John Khalil, new owner of Enzo's on the Lake, next to the Longwood restaurant's popular antipasto bar.
When Jo Anne Perlini, who with her then-husband Enzo opened Enzo’s on the Lake in 1980, announced in October that she had sold the Longwood restaurant, many of the longtime customers were worried that it would change.
John Khalil, the Orlando dentist who bought it, wants to assure you that he intends to keep Enzo’s Enzo’s. “This place is kind of an institution,” said Khalil. “I love the atmosphere, the feel and obviously the food.” And in the two months that he’s owned it he’s stayed the proven course. Most of the staff, including the servers, cooks and the chef, Brandon Parran, have stayed on. Only one longtime server decided to leave, “But he made that decision before he met us,” said Khalil.
Of course Jo Anne Perlini, too, is no longer associated with the restaurant. But you can also thank her that Enzo’s will stay the same. According to Khalil, who purchased the restaurant with his business partner Logan Berkowitz for $3.2 million, there was another bidder for the business – offering more, he believes – but that person did not want to keep it Enzo’s. Perlini chose Khalil and Berkowitz’s offer because they assured her they wanted to keep things the way they were. “We had to save Enzo’s,” Khalil said.