After working remotely for 17 years, a familiar culinary tourism outfit in Windsor-Essex has found a new home on Erie Street in Windsor.
“We’ve always kind of taken pride in walking to the beat of our own drum,” says Windsor Eats co-owner Adriano Ciotoli, who with his sister Pina, have created tourism experiences like the Beer and Whiskey Festivals, Friday Night Lights, Bird graffiti tours, wine trail tours and most recently, the Windsor Food Hall.
The culinary tourism company now has a space at 400 Erie Street East, what they’re calling a hub for all things food, drink and tourism.
“We envision the space to be modular and flexible in that we really want to be able to accommodate any type of event or experience that we can imagine,” says Ciotoli.
The indoor space will be used for events and culinary and mixology classes, but Ciotoli envisions the best space to be outdoors, where weddings, mini-events and festivals can be hosted with nearly 500 people.
“A lot of what we do is outdoors and having a large, enclosed area that is going to be licensed, really goes well with a lot of our offerings,” he says.
Ciotoli says they picked the space for its central location in an established neighborhood but also for its proximity to dozens of restaurants.
“Being in Via Italia is really a great compliment, them for us and us for them as well,” he says.
It’s a point not lost on Filip Rocca, who owns Mezzo Ristorante and also services as the president of the Via Italia BIA.
“It’s going to obviously create some more traffic on the streets, some tours and experiences that we’ve been talking about a lot in the BIA,” Rocca says.
COVID has presented challenges for the area, but Rocca says Windsor Eats landing on their street, paired with the new boutique hotel being constructed in the heart of the BIA, the time is ripe for investment in Via Italia.
“It’s an amazing thing,” he says. “It just makes us feel good about what we’ve been doing on Erie Street.”
Ciotoli hopes to have the space renovated quickly so Windsor Eats can start offering classes as early as February.