s still has the video game room. It is great for kids and the parents, too. “People still like to play video games,” Barnick observed.

Bill Stevenson, who has been at Sicilito’s since 1988, does the food prep, ordering, makes doughs and sauces and even troubleshoots the equipment. “I’ve done everything except being a waiter,” Stevenson said.

Barnick’s daughter, Bailey Barnick, has been helping him by minding Tsunami Surf and Sport while Barnick has been working on the restaurant that is practically right next door.

The restaurant is open seven days a week from 4 to 9 p.m. and is now open earlier on weekends from 2:30 to 9 p.m.

REDWOOD TIMES PHOTOS BY SANDY FERETTO

1. The dining room at Sicilito’s

2. Richard Barnick (left) and Bill Stevenson stand by the big screen television and the doorway to the video game room at Sicilito’s