Fort Myers Beach News — Issue-714

Fort Myers Beach News - Issue-714

Getting Ready For Season

With season nearly upon us, the Sand Paper wanted to take the time to recognize a few of those local businesses who have been making renovations and changes to ensure our returning snowbirds and tourists feel welcomed and have nice places to enjoy. The Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, Skye’s Mexican, the Fish Monger and Matanzas Inn Resort are all either in the process of or have completed upgrades this summer, so this week we decided to go check them out.

Smokin’ Oyster Brewery

After expanding their deck area last season, popular Key West-style eatery SOB’s now has a roof over that deck and brighter paint, which gives it the illusion of a much bigger restaurant though in reality the square footage has remained the same. Re-opening in time for big crowds at the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival on October 3 rd. owner Bill Freeman told us that he couldn’t be happier with the changes and credits the hard work of his contractor — William E. Whitley Construction — and their crew.

"We replaced the roof over the front deck and replaced those big support beams so we look twice as big now even though we haven’t gained an inch,” Bill told us. "William E. Whitley and his crew did a fantastic job — we even finished a day or two ahead of schedule — and I wanted to thank them and the sub-contractors, MD Electric and Weather Seal Roofing. They did an awesome job.”

All in all, SOB’s was closed from August 4 th — September 30 th. with the result being a complete face-lift and a roomier space.

"I’m just thrilled the way it turned out, and we’ve gotten some very positive feedback so far,” Freeman said. "Everyone likes the new colors, especially the new blue ceiling — it looks fresh and new, cleaner. The acoustics are better, too, so come on down and check it out!”

The Fish Monger

Known for years as the go-to place for the freshest seafood on Fort Myers Beach, The Fish Monger now has new owners who have made some upgrades to the interior and exterior of the eatery but assure us that the restaurant’s reputation for fresh seafood will remain.

"We didn’t change the concept of fresh seafood there at all,” said Thom Marks, who — along with his partner, Shelly Morgan — purchased the place from their long-time friends, Nick and Mary Ruland, nearly two months ago. "We will continue to buy our seafood from Nick’s boats every day and Mary will remain working here, including her traditional Wednesday night shift.”

What the Marks’ have done is make upgrades to the restaurant’s interior and added some things to diversify the menu — including 99+% pure Black Angus steaks, Norwegian salmon and Maine lobster.

"The place is absolutely beautiful now,” he said. "We felt that the interior could be a little nicer for specials that cost $22-$25, so we made some changes using decorations that already existed — we just moved them around. The room where all the fish tanks were is now the ‘Compass Rose Room’; the room off to the left is now the ‘Captains Room’ and the room in the back where hardly anyone ever sat is now incredibly attractive and called the ‘Fish Camp Room’. Shelly found a bunch of black and white photographs that Nick had of old Florida fishing families, so we hung those up too. We’ve also put in new floors, added new tablecloths, fresh linens and a bunch of little touches to make folks’ dining experience better.”

The biggest change that returning regulars will notice is the bar. Now branded as the ‘Hurricane Hole Tavern’, the area has been expanded and features a new menu and the NFL Sunday ticket.

"The designation of ‘Hurricane Hole’ is given to places that are safe harbors, so when I realized that this building has stood through so many storms over the years I knew it was the perfect name,” Thom told us. "I redecorated it entirely with 19 prints I had made of local hurricanes going back to Donna, including hurricane frequency charts, a montage of the storms themselves, the tracks they took, etc.”

Thom said that the most important thing for folks to know is that the Monger will feature the same fresh seafood and same staff, with the exception of the kitchen. They will be also be open all year except for September.

"We added some sandwiches and some baskets — now if someone wants a meal for $10 or $12, they can get one,” Marks said. "We will be open Tuesday — Saturday from 2pm-9pm, Sunday from noon-9pm and closed on Mondays.”

The upgraded Fish Monger is tentatively scheduled to open on Thursday, October 23 rd. For more information, please call them at 239-765-5544.

Skye’s Mexican & More

In Santini Plaza, the owner and staff of Skye’s have been busy the past couple of weeks doing their annual fall cleaning and making a few upgrades so the restaurant is more user-friendly to both locals and tourists alike.

