From its inception, McGarvey Development has been known for developing and building commercial properties of the highest quality throughout Southwest Florida. But more recently, it’s the quality of character behind the company that has enabled it to succeed, despite being hit hard by the recession.
Chris Greco has joined the Keller Williams Naples team of Steve Sims.
WIth 26 years of commercial real estate experience in Buffalo, New York, Greco has worked primarily in the high-end multi-family market. He earned his real estate brokerage license in Florida in 2005 while also serving his family-run business, Greco Real Estate in Buffalo...read full article
State Representative Heather Fitzenhagen will be the guest speaker at the Real Estate Investment Society (REIS) May luncheon meeting...read full article
The Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, the signature event of Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, is now one of the top charitable wine festivals in the nation, according to Wine Spectator Magazine. “The Top Ten Charity Wine Auctions of 2012” appeared in the April issue of the magazine and included the local event for the first time...read full article
Five Florida Hostess properties are up for sale, including two on the Gulf coast.
One of the properties is a 4,825sf distribution center in Naples. According to a sales flyer, it was built in 1990 and has eight drive-in loading doors. The other is a 6,080sf distribution facility located two miles from I-275 in Clearwater, operating under the Merita Bakery discount store brand name. The remaining properties are in Jacksonville, West Palm Beach and Daytona Beach...read full article
Agents with LandQwest Commercial in Fort Myers recently reported the following closed transactions...read full article
Veteran commercial real estate broker Rodney Fidler, CCIM, has joined Lee & Associates/Naples – Ft. Myers. Fidler is forming a team of specialists in buyer and tenant representation for site selection, investment and/or development of office and retail properties...read full article
Agents with Lee & Associates| Naples – Ft. Myers recently closed the following sales and leases. All are in Fort Myers unless otherwise indicated...read full article
Agents with Boback Commercial Group in Fort Myers recently closed the following leases...read full article
May 24 is the deadline to submit nominations for the Horizon Council’s annual Industry Appreciation Awards. The awards will be presented on Sept. 20 as part of Industry Appreciation Week...read full article
If you’re going to name a restaurant after one of the great inventors of the 20th century, it behooves you to be a bit inventive yourself. In downtown Fort Myers, the owners of The Firestone have outdone themselves, from concept to cuisine.
As commerce continues to rev up in downtown Fort Myers, business at Ford’s Garage appears to be in overdrive. From mid-day until late in the evening, near-capacity crowds have filled the sizeable First Street establishment — and its spacious patio — ever since it opened in February 2012.
Just because there seems to be a pizza restaurant on every corner in Southwest Florida doesn’t guarantee you’ll find an outstanding pie at any of them. Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria is an exception.
Relocation can be a tricky proposition for restaurateurs, as diners tend to be creatures of habit. Some establishments don’t survive the move, no matter how short the distance or how great their previous success. Others seem to bloom where they’re planted – or in Yabo’s case, transplanted.
It’s one thing for restaurants to be busy when Southwest Florida is filled to the rafters with snowbirds and tourists. Even then, dining rooms tend to empty by 9 p.m. So to find a large restaurant near capacity and still seating diners at 9:30 p.m. during the off season is quite remarkable, especially when it’s located in central Fort Myers.
On January 1, brothers-in-law Mark Messina and Matt Syroczynski rang in more than just a new year. They also celebrated a new partnership as the owners of Stillwater Grille. Day or night, the casual but chic south Fort Myers eatery offers a combination that’s hard to find in Southwest Florida: A special occasion atmosphere at everyday prices.
In May, Bratta’s Ristorante celebrates its one-year anniversary, a milestone that many Southwest Florida restaurants never reach. But if its first year in business is any indication, Bratta’s can expect many more anniversaries in the future.
As franchise pizza restaurants go, Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza is anything but typical. With its sophisticated décor, unique coal oven pizza and healthy menu, it’s in a class by itself.
You’d never suspect it by looking, but there’s a revolution underway on the ground floor of the Gorovoy M.D. Eye Specialists building in Fort Myers. That’s where the owner of Good2Go Healthy Takeout is working to change the way people think about health and wellness — one smoothie, sandwich or entree at a time.
Many people consider professional success and personal satisfaction a lopsided proposition at best and an either-or situation at worst. Neither has been the case for Cyndi Ott, who has found both as the owner of Robins Nest Bakery in Fort Myers.
