Restaurants serving up traditional Thanksgiving meals in Naples, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers

Many Southwest Florida restaurants will be open for holiday dinners on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23.Angelina's Ristorante, Bonita Springs: Offering four-course Thanksgiving prix-fixe menu from 2 to 6 p.m. for $65. Entree choices include traditional turkey, veal Marsala, black grouper, pork osso bucco or filet of beef. (24041 U.S. 41 S., 239-390-3187; Seafood Grill and Bar, Naples: The restaurant, 4270 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., at Villages Shops on Venetian Bay offers a special Thanksgiving menu. Call 239-649-5552 or see for more.Bice Ristorante, Naples: Offering a la carte menu and the special turkey dish at $19 lunch and $24 dinner (300 Fifth Ave. S.; 239-262-4044;’s Steak & Seafood, East Naples: Serving fourth annual Thanksgiving dinner 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Traditional turkey dinner is $19.95 with stuffing, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, cranberry sauce, salad and gravy. Bill’s also offers a prime rib dinner for $32.95 and a Maine lobster dinner for $39.95. (4221 Tamiami Trail E.; 239-455-5111; Luna, North Naples: Two turkey dinners and a bottle of wine for $34.99 with other entree options available at the same price. Contact for hours and details. (2460 Vanderbilt Beach Road; 239-260-5552;è Milano, Naples: Offering a la carte menu and the special turkey dish at $19 lunch and $24 dinner (800 Fifth Ave. S.; 239-692-8480; Capital Grille, North Naples: A full menu plus the chef’s take on Thanksgiving. Call for hours and reservations. (9005 Mercado Drive, Naples; 239-254-0640; More: What is Friendsgiving? Thanksgiving with friends? Chez Boet, Naples: Thanksgiving meal with a French twist beginning at 4 p.m. Menu includes Joyce Farms grain-fed, Continue Reading

Irma update: Where to get water, food in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples

Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Inc. has set up nine distribution sites throughout the region for people seeking water and food. Most sites have been active for the past day or two, with the Bonita Springs site opening today.Those include: Arcadia: Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in DeSoto County, 1210 East Oak Street, Arcadia Bonita Springs: St. Leo the Great Parish, 28290 Beaumont Road Clewiston: St. Margaret Parish, 208 North Deane Duff Ave. Fort Myers: Jesus the Worker Parish, 881 Nuna Ave. Fort Myers: Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., 4235 Michigan Ave. Immokalee: Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities, 211 S. 9th Street Moore Haven: St. Joseph the Worker Parish, 24065 U.S. Hwy 27 Naples: Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. in Collier County, 2210 Santa Barbara Blvd. Wauchula: St. Michael Parish, 408 Heard Bridge RoadThe urgent need is also for volunteers to help at the sites, and there is a need for household cleaning supplies and other non-perishable goods. Catholic Charities is working closely with the Harry Chapin Food Bank and each site has received at least one truck of supplies from FEMA.Additional sitesThese sites will be open from 1-4 p.m. today to provide food and water: Bokeelia: Our Lady of  Miracle Church, 12175 Stringfellow Road Bonita Springs: Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track, 10601 Bonita Beach Road SE Estero: Estero High School, 21900 River Ranch Road Lehigh Acres: Veterans Park Rec Center, 55 Homestead Road S. North Fort Myers: Prairie Pines Preserve, 18400 N. Tamiami TrailThese sites will be open until 4 p.m. today. These will be drive-up distribution locations, where the National Guard will be handing out MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) and water. Fort Myers: Villas Elementary, 8385 Beacon Blvd.                                Continue Reading

