Caffe Abbracci’s Nino Pernetti Dies After 18-Month Battle With COVID-19 Complications

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
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After an 18-month battle with COVID-19 complications, restaurateur Nino Pernetti died on Tuesday, May 31st.

Pernetti, was born in Lake Garda, Italy on July 12, 1945, just 74 days after German surrender of its control of Italy at the end of World War II.

He started his first job at a restaurant in Lake Garda in 1958 and never looked back.

For years, he worked for hotel corporations, which led him to work in 15 different countries and learn six languages, prior to settling in South Florida. Pernetti founded Caffee Abbracci in Coral Gables in 1989.

Over the last 33 years, the restaurant has become a staple of Coral Gables dining and a favorite of the who’s who in the City Beautiful. Pernetti was known to often say that, “owning Caffe Abbracci is the perfect job in the world for me.”

COVID-19 took a toll on restaurants around the world, and Caffe Abbracci was no exception. It was at Caffe Abbracci that the Coral Gables City Commission held its press conference to mark the phase one reopening of restaurants on May 20, 2020.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 would take a larger toll on Pernetti. On December 31, 2020, Parentti was informed by his doctor that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He was hospitalized a few days later and spent over six months at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Pernetti was then transferred to a rehabilitation facility where he gained some of his lost weight back, he had lost over 50 pounds, and had to re-learn to speak. His former wife, Marlen was by his side throughout his recovery, with the help of their daughters, Tatiana and Katerina.

Pernetti continued to work on his recovery with the hopes of returning to his beloved restaurant.

In March of this year, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado presented Pernetti’s family with a Proclamation from the County Commission honoring Pernetti. Regalado shared at the time that, “Nino has that Old World charm that makes everyone who walks through his door feel as if they’ve known him their entire lives and that he has prepared a meal especially for them.”

Pernetti’s death was announced by Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago in his social media accounts, where he shared, “Beloved Nino Pernetti of Caffe Abbracci passed away peacefully last night. Unfortunately, he never recuperated with his bout with Covid. Coral Gables mourns his loss. To honor his memory and thank him for all he did to attract so many to Coral Gables, I will be proposing that the 300 block of Aragon be named Nino’s Way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and staff. Arrivederci amigo.”

Pernetti is survived by his former wife Marlen and their daughters, Tatiana and Katerina.


12 thoughts on “Caffe Abbracci’s Nino Pernetti Dies After 18-Month Battle With COVID-19 Complications

  1. To Frank Gonzalez who commented above, please leave your brainwashed politics out of this memorial for a wonderful Italian man. Nino wore his mask and got the vaccine and passed away. Me and my whole family never wore a mask or got the vaccine and we’re all fine.

  2. It is a sad moment for all of us who were fortunate enough to have met Nino Pernetti. I met him many years ago not at Abbracci, but at Franco B. Mens store in Miracle Mile. Meeting Nino, for the first time was like meeting a longtime friend, that was his persona. Always warm, always affable and with a charming demeanor which made Abbracci, such a pleasant restaurant. I trust his daughters and their mother, together with Eduardo, Loris, Christian, and the rest of their staff, can continue carry, Nino’s legacy. I too aplaude Mayor Vince Lago’s initiative to name Aragon Street, “Nino’s Way”

  3. This is truly heartfelt. Nino was such an integral part not only of our community but for those of us who had befriended him personally. My heart goes out to his children and their mother as well as to all of his longstanding staff which were more life family to him. May Nino RIP he put up a brave battle and I am certain he has taken his joy with him on his new journey but left behind many wonderful memories for us to remember him by and keep close at heart.
    Thank you Nino may you RIP.

  4. My deepest condolences my heart is broken. I remember the good old days the fun and laughter that Nino always brought to every table. May he Rest In Peace he will be missed ❤️🙏

  5. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends & staff. Nino made everyone that walked in his beloved Caffe Abbracci feel like a VIP. He will be missed, I hope his heirs & staff will keep Nino’s legacy alive & well for many years to come. His first restaurant in Coral Gables was Bacci on Ponce de Leon in partnership with Giorgio Bibolini another “compadre”. After they part, he open Caffe Abbracci for all to enjoy, great food and always welcome by Nino with a smile, a hug, he was the ultimate host. Thank you Mayor Lago for Nino’s Way, love the name, love the idea and well deserved! RIP Nino.

  6. The last time I saw Nino in his restauraunt, he was having dinner with an elderly woman at a table for two across from my wife and I. During the dinner, he did not attend to the restauraunt, but focused only on her and their conversation. I so admired him for making her fell so welcome and appreciated. It was just how I believe Jesus would want us to care for widows.

  7. Nino’s tragedy should be a warning to all of those who dismiss Covid and second guess scientific evidence regarding the benefits of masks and vaccines.
    Nino, a good man, a great restauranter and a permanent presence in the Gables has passed.
    Such a loss. My condolences to his family.

  8. Beauty Amendment Second it’s necessary to protect the security of a free state, from J6 it is totally infiltrated in our governance legislative, executive & judicial by tyranny’s of seditious re-election of incumbents in disobedience of our written constitution 1787 mandatory’s to keeping the equality opportunity to the democracy work that was the reason for declaration of emancipation 1776 it was for freedom & justice. U.S. Military JCS Gen Mark Miley’s to call update presidential Election Day 2022 by ID Voters cast your genuine vote will secret’s only within polls precinct for suffrage it’s only legal value to give legitimacy to elect candidate 2020 & it’s necessary to prevent sedulous tyranny of re-election of incumbent holdup killer child inside school again celebrate midterms 2022 to cover up immunity of traitors Trump -Pence v. Obama’s Biden run 2024 again another attack’s against USA republic representative. Or enough is enough to dissolve.

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