1. Revising the Veterans Community Park master plan

The Marco Island Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) met Tuesday and discussed revising the Veterans Community Park 2009 master plan.

The committee members have been talking about the revision since the summer when City Council honored their budget request of $250,000.

Committee member Rich Lutz said the plan was always to develop the park into a beautiful amenity for the community, and it’s a shame that nothing has happened yet, especially since it’s been nearly a decade since the city purchased the park.

“It’s now 10 years later and we haven’t done hardly anything and I find that to be a crime,” he said. “We’ve fallen flat on our faces.”

The committee members agreed to discuss the matter with their councilors and decide on their next step at the following PRAC meeting, which is 3 p.m. April 18 in the community room, 51 Bald Eagle Drive. -- Lisa Conley/Staff

2. Chipotle open for business

At press time, Chipotle Mexican Grill was set to open its second Naples-area store Thursday in Restaurant Row on the Collier Boulevard edge of Freedom Square shopping center.

The Denver-based burrito chain opened its first area location six years ago at Mercato in North Naples. Its third location in Collier County is targeted to open later this summer in the former space of Empire China in Naples Plaza, a retail center on U.S. 41 between the first two.

The fast-casual eatery offers a simple menu of burritos, bowls, tacos and salads with a choice of barbacoa beef, pork carnitas, chicