New Notini’s ownership saves a Bossier landmark

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Long-time Notini’s Owner Jerry Notini Kolniak holds a picture of his mother featured at the popular Italian restaurant. The outpouring of support after the announcement of its planned closure saw new ownership move in to keep the business alive. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

New owners to keeps long-running Bossier City restaurant traditions alive

A Bossier landmark, Notini’s Italian Restaurant, will not be shutting its doors this month, and instead will continue serving the community under new management.

News emerged last month that the long-standing restaurant, a staple of the community’s restaurants, would be closing once the building’s lease was up.

However, new owners, Tim Huck and Grayson Bailey, will use their more than 40 years of combined restaurant experience to continue the Notini’s tradition and recipes.

“Notini’s has been a staple for the community for 41 years and we didn’t want to see it close. Plus, this is our kid’s favorite place to eat. They were devastated when they found out it was closing,” Bailey said. “We want to keep everything going just like it is. All of the recipes are going to be the same. We’re not changing anything.”

Kolniak shows new Notini’s Owner Grayson Bailey the ropes in the restaurant’s kitchen. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

True to their word, Huck and Bailey have been studying under Owner Jerry Notini Kolniak for the past few weeks, learning all of his recipes, and how to continue bringing what they love to Notini’s customers.

As a man who has multiple restaurant owner dealings, Bailey stated that he is impressed with what Notini’s long-time owner has done over the years. 

“I am very impressed with the business he created. He will be well missed by everyone in here,” Bailey said. 

The community read on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Oct. 25 that they would be closing their doors at the end of business on Nov. 16, due to the building’s lease expiration at the end of November. And, Kolniak said he didn’t want to sign another 5-year lease.

“I’m in my 70s and it’s time. The landlord would probably have agreed to go with a shorter time, but I think this is the best,” he said. “It’s hard to think about not being here. I’ve been doing this a long time, but it’s time.”

Kolniak went on to say that after the news was announced on his Facebook page that he received thousand’s upon thousands of messages.

“After we made the announcement about the restaurant closing, I received thousands of messages and comments from my customers,” Kolniak said. “It will probably take my whole retirement to read them all.”

He added, “But it does warm my heart knowing how much of an impact I have made on my customers lives.”

Now, the restaurant can continue impacting generations un when it officially re-opens on Dec. 2.

The Notini’s dining room. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

Kolniak is grateful to Huck and Bailey for purchasing the business, keeping the staff, continuing to make the same recipes, and continuing to give the Bossier community great Italian food.

Notini’s originally opened its doors in 1978 in the Bossier Corners shopping center where Office Depot currently sits. When chain stores came in and needed space, the center’s landlord built the spot for Notini’s in front of said center, facing Airline Drive, in 1995.

The business was opened in honor of Kolniak’s grandfather, Antonio Notini, who immigrated to the U.S. from Barga, Italy, in 1909. 

It started as a family affair with Kolniak’s brother, Ronnie, and father, Stanley, each doing their part to make the dining experience a success. Kolniak eventually bought out his brother and father.  

“We opened a corporation and we all did three different parts of the job,” Kolniak said. “If one of us had to spend $2 instead of $1 on something, we had to get the permission of the other two.”

Notini’s will remain open through Wednesday, Nov. 27. They will close for Thanksgiving and reopen on Dec. 2. 

“This business has been my life,” Kolniak said. “To the people, friends, customers and employees over the years, you are my family. I love you all.”