Fort Myers, Cape Coral, south Lee County area hit by relentless rains, flooding

A relentless rainfall pushed flooding through many neighborhoods in Lee County on Sunday, stalling vehicles, forcing road closures, allowing water to seep into homes and businesses, and forcing the evacuation of a RV resort off U.S. 41.The National Weather Service had expected up to 6 inches of rain to fall in Lee County on Sunday afternoon into Monday while at Page Field in Fort Myers 7.62 inches of rain was recorded from Friday to Sunday morning. Unofficial counts at some locations placed rainfall totals over 10 inches.And, much to the chagrin of rain-weary parents, the School District of Lee County said public schools would close Monday. Cape Coral charter schools are also closed.In Cape Coral, the three-day deluge continued to pummel the city’s roads, closing several because of flooding and creating potholes on others.“Please stay off the roads," said Donald K. Cochran, fire chief/director of emergency management, on Sunday afternoon. "Travel is very dangerous at this time. Do not drive unless absolutely necessary.”Several roads were closed in Fort Myers, as well, with Mayor Randy Henderson urging people who need help to reach out for assistance.The city issued a release that said water was getting into homes around water around Broadway, Central, Victoria and Jackson streets.At the Wilder RV Resort on U.S. 41 north of Alico Road in south Fort Myers, residents in manufactured homes, trailer RVs and drivable RVs were urged to leave as early as Saturday\.Ten Mile Canal, which runs along the rear of the resort property, collects runoff from points north into Fort Myers and east to Southwest Florida International Airport and channels it to the Gulf of Mexico. The canal overflowed its banks, spilling water into the resort as well as communities along Island Park Road.Water was lapping at the doors of many of the resort’s manufactured homes anchored on the RV park's south side and park owners were busy going Continue Reading

Hurricane Irma update: Restaurants open in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Lehigh, beaches

SCROLL DOWN FOR A LIST OF RESTAURANT REOPENINGSAs power returns to more neighborhoods, more employees are returning to work, and more restaurants are doing the same.Bite Squad, the new restaurant-delivery app servicing Fort Myers, Cape Coral and parts of Lehigh Acres resumed operations Thursday. Recent days have seen more openings on the islands and in southern Lee County, as well.  Almost all of the restaurants at Bell Tower Shops in south Fort Myers have reopened, though they remain cash only. The mall is hosting a food drive for Harry Chapin Food Bank until 6 tonight, collecting nonperishable goods, diapers, pet food and more. All of the restaurants at Miromar Outlets have reopened, as well.Even unopened restaurants are chipping in to help. Chef Todd Erickson of the forthcoming Society in south Fort Myers is cooking a free gourmet dinner for Dunbar residents impacted by Irma.The chef, along with state representative Heather Fitzenhagen, will be serving the hot meal starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Center at 2990 Edison Ave., Fort Myers. Here’s a look at some of the restaurants open and ready to serve. --- Please note that several restaurants are cash only due to power and internet constraints. Hours and menu availability are subject to change. Is your restaurant open or opening soon and not listed? Send details to [email protected] with “Irma reopening” in the subject line. For more Hurricane Irma coverage: Myers BeachBonita Bill's Waterfront Cafe: Reopened Wednesday. (702 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach; 239-463-6119; Fish Co.: Reopened Thursday. (714 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach; 239-233-8837; Cottage Beach Bar and Gulfshore Grill: Reopened at noon Thursday, cash only until internet resumes. (1250 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach; Continue Reading

Irma update: Restaurants open in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Lehigh Acres, beaches

THIS STORY PUBLISHED WEDNESDAY. FOR AN UPDATED LIST, CLICK HERE. Scroll down for a list of restaurant re-openings. As power returns to more neighborhoods, more employees are returning to work, and more restaurants are doing the same.The problem now: food.“The big suppliers weren’t delivering until today,” Jay Johnson of Bubba’s Roadhouse in Cape Coral said Wednesday. "Some of the places with power could get by with the food they had, but now we're all waiting for deliveries."Many restaurant wholesalers, like Sysco and Gordon Food Service, weren’t able to resume delivery service until Wednesday, meaning restaurants that ran out of food had to sit and wait until more came.“We’re out of everything,” a server at PrimaFila Pizza in downtown Fort Myers said late Wednesday morning. “We’re hoping to get more food soon.” For more Hurricane Irma coverage: good news is more restaurants are coming online in places such as Lehigh Acres, northwest Cape Coral and the islands of Matlacha, where a handful of eateries reopened Wednesday.The even-better news is curfew has been lifted for most parts of Lee County, meaning you can now dine out past 8 p.m. in Fort Myers without fear of a citation. Or sip a late-night cocktail (and then hail an Uber) past 11 p.m. in Cape Coral.“Downtown is open for business,” Fort Myers restaurateur Nils Richter said via text after getting news of the lifted curfew.“We are reminding every guest leaving late to be extra careful, and we are happy to do that.”Here’s a look at some of the restaurants open and ready to serve.  Please note that several restaurants are cash only due to power and internet constraints. Hours and menu availability are subject to change.  Is your restaurant open or opening soon and not listed? Send details to [email protected] with “Irma reopening” in the subject Continue Reading

