LAKEVIEW — For Italian immigrant Ninos Isaac, opening a new gelato cafe in Lakeview was a no-brainer.
Lakeview, he said, feels "like a second Rome."
"Rome has the Mediterranean Sea, and here we have Lake Michigan," Isaac said. "It's beautiful. I'm trying to bring the similar atmopsheres of Lakeview and Rome together."
Isaac plans to open Dolce Gelato Cafe, at 2904 N. Broadway this spring, he said. The cafe will serve 24 flavors of gelato by Ciao Bella, coffee by Lavazza and, eventually, paninis and salads. It will also host kid's birthday parties and offer Wi-Fi and sports on television.
The businessman, who also owns a 7-Eleven in Uptown, will be running the cafe with his 19-year-old son Emmanuel.
Not only will the food in the cafe be Italian, the atmosphere will be, too. In Rome, families gather in cafes to drink coffee, eat gelato and talk about life, Isaac said. He wants to bring that aspect of Rome to Lakeview, he said.
Cafegoers "become like a family," Isaac said. "They sit there, and they talk to each other about their issues. That store is not going to be a store. It's going to be like a home."