PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Ferrucci Ristorante changed ownership, but customers’ concerns about drastic changes can be laid to rest.

Mike Ferrucci opened the Italian restaurant’s doors for the first time in 1995, but he is ready to retire. 

“The main reason why I decided to go through this sale is because my whole family is still in Italy,” said Ferrucci Ristorante Original Owner Mike Ferrucci. He added, “It’s time to go home and enjoy my brothers and sisters and nephews and all of them.”

Ferrucci sold the restaurant to Mike and Mynta Harbison. They’re the couple that built and ran the popular Los Antojitos before selling it last year. The Harbison’s have been friends with Ferrucci for many years, and he trusts them with the business he carefully curated for nearly 30 years. 

The Harbison’s are excited about this opportunity and plan to honor Ferrucci’s traditions and original dishes. 

“We want to continue that tradition and even build upon that tradition,” said Ferrucci Ristorante New Owner Matt Harbison. “Once we get comfortable cooking the menu that’s here and respect the culture of Ferrucci, then we’re super excited about adding to the menu and putting our own culinary influence on the menu.”

The Harbison’s plan is to expand the dining room and install some new kitchen equipment like a fryer and grill. They also want to offer catering in the future. Harbison’s son will become head chef, continuing their family tradition. 

“Our son, who grew up in the restaurant, is in culinary school in Boulder, Colorado, and he will be home in January,” said Harbison. “We’re going to create some of, hopefully, the most exciting Italian food you’ve ever had.”

Ferrucci is open Tuesday through Saturday nights from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. You do not have to make a reservation.