Flooding plagues Fort Myers, south Lee County areas, RV resort evacuated

Residents of an RV park in south Fort Myers were evacuated as a canal that flows alongside the facility overflowed its banks.Those living in manufactured homes, trailer RVs and drivable RVs were told to leave the Wilder RV Resort on U.S. 41 about a quarter-mile north of Alico Road on Saturday.10 Mile Canal collects water from points north into Fort Myers and east to Southwest Florida International Airport.Donnie and Kristie Troyer said they had moved here from Wooster, Ohio, six months ago and were now living in a motel. More: Cape Coral's water woes: From famine to flooding in only four months More: Fort Myers, Cape Coral, other parts of Lee County under flood warning More: SWFL weather: More rain is on the way for Fort Myers, Naples More: PHOTOS: Historic floods in Fort Myers, Cape Coral pulled from our archives More: Cape Coral's water woes: From famine to flooding in only four months Kristie Troyer said the couple was one of only a few people living at the resort."It's the bare minimum," she said, adding that more residents would be headed to the park in a month or two when season starts."We were told to leave Saturday afternoon," she said, when it became evident that Ten-Mile Canal, which abuts the RV park, was overflowing its banks. A drainage swale that also flows through the park after crossing under 41 was also adding copious amounts of rain-fed water to the park's interior.She added that the owners of the RV park told the couple that they hadn't seen flooding like this in 20 or more years.Water was lapping at many of the manufactured homes that are anchored on the RV park's south side and park owners were busy going door-to-door in a large white resort bus trying to see if anyone was left behind."This was home," Kristie Troyer said. "This is what we owned. Everything we owned was in our truck, our house as we call it, and a storage unit. We're living in a hotel."She said the Continue Reading

Hurricane Irma Aftermath: What we know now in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Lee County

We have teams of reporters hitting key places throughout Lee County today in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. For more coverage of Hurricane Irma and the storm's impacts, visit: 4:30 p.m.Lee County government offices under the Board of County Commissioners will be closed for business Wednesday. 3:52 p.m.Lee County Emergency Management is providing shelter at four locations tonight for people who remained in shelters today post-Irma and for people who may have incurred Hurricane Irma damage to their homes and need a place to stay temporarily.Lee County Emergency Management sheltered more than 32,000 people during Hurricane Irma, and now the county is downsizing from 14 general population shelters to four sites, two of which are new to the Irma shelter list.Open shelters tonight include: Germain Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero Alico Arena, Florida Gulf Coast University campus North Fort Myers Rec Center (new), 2000 N. Recreation Way, North Fort Myers Dunbar Middle School (new), 4750 Winkler Ave. Extension, Fort MyersPreviously opened shelters (except for Germain and Alico) will close Monday night. The four shelters open now will take evacuees and newly displaced residents beginning at 6 p.m. Monday.People who are in one of the existing shelters that are now closing and need transportation to a new shelter will not have to find their own rides; LeeTran will provide them. Those who can drive to shelters are encouraged to do so.All people staying at one of these five shelters Monday night will have to register at the door, even if they stayed in a Lee County shelter during the weekend. (The people who have remained in Alico and Germain today will simply complete another registration form.)Decisions about how long the shelters will remain open will be made in tandem with Emergency Management recovery efforts this week.All shelters are pet friendly. Please bring a crate for your animal or a leash.Enola Rice, spokesperson for Continue Reading

Hurricane Irma: Restaurants open and serving in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples

