845 12th Avenue South, Naples, FL
NAPLES — Crayton Cove’s attractions were on display at a breakfast Tuesday morning announcing Discover Crayton Cove, a new business association that plans to promote the small, retail district.
Business owners and supporters gathered outside the Dock restaurant. They ate food from Crayton Cove restaurants, looked at a display of art by Crayton Cove artists, and sat with a view of Naples Bay and the boats at City Dock.
Among the attendees were people representing an inn, restaurants, charter fishing boat companies, sailboat tour companies, retail shops, a hair salon, an accounting firm, and art galleries. City of Naples Mayor Bill Barnett read a proclamation recognizing the group’s work and celebrating the 60th anniversary of the area’s name change from Back Bay to Crayton Cove.
“I though it was a terrific idea (to market the area),” said Vin DePasquale, who opened The Dock in 1976. “Its the first attempt at really marketing the area of Crayton Cove as a destination. We’ve all been used to advertising and marketing our own businesses, but now we’re also working together.”
When DePasquale opened his restaurant Naples was much smaller and everything was more rustic, he said. As time has passed, Naples’ population has exploded and tastes have become more sophisticated.
“Crayton Cove is unique,” he said. “It’s waterfront, it’s charming, it’s authentic, it’s historic. It has much of the flavor and character of Old Naples.”
Several business owners had talked about forming a group a couple of years ago, but nothing ever materialized, said Lisa Boet, owner of Bamboo Cafe and vice president of the group. This time, artist and gallery owner Karen Stone had the time and energy to make it happen, Boet said.
“Coupled with the challenging economy that all of us have been experiencing, it was more compelling for us to join forces now,” Boet said. “It’s also important to note that Crayton Cove is 100 percent locally owned and operated independent businesses.”
The group has created a new logo for Crayton Cove, donated by Bleu Provence owners Jacques and Lysielle Cariot, built a website at www.DiscoverCraytonCove.com and organized special events to create interest in the area.
Events include Art After Dark, an art gallery event on the second Saturday of each month, the ongoing Cook My Catch special, where anglers can have their fish cooked at Cove restaurants for just $13.95, and Crayton Cove Sunset Salute, a flag lowering ceremony the second Wednesday of each month. “I think it’s a great idea,” said Jon Manderscheid, owner of Fishead Charters. “You’ve got to bring awareness to what’s going on down here. After 10 or 15 years of living here some people don’t even know we exist.”