With its sleek and stunning good looks, Pure Urban Oasis is the kind of restaurant and bar you’d be apt to find in Manhattan or Miami. Luckily for Southwest Floridians, Pure is much closer to home.
Located in Mercato in north Naples, it offers all the style and sophistication of a major metropolitan eatery with the energetic vibe of an urban nightclub. Remarkably, it is the only independently owned and operated restaurant in the sprawling center, which is home to a number of high-profile, national chains.
In Southwest Florida, there’s nothing better than a waterfront restaurant that looks like a tourist trap but gets rave reviews from the locals. There aren’t many that fit the bill, particularly around Fort Myers Beach, which is just one reason why Nervous Nellie’s is such a pleasant surprise.
Located in the old Snug Harbor space on First Street under the Matanzas Pass Bridge, Nervous Nellie’s proves that a great view and great food do not have to be mutually exclusive. It’s a combination that has proven popular with visitors who pack the place inside and out during season. More important, the restaurant and its upstairs bar, Ugly’s Waterside, have also made a big impression on a crowd that’s even harder to please — those who live here year-round.
Freshness applies to more than just the fish at Blu Sushi, which continues to develop and refine its winning concept. Although it’s hard to hone perfection, Blu’s owners have long had a knack for finding fresh ways to improve upon greatness. Obviously, it’s working.
Being an established and successful restaurant can be a double-edged sword. While it’s an advantage to be well-known and well-liked, it’s an ongoing challenge to stay that way. If you don’t change you risk growing stale; change too much or too often and you risk losing the following that put you on top. Find the perfect balance and you’ve found Bistro 41 in the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers.
You’ve got to love a business that puts a money-back guarantee in writing, especially when that business is a restaurant. But don’t expect a free meal at Rib City.
Although the owners promise to pick up the tab of any customer who picks up a knife to eat their ribs, that’s not likely to happen with Rib City’s fall-off-the-bone baby backs. In fact, everything on the menu reflects an unwavering commitment to quality that has made the Fort Myers-based chain a household name nationwide.
In Southwest Florida’s revolving-door world of fine-dining restaurants and ubiquitous chain eateries, the Veranda is an original. Since 1978, it has impressed locals, tourists and food critics with its antebellum charm and unique menu, making it one of the area’s most enduring and award-winning restaurants. Because it has remained true to its Old Florida roots, the Veranda has never gone out of style or fallen out of favor with diners.
When Biddle’s Restaurant & Piano Bar moved to its new south Fort Myers location last April, it represented both an expansion and a consolidation. While its previous Fort Myers location (in Sanibel Beach Place plaza) and Biddle’s Bucket restaurant on Sanibel have closed, owner Andy Biddle has incorporated the best of both under one recently-remodeled roof in a highly visible spot.
The Prawnbroker Restaurant & Fish Market had plenty of competition and customers when it first opened in 1982. What’s remarkable is that 28 years later, most of its competitors are long gone and the Prawnbroker is still packing them in at its south Fort Myers location.
“We’ve seen the good times, survived the bad times and we’re still going strong,” says general manager Steve Wolfe, who has been at the helm from the outset. “We have a great customer base. Now I’m seeing the children and grandchildren of our early customers.”
The restaurant at the Fort Myers Country Club on McGregor Boulevard has been known by many names over the years, none for an extended period. This time, however, the historic, local landmark seems to have acquired a lasting identity as The Edison.
Unbeknownst to many Southwest Floridians, in recent years Vapiano has garnered national and international acclaim among restaurant industry insiders for its innovative approach to dining. Best described as “upscale fast casual,” the concept incorporates self-service and top-quality, made-to-order food items into one ultra-modern setting. It’s a unique epicurean experience that’s catching on locally at Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers.
Other than the signage and strip center location, there’s little about the Sweet Bean Coffee Cafe that resembles a commercial operation. Unlike its ubiquitous corporate coffee competitors, Sweet Bean is a locally owned and operated original.
Bacchus of Fort Myers in the Bell Tower Shops occupies a space that has had many names over the years, including Bacchus, Dragonfly Bistro, Bacco and Toro. Now that it is back to being known as Bacchus, some diners question whether it’s the “real” Bacchus and whether the food is as good as the original’s.
Until earlier this year, there was little reason to visit Fort Myers Beach other than to frolic in the surf and sand. But with the January opening of Bayfront Bistro, diners from Sarasota to Marco Island are making the journey to experience Lee County’s hottest new waterfront restaurant. There’s much to savor at this exceptional spot.
