Frank and Nick's The Italian Experience

North End Restauranteurs and Friends Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano open Second Concept

EVERETT, MA—(August 10, 2021) Encore Boston Harbor guests will soon be transported on a true Italian culinary experience from the heart of Boston’s Little Italy at an upcoming joint venture from veteran restaurateurs Frank DePasquale and Nick Varano – Frank and Nick’s.

Having previously opened Fratelli together in 2019, Frank and Nick’s will be the duo’s second Italian concept at Encore Boston Harbor. Slated to open in September 2021, the approachable and casual concept will feature a delicious variety of Italian fare available for purchase via counter-service or for guests who want to ‘grab and go.’

The menu will offer a selection of artisanal paninis served on house-made bread that is baked at Bricco Panetteria, pizzas that are inspired by Rina’s in the North End, salads and a variety of coffees and desserts.  

The menu includes highlights from several of Frank and Nick’s restaurants in the North End of Boston. Signature sandwiches will include the famous Panino sandwich with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes; Strega’s award-winning meatballs done Rosetta-style with whipped ricotta and marinara sauce; Chicken Parmesan; North End Potatoes and Eggs Sandwich; and Frank & Nick’s Northshore Roast Beef Sandwich served on an onion roll with James River BBQ Sauce. The Rina’s-style pizza will offer slices for $6 or a whole pizza for $24. There will also be a selection of calzones such as ham and ricotta and spinach and mozzarella that can be purchased whole or by the halves.  There will be a variety of salads available, as well as Quattro’s famous Steak Tips.  

There will be beer, wine, the Bricco Espresso Martini and soda available. Staying true to the North End, there will also be cappuccino, espresso and traditional coffee options. To go along with the coffee will be a variety of Italian pastries and gelato.  

Hours of operation will start at 10:30am and go through lunch and dinner with a late-night menu available until 3:00am. Frank and Nick’s will be located inside the new Sports Bar area and will be counter service with a seating area available.

With a combined 45-plus years of experience operating some of Boston’s top dining destinations, the co-owners will deliver the same high-quality service and cuisine synonymous with their downtown locations at it’s upcoming Everett outpost. In addition to Fratelli and soon-to-open Frank and Nick’s, the Varano Group owns/operates Strega North End, Rina’s and Nico.  DePasquale Ventures owns/operates Bricco Ristorante, Mare Oyster Bar, AquaPazza, Quattro, Assaggio, Trattoria Il Panino, Bricco Salumeria & Pasta Shop, Dolce Gelateria and Bricco Panetteria.

Frank DePasquale

Depasquale Ventures

Restaurateur Frank DePasquale dreamt about bringing his Italian culture to America ever since he was a young boy growing up in a small town under Mount Vesuvius near the Amalfi Coast. At four years old, DePasquale and his family traveled to Boston to start a new beginning doing what they knew best: promoting the Italian way of life.

DePasquale’s first restaurant venture began in 1987 with a tiny neighborhood sandwich shop. With the help of his family, DePasquale ventured into the culinary world and opened his first establishment in the North End, a sandwich shop named Il Panino, meaning “the sandwich” in Italian. Patrons kept coming back for his signature Panino sandwich; a simple creation consisting of Parma prosciutto, imported Bufala Mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil. Il Panino became an instant success and DePasquale never looked back. To date, he has started over 32 different corporations up and down the east coast, all promoting the Italian lifestyle.

Now, Frank is known as the “unofficial mayor” of the North End where he owns about a dozen restaurants and food shops in Boston’s North End, including: Trattoria il Panino which just celebrated 30 years, Bricco Ristorante, Bricco Salumeria, Bricco Panetteria, Quattro, Assaggio, Aqua Pazza, and Mare Oyster Bar. Along with his lifelong friend, Nick Varano, Frank co-owns Fratelli and Frank & Nicks that are both located inside Encore Boston Harbor. He also owns Dolce and Bricco Suites that are both based in the North End.

Nick Varano

Strega North End, Nico Ristorante, Fratelli

The son of Italian immigrants that arrived in the Unites States in 1968, Nick Varano is one of Boston’s leading restaurateurs. Having grown up in the city’s North End neighborhood, it was only fitting that Varano’s first full-service restaurant, Strega Ristorante, would debut on Hanover Street within the heart of Boston’s Little Italy.

With a passion for hard work, at just twelve years old, Varano went to work at Victor’s; his parents’ Italian restaurant located in East Boston. Here, he learned everything he could about the food service industry, including what it takes to run a successful restaurant. While Varano spent much of his 20’s and early 30’s exploring his entrepreneurial spirit, it was during dinner with an old friend in the North End when he made the decision to purchase the exact space; ultimately turning it into a premier location boasting authentic Italian cuisine, dramatic décor and unmatched hospitality. In 2003, original Strega North End was born. Experiencing great success, Varano, doubled his Hanover Street presence in 2007 with Nico Ristorante.

In 2019, Nick partnered with lifelong friend Frank DePasquale of DePasquale Ventures and unveiled their newest venture a 135-seat, 5,200-square-foot Italian restaurant at the five-star, $2.4 billion Encore Boston Harbor Resort. Called Fratelli (brothers in Italian), it is the first local restaurant partnership between DePasquale and Varano and only one of two locally-operated venues at the three-million-square-foot destination resort.

Over the past years Nick Varano has become a trailblazer in the restaurant industry. Setting high standards for customer experience and outstanding culinary offerings in each of his locations. Nick Varano is a prominent restauranteur in the Boston-area and beyond.

Dedicated to bringing a personal touch to each of his restaurants, Varano can often be found engaging with guests either at the bar or tableside in the dining room.