740 North Collier Blvd., Marco
Pretend you decide to buy the Bayview Restaurant at the Esplanade on Smokehouse Bay.
You know that Vergina across the plaza has closed, so in spite of the beautiful waterfront setting, the location hasn’t exactly enjoyed spectacular success. So how do you make sure your place is financially successful?
Curt and Jacquie Koon have been thinking about that since even before they took over the Bayview complex on Feb. 28. Now they’ve made some decisions — some in place, others due through summer and fall.
Bayview has a new summer menu, featuring a daily dinner package for $16.99. Another new feature — more than 30 wines by the glass. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner all summer.
Martini specials, other drinks and new dinner items will be available most nights. Happy hour now lasts an hour longer and a late night “happy hour” will add to the fun. Finally, night owls have a waterfront place to play.
Also on the schedule — Margarita nights with Mexican dishes; Sunday brunch specials including French toast, eggs Benedict, mimosas and more; sangria Saturdays and half price draft beer some days. Fridays will feature end-of-the-work-week specials, such as vodka shots, frozen drinks and other aids to social discourse. Menus may get makeovers and some entrée prices may be reduced.
Bayview soon will offer wireless Internet access indoors and out. What better to endure the time spent with e-mails, SPAM and on-line bill paying than a glass of wine and one of Marco’s best views?
Also plans are afoot for a Name Game — a way to get islanders involved in the process of giving the restaurant a new name.
“It’s a fun way to get ideas from our customers,” explains Jacquie. Details are in flux, but patrons may enter a name contest, with drawings for gift certificates.
The most important change that may enhance Bayview is that its owners will be there full time. Curt and Jacquie are convinced a hands-on approach is the key to quality and customer satisfaction. I think they’re right.
“We hope a lot of islanders will come in as we move this great place into a new era,” Jacquie says.
“We’ve had wonderful support from some great Marco restaurant people and we want to be part of this community.”
The Koons clearly understand their Marco adventure has a better chance to succeed if they make their restaurant user-friendly for locals, in price and quality, with the huge plus of its unique location.
If you could advise Curt and Jacquie how to make the Bayview successful, what would you suggest? Let me know via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bad actors and good deeds
Two examples of good and bad actions by beach visitors greeted us on a recent walk from Residents’ Beach to just north of Tigertail Beach.
On the way we encountered a large mound of trash — bottles, cans, cardboard and more, plopped in the sand, near the bird sanctuary.
It’s infuriating that people who lug all manner of edibles and drinkables and other fun stuff to the beach, enjoy themselves then dump their trash amidst the natural beauty.
If they got all that stuff there, couldn’t they have at least carried it back to the trash bins at Tigertail?
Our anger at the thoughtless oafs’ mess was moderated a short time later. Walking south, we saw a plastic bag floating in the surf about 100 feet out. Just then a swimsuit clad lady walked up and said, “Isn’t that dangerous for the turtles?”
We agreed, so she waded into the water shoulder-high, snared the plastic and brought it in. Her name is Jean Gillespie, visiting Marco from Stanton, Va. She talked about Marco’s beauty, the fresh air and the beach.
We told her she brought us a breath of fresh air, helping keep it clean, in contrast to the thoughtless garbage group up the beach.
So no matter what dopes dirty up our beaches, whose job is it to clean up the mess, assuming we can’t find the culprits?
That part of the beach is state-controlled, so park rangers will pick up trash if they have time and a means to remove it. In this case, Marco’s beach-loving wonder woman, Mary Nelson, a.k.a. the Turtle Lady, did the cleanup with the rangers’ help.
When we next walk the beach, we’ll carry trash bags. There’s always something left by the careless or brainless or both. Maybe we all should.