It’s one thing to create clever menu concepts, but to prepare and present food that tastes as good as it looks takes real talent. Obviously, that’s something that Southwest Florida restaurateur Shannon Yates has in abundance.
If you’re from the South, you already know that barbecue, grits, cornbread and fried green tomatoes are dietary staples. But you don’t have to be a southerner to appreciate the delightful treat of dining at Lee Roy Selmon’s in Fort Myers. Located at the southeast corner of Daniels Parkway and U.S. 41, it is one of six Southwest Florida establishments named for the legendary football star.
If you confuse dining value with fast-food combo meals delivered via drive-through window, you need to visit Bear Rock Cafe in Fort Myers. Since opening a year ago, the eatery has proven that freshly-made meals can be tasty, quick and affordable. In fact, for less than $20, two people can enjoy a hearty home-cooked lunch or dinner – no small feat in today’s economy.
Unless you’re hungry for sushi, you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your appetite at Icabod’s Wicked Good Food and Drink in south Fort Myers. In fact, its oversized, four-page menu is so extensive and jam-packed with choices, it may be impossible to settle on a single item.
Unless you’re from Cape Cod, you might assume that the Roadhouse Cafe is a place that serves wings and beer to patrons clad in t-shirts. Well, don’t let the name fool you.
Located in the Gulf Point Plaza in south Fort Myers, the Roadhouse Cafe is one of the best fine dining restaurants to open in Southwest Florida in years. Formerly known as La Brasserie, Roadhouse offers outstanding food, entertainment and service in an elegant yet homey atmosphere.
After Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise” became a hit in 1978, restaurants throughout south Florida and beyond claimed to be the inspiration behind the song. Life imitated art in 2002, when the songwriter himself opened the first Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant (in Indianapolis).
With pizza parlors on seemingly every corner in Southwest Florida, finding a pie is never a problem. Finding a great one is another matter – unless you know about Starz Restaurant & Pizzeria.
In just the last six months, Cape Harbour in southwest Cape Coral has become as well known for its restaurants as for its million-dollar waterfront homes. There, the restaurateurs behind the hugely popular Rumrunners restaurant have established two new and diverse options for casual dining with The Joint and Run Agrounds.
In most restaurants, music is used a background device to establish the ambience of the dining room and help set the tempo for the meal. But that’s not always the case.
Restaurants that succeed in downtown Fort Myers seem to share several distinctive characteristics.
For one thing, they tend to be owned and operated by restaurateurs with considerable experience not only in Southwest Florida, but also in larger, metropolitan areas or at world-class resorts in exotic destinations. The food and service reflect as much. Also, the owners appear to regard downtown as more than just a location, but rather a commitment to contribute to the area’s redevelopment.
It was a stunning blow to area diners when a fire in 2005 gutted Romano’s Macaroni Grill in south Fort Myers. The fact that Italian restaurants seem to be on every block from Punta Gorda to Marco Island brought little comfort to the restaurant’s loyal patrons.
When pondering where to go for lunch or dinner, Shell Point Retirement Community is not likely to be the first place to spring to mind. Considered by many to be Lee County’s best-kept secret, most visitors to Shell Point are pleasantly surprised to find that several of the community’s dining venues are open to the public. One of them is the Palm Grill.
When the Sunshine Café in south Fort Myers got a new owner last year, some long-time customers were a bit anxious. Many feared there would be an overhaul, drastically changing the character and menu they’d come to love. Fortunately, the new owner was Sandy Stilwell, and in the year since she’s been in charge, loyal patrons of the old Sunshine Café have more reasons than ever to like it as the Sunshine Seafood Café & Lounge.
Like the rest of Southwest Florida, downtown Fort Myers was a far different place when Harold’s on Bay opened just a few years ago. Beau Rivage had yet to open and plans for downtown redevelopment were still being formulated. So when respected chef Harold Balink decided to launch a new restaurant in the space once occupied by Peter’s La Cuisine, he knew he had his work cut out for him.
It’s rare to find a Southwest Florida restaurant whose adult patrons were children when they enjoyed their first meal there. Fortunately for local diners, Mona Lisa is just such a place.
At first glance, one might not notice that there’s been a change in the roster of four-star restaurants at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. That’s why it behooves fine-food lovers to revisit one of the center’s prime spots, now occupied by Bacco Restaurant & Wine Bar.
It’s a good sign when a restaurant opens to rave reviews and standing-room-only crowds. It’s an even better sign when that is still the case after two years in business.