This story published Tuesday. For Wednesday's restaurant update CLICK HERE Scroll down for a list of restaurant re-openings. If Hurricane Irma has taught us anything, it's that we are REALLY poor planners (or that we tire of hurricane rations pretty quickly). On Monday, mere hours after the massive storm raked across the Gulf Coast, on a day when most of us should have been eating peanut butter sandwiches and sipping from stashes of bottled water, hundreds if not thousands of us instead packed into the few area restaurants lucky enough to have power and clean water. "We are getting crushed right now," Shannon Yates, the owner of Nevermind in Cape Coral said Monday evening. "I'm just thankful I didn't lose it all."At Chinatown in North Fort Myers, a line of customers snaked out the door and down the plaza Monday afternoon. At China Xpress near downtown Fort Myers, crowds packed the small takeout joint late into Monday night. As power and water return across Southwest Florida, more and more restaurants will be reopening. Here's a look at some of the restaurants ready to serve.  Please note that several restaurants are currently cash only due to power and internet constraints. Hours and menu availability are subject to change.  Is your restaurant open or opening soon and not listed? Send details to [email protected] with “Irma reopening” in the subject line.Fort Myers areaLee Roy Selmon's: The store is currently cooking up all of its inventory of food and giving it away to the public. (5056 Daniels Parkway, south Fort Myers; 690-3287; Bagel Factory: Employees of this family-owned bagel shop spent Monday making fresh dough. The store will open at 6 a.m. Tuesday. (8841 College Parkway, south Fort Myers;  433-2245; Ice Cream Fort Myers and Tickled Taco: Open today regular hours. (2215-K Winkler Ave., Fort Continue Reading

Hurricane Irma aftermath: First flights to RSW airport in Fort Myers might resume tonight

For more coverage of Hurricane Irma and the storm's aftermath visit: Southwest Florida International Airport weathered Hurricane Irma well, and is cleared for takeoffs and landings.Delta aims to be the first airline back, with three flights Tuesday night, and a full local schedule on Wednesday.And, airport leaders expect most of the big carriers to follow by late morning or early afternoon Wednesday, with about 80 percent of service resuming by Thursday.“Heading into the weekend, things look good for a full flight schedule at RSW," said Victoria Moreland, local airport spokeswoman. More: Irma update: Trash, yard debris pickup starting to resume; chainsaws available More: Hurricane Irma update: Water service restored, roads clear on Sanibel How quickly flights return depends in part on how quickly area hotels have rooms for airline crews to spend the night.Carriers typically contract with hotels for regular service; however, Moreland heard that some of those lodgings are without power.“We’re heard from multiple airlines that were concerned with finding rooms for their crews,” Moreland said.In Charlotte County, Punta Gorda Airport is open. Its website said Allegiant Air will resume operation there on Wednesday.Flights will take awhile to resume because carriers cleared airports from the region before Irma’s arrival was imminent. More: Inside a Cape Coral shelter during Hurricane Irma: Monkeys, iguanas and 3,000 paper fans More: Hurricane Irma update: Lee County slowly returning to normal, two days after the storm “You’re talking about millions of dollars for each aircraft. They’re not going to keep those valuable assets where there might be bad weather conditions,” Moreland said, adding that during winter blizzards, airlines park their jets here.She confirmed the south Fort Myers airport lost its regular electrical power Continue Reading

Fall openings: New restaurants spring up in Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral

In the topsy-turvy world that is the local dining scene, a reversal of seasons only makes sense. Spring is when restaurants close, when those that didn't capture the bounty of our tourist-heavy winter months wither away and lock their doors. Fall is the time of hope and rebirth, as new restaurants burst through trying to snag their piece of the high-season pie.And this fall is certainly bursting. "It's as good a time as any," said Greg Gebhard, co-owner of Nice Guys Pizza in south Cape Coral and a partner in nearby Danger, Danger which plans to open by December. "We've still been slammed (at Nice Guys), so the goal here is to make sure everything's bangin' and just right before opening."Fall in Southwest Florida is a sweet spot for restaurant newcomers — slow enough for new servers and cooks to learn, but busy enough to keep them paid. More:Dining and restaurants Also:  Stone crab season off to solid start in Southwest FloridaAccording to 2015 data compiled for the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, October to December were the rebound months where visitor spending jumped from a mere $490 million over the summer to a healthier $664 million. In January to March of that year, visitors spent $1.12 billion. Hurricane Irma has, of course, put her twist on things, forcing delays for many by stretching contractors and construction crews thin. "It pushed us back a few weeks, for sure," Sal Basile, owner of the forthcoming Saucy Meatball in Gateway said, "but we're getting there. It's coming together."More than 35 new restaurants plan to open throughout Lee and northern Collier counties between now and the end of the year, with even more having opened since September.More: Sails Restaurant to launch at Fifth and Third in Naples More:  Kitchen opens in downtown Naples Here's a look at who's who:Fall's restaurant bountyNorth NaplesCasamigos: Continue Reading