One of the most exciting restaurants to debut amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Seventh South Craft Food + Drink in Naples is led by chef Adam Nardis (above) and bartender Barry Larkin. (Photography by Brian Tietz)

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It Takes Two

A perfect flurry of circumstances in an imperfect year led to the chef-bartender collaboration behind Seventh South Craft Food + Drink.

Two blocks away from Fifth Avenue South, the new Seventh South Craft Food + Drink is a short walk from the downtown action, but a languid evening on its bougainvillea-bordered patio can feel like a world away. The owners are a pair of industry friends: Adam Nardis, who had been the executive chef at M Waterfront Grille for eight years, and Barry Larkin, who most recently was the bar manager at the restaurant that directly preceded theirs in the same location, 7th Avenue Social. The two met through Nardis’ wife, Erin, when she and Larkin helped open The Continental’s bar in 2014. They were drawn to the space because of the location, which is the first element of its name; the second half is a nod to their mission, and their efforts to bring out the best in each other. The executive chef and bartender teamed up to have the kitchen and bar work in tandem to put an equal emphasis on quality, made-from-scratch cuisine and cocktails. “There are collaborations of kitchen and bar, chef and bar manager, all over bigger cities. It doesn’t then become so front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house. We wanted to idea-share—that’s the main concept of this restaurant,” Nardis says. Nardis and Larkin aren’t the type to take themselves too seriously; the two  aim for whimsy in what they do. But, “damn, do we focus when we’re making something for a customer,” Nardis says. They put in a lot of sweat equity over the summer to transform the space, laying bricks to e
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