"This is a small restaurant, but we still want to make it comfortable for large groups and parties,” said owner Sylvia Steiger. "So we changed the back area and added a couple of large tables to accommodate them. This way, someone can still have a private party or a large family gathering and feel like they’ve got their own space without feeling cut off from what’s going on in the rest of the restaurant.”

Steiger also added a standing bar that also serves as a bit of a partition from the regular seating area.

"Skye’s has become a real neighborhood kind of place — people, especially for those on the south end,” she said. "People come here and they want to mingle. Then, in season, the tourists want to mingle with the locals, so this will provide more of an area for them to do that.”

These upgrades are in addition to the deep cleaning done by Sylvia and her staff every off-season.

"We take everything out of the restaurant, repaint all the walls, deep clean the kitchen and scrub the floors and reseal them,” she said. "We literally take the place apart so it’s clean and fresh again.”

For when the weather cools, Skye’s also offers a beautifully appointed outside seating area — something Sylvia says she plans to upgrade in the coming months. She has other plans for the cool temperatures, too — encouraging folks to get out of their cars.

"There are new bike racks throughout the plaza now, and we’ve always had issues with parking here,” she said. "I plan on doing something like giving people a special treat who walk here, ride their bikes or take the trolley.”

Matanzas Inn Resort

This popular resort under the Sky Bridge is currently getting a facelift in the form of a new waterfront pavilion for special events, a landscaped trellis, new patio and exterior living rooms with outdoor fire pits. Guest rooms are also being remodeled, with new air conditioning, flooring, cabinetry and kitchens.

"As we celebrate 30 years on Fort Myers Beach, our goal is to enhance the resort guest experience while blending our waterfront restaurant offerings with new resort facilities,” said owner Doug Sperin-Smith. "In addition to offering great waterfront dining and improved accommodations, we’re creating a unique setting for special events that many guests desire. We look forward to further enhancing the guest experience as renovations are completed.”

The resort is getting an exterior facelift, too — with new paint and signage, enhanced landscaping with outdoor guest areas and patios and improved dockage facilities. Matter Brothers Furniture and R.J. McCormack, Architect are providing design services and consultation on the project, with the room renovations expected to be completed later this year.

Keri Hendry Weeg

Watch the Sand Paper for stories about new owners of familiar places plus new businesses on the beach in future issues.

Getting Ready For Season

With season nearly upon us, the Sand Paper wanted to take the time to recognize a few of those local businesses who have been making renovations and changes to ensure our returning snowbirds and tourists feel welcomed and have nice places to enjoy. The Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, Skye’s Mexican, the Fish Monger and Matanzas Inn Resort are all either in the process of or have completed upgrades this summer, so this week we decided to go check them out.

Smokin’ Oyster Brewery

After expanding their deck area last season, popular Key West-style eatery SOB’s now has a roof over that deck and brighter paint, which gives it the illusion of a much bigger restaurant though in reality the square footage has remained the same. Re-opening in time for big crowds at the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival on October 3 rd. owner Bill Freeman told us that he couldn’t be happier with the changes and credits the hard work of his contractor — William E. Whitley Construction — and their crew.

"We replaced the roof over the front deck and replaced those big support beams so we look twice as big now even though we haven’t gained an inch,” Bill told us. "William E. Whitley and his crew did a fantastic job — we even finished a day or two ahead of schedule — and I wanted to thank them and the sub-contractors, MD Electric and Weather Seal Roofing. They did an awesome job.”

All in all, SOB’s was closed from August 4 th — September 30 th. with the result being a complete face-lift and a roomier space.

"I’m just thrilled the way it turned out, and we’ve gotten some very positive feedback so far,” Freeman said. "Everyone likes the new colors, especially the new blue ceiling — it looks fresh and new, cleaner. The acoustics are better, too, so come on down and check it out!”

The Fish Monger

Known for years as the go-to place for the freshest seafood on Fort Myers Beach, The Fish Monger now has new owners who have made some upgrades to the interior and exterior of the eatery but assure us that the restaurant’s reputation for fresh seafood will remain.

"We didn’t change the concept of fresh seafood there at all,” said Thom Marks, who — along with his partner, Shelly Morgan — purchased the place from their long-time friends, Nick and Mary Ruland, nearly two months ago. "We will continue to buy our seafood from Nick’s boats every day and Mary will remain working here, including her traditional Wednesday night shift.”

Fort Myers Beach News - Issue-714

What the Marks’ have done is make upgrades to the restaurant’s interior and added some things to diversify the menu — including 99+% pure Black Angus steaks, Norwegian salmon and Maine lobster.

"The place is absolutely beautiful now,” he said. "We felt that the interior could be a little nicer for specials that cost $22-$25, so we made some changes using decorations that already existed — we just moved them around. The room where all the fish tanks were is now the ‘Compass Rose Room’; the room off to the left is now the ‘Captains Room’ and the room in the back where hardly anyone ever sat is now incredibly attractive and called the ‘Fish Camp Room’. Shelly found a bunch of black and white photographs that Nick had of old Florida fishing families, so we hung those up too. We’ve also put in new floors, added new tablecloths, fresh linens and a bunch of little touches to make folks’ dining experience better.”

The biggest change that returning regulars will notice is the bar. Now branded as the ‘Hurricane Hole Tavern’, the area has been expanded and features a new menu and the NFL Sunday ticket.

"The designation of ‘Hurricane Hole’ is given to places that are safe harbors, so when I realized that this building has stood through so many storms over the years I knew it was the perfect name,” Thom told us. "I redecorated it entirely with 19 prints I had made of local hurricanes going back to Donna, including hurricane frequency charts, a montage of the storms themselves, the tracks they took, etc.”

Thom said that the most important thing for folks to know is that the Monger will feature the same fresh seafood and same staff, with the exception of the kitchen. They will be also be open all year except for September.

"We added some sandwiches and some baskets — now if someone wants a meal for $10 or $12, they can get one,” Marks said. "We will be open Tuesday — Saturday from 2pm-9pm, Sunday from noon-9pm and closed on Mondays.”

The upgraded Fish Monger is tentatively scheduled to open on Thursday, October 23 rd. For more information, please call them at 239-765-5544.

Skye’s Mexican & More

In Santini Plaza, the owner and staff of Skye’s have been busy the past couple of weeks doing their annual fall cleaning and making a few upgrades so the restaurant is more user-friendly to both locals and tourists alike.

"This is a small restaurant, but we still want to make it comfortable for large groups and parties,” said owner Sylvia Steiger. "So we changed the back area and added a couple of large tables to accommodate them. This way, someone can still have a private party or a large family gathering and feel like they’ve got their own space without feeling cut off from what’s going on in the rest of the restaurant.”

Steiger also added a standing bar that also serves as a bit of a partition from the regular seating area.

"Skye’s has become a real neighborhood kind of place — people, especially for those on the south end,” she said. "People come here and they want to mingle. Then, in season, the tourists want to mingle with the locals, so this will provide more of an area for them to do that.”

These upgrades are in addition to the deep cleaning done by Sylvia and her staff every off-season.

"We take everything out of the restaurant, repaint all the walls, deep clean the kitchen and scrub the floors and reseal them,” she said. "We literally take the place apart so it’s clean and fresh again.”

For when the weather cools, Skye’s also offers a beautifully appointed outside seating area — something Sylvia says she plans to upgrade in the coming months. She has other plans for the cool temperatures, too — encouraging folks to get out of their cars.

"There are new bike racks throughout the plaza now, and we’ve always had issues with parking here,” she said. "I plan on doing something like giving people a special treat who walk here, ride their bikes or take the trolley.”

Matanzas Inn Resort

This popular resort under the Sky Bridge is currently getting a facelift in the form of a new waterfront pavilion for special events, a landscaped trellis, new patio and exterior living rooms with outdoor fire pits. Guest rooms are also being remodeled, with new air conditioning, flooring, cabinetry and kitchens.

"As we celebrate 30 years on Fort Myers Beach, our goal is to enhance the resort guest experience while blending our waterfront restaurant offerings with new resort facilities,” said owner Doug Sperin-Smith. "In addition to offering great waterfront dining and improved accommodations, we’re creating a unique setting for special events that many guests desire. We look forward to further enhancing the guest experience as renovations are completed.”

The resort is getting an exterior facelift, too — with new paint and signage, enhanced landscaping with outdoor guest areas and patios and improved dockage facilities. Matter Brothers Furniture and R.J. McCormack, Architect are providing design services and consultation on the project, with the room renovations expected to be completed later this year.

Keri Hendry Weeg

Watch the Sand Paper for stories about new owners of familiar places plus new businesses on the beach in future issues.


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