Neighbors Casual Kitchen.

Peter Touris, who opened Neighbor’s Casual Kitchen on Audelia at Walnut Hill in September 2014, says he sold the restaurant a few weeks ago to a group of longtime Lake Highlands residents. He believes the restaurant group called LH Eats will take the establishment to the next level, he says. A few of them are 2002 Lake Highlands High School grads who are invested in this neighborhood, he adds. For his part, Touris is returning to the restaurant that has been a part of his own family for decades, Chubby’s on Northwest Highway near Jupiter.

“My dad owns Chubby’s around 30-plus years now and he courted me to come back,” Touris says.

The new Neighbor’s owners note, via the restaurant’s Facebook page, “We are very excited and honored to be a part of the Lake Highlands community that we call home. We are a group of friends and families that have all grown up in this area and are excited about the possibility of improving the dining and entertainment scene in Lake Highlands.”

They add, “We are active members of our community, and look forward to engaging with you all in the projects, fundraisers, and community events you have planned for the area. Please reach out to us at Neighbor’s or through Facebook to discuss creating partnerships with schools, PTAs, local businesses, and other Lake Highlands organizations.

“Check back in with our Facebook page over the coming days and weeks for announcements on upcoming events in the shopping center, food and bar menu changes, and any other updates that we may send out. We look forward to serving you soon.”

Though the LH Eats group consists of dozens of investors, one of the principals tells us, expect to see partner/operator Jimmy Cannon, who has experience running restaurants, in house most days. Some of the near-future changes will include minor cosmetic alterations, condensing the menu and adding a couple of items. The owners/investors had been thinking seriously about opening a restaurant for a year or so now, but hadn’t found the right opportunity until they talked to Touris and learned he was planning to sell, they say.

Touris says he’s hopeful he has left Neighbor’s in good hands, and he is happy to return to other things he enjoys — such as the catering business; he also has plans to rebrand and “bring Chubby’s up to date,” he says.

Chubby’s diners appreciate the eatery’s unwavering down-home, familiar feel, but the Chubby’s heir is realistic — the clientele is changing in Lake Highlands, he says. He expects it to take about six months to fine tune the family business.