Around Town: Now that other businesses are starting or succeeding in East Naples, more needed

DONNA FIALA

It’s wonderful to see some construction taking place. The new Lowe’s on the corner of U.S. 41 and Collier Boulevard looks huge. I bet they’ll be surprised at how popular they are immediately, as people from Marco Island, East Naples and Golden Gate all stream in, as they do at Carrabba’s, one of the busiest locations in their entire system, according to employees.

Now what we need is a, drum roll, steak house! There isn’t even a single one that I know of in East Naples, but there should be. Think of all the communities that would be able to stay closer to home, as they do with Carrabba’s. Communities such as Lely Resort, Lely Golf Estates, Lely County Club Estates, Lakewood, Glades, Countryside, Foxfire, Moon Lake, Kings Lake, Queen’s Park, Riviera, Falling Waters, Windstar, Fiddler’s Creek, Eagle Creek, Naples Lakes, Glen Eagle, Naples Heritage, Verona Walk, and so many more I can’t keep up.

All of these outstanding, above average communities, added together represent thousands and thousands of homes. Why doesn’t someone see the potential? Why did Outback back out when they could see the awesome activity taking place at their own Carrabba’s in East Naples? With absolutely no impact fees on any existing building 3 years old or older, that can’t be the excuse. The money is there, as you can see by the developments mentioned above. So, come on restaurateurs... look our way!

• Just an added side note: We could use a Dairy Queen as well.

• In a previous column, I requested that anyone who might have some PBA memorabilia they might want to part with, or loan to the Collier County Museum, please contact me, and almost immediately I heard from B.J. Boe, an employee of PBA for many years whom we all loved. She has offered some of her precious memorabilia, and a few things she is willing to loan as well. Thanks B.J. It was so nice talking to you again after all these years.

• Does anyone remember the old drive-in theater in North Naples? How about the Greyhound bus station in downtown Naples? Things have sure changed. As I read about the Old Timers reunion the other day (I’m not eligible because I didn’t get here until 1974), it made me realize that I have lived here half of my life! It was very different back in those days. No mall, only 3 traffic lights in the county, very few places to shop, no Mercato or Pelican Bay and practically nothing past Pine Ridge Road. Those were different times. It still looked like a fishing village back then.

• The East Naples Kiwanis Club installed their new officers for this coming year during a banquet at the home of Steve and Gloria Sherman. The new president, Laurel Butler, was just ecstatic and nervous as a new bride. Nancy Markham, the speaker chairman, announced a line up of dynamic speakers coming to visit the club each Friday at 7:30 a.m. at IHOP on Davis Boulevard, and mentioned she would like to invite everyone to visit and enjoy. The speaker for Oct. 15 will be Joe Cox of the Children’s Museum. It’s going to be a good year! Stop by. You’ll be glad you did.

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