Q: I notice Porky’s website doesn’t mention the Marco Island location. Is the restaurant sold?
— Lisa, Marco Island
A: Yes. The Marco Island location of Porky’s is under new ownership and no longer affiliated with Porky’s Last Stand along Collier Boulevard in Golden Gate.
The restaurant and bar, which has operated on Marco since 1999, is dropping the “Last Stand” part of the name and will be known simply as Porky’s, said new general manager Al Landers. The original location in Golden Gate will retain the Porky’s Last Stand name.
Landers, a longtime Marco Island restaurateur, took over managing the Marco location of Porky’s on March 16 when the eatery was purchased by Bob Berkowitz, a Philadelphia restaurateur. Toni Ison, the longtime general manager of Porky’s in Marco, has transferred to the original location, Landers said, but the remainder of the staff will stay on the island.
“It’s a very loyal staff. They are amazing,” he said.
The chef and menu, including specialties such as prime rib and baby back ribs, also will remain the same. One difference will be an increase in live entertainment, which had been featured three times a week, Landers said.
“We will have entertainment mostly every night,” he said.
Porky’s occupies four units on the end of Pelican Plaza, a strip shopping center on the corner of Chalmers Drive and Bald Eagle Drive, just north of North Collier Boulevard. The 8,000-square-foot venue seats more than 200 and employs a staff of about 50, Landers said.
Of course, the addition of Landers is notable because he is an old hand at new restaurants. Over the years, the chef has started more than a dozen restaurants — most of them on Marco Island — including Big Al’s, Bimini’s Beach Club, Bucwheat’s Barbecue, Cocomo’s Grill and Stonewalls American Bistro & Cafe.
As for a new website for Porky’s, Landers said they will get around to it after season ends.
“We haven’t had time to do anything with a website,” he said. “We’re hoping to get it together soon. We just haven’t gotten to it.”
MORE LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS
■ Simply Southern BBQ restaurant closed Feb. 15, but owner/chef Mikkel Brinson continues to cater his award-winning smoked chicken, beef and pork under that name, as he did before opening his Naples restaurant in August 2011.
“We have appreciated your business during the past two years and hope to hear from you soon for your catering needs,” Brinson posted on the door of his business in Empire Plaza, 600 Goodlette-Frank Road.
■ Martinelli’s Pizzeria opened Saturday in Brooks Town Center, 10020 Coconut Road, at Three Oaks Parkway, in Estero. The new pizzeria, in the former location of Brewista Coffee House, is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Dine-in, carryout or delivery is available. 239-676-7056.
■ Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant opened March 25 off the food court at Edison Mall, 4125 Cleveland Ave., in Fort Myers. The new restaurant will seat up to 215 guests and has created 90 jobs for the Fort Myers area, according to a news release from the chain, which operates nearly 100 locations nationwide.
Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo
■ Uncle Louie G’s Italian Ices & Ice Cream is planning to open before the end of May in Berkshire Commons, 7385 Radio Road, at Santa Barbara Boulevard, in East Naples. The new shop is opening in the former Clip Bang Buzz children’s hair salon out-parcel location between Beef O’ Brady’s and Domino’s Pizza.
Uncle Louie G’s features more than 45 flavors of homemade gourmet Italian ices and more than 30 flavors of ice cream direct from Brooklyn. The New York-based chain has seven other Florida locations, including one that opened on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples in 2011. The chain also has 48 locations in New York, seven in New Jersey, and one each in Connecticut, Maryland and North Carolina.
■ Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is opening another regional location this summer. Local franchisee Little Bear Frozen Yogurt LLC has leased 1,650 square feet of retail space at the Shops at Market Square, 5100 Daniels Parkway, in south Fort Myers. The new yogurt shop is expected to open in June.
The California-based Menchie’s already has about 40 shops in Florida, including a location on Naples Boulevard in North Naples that opened in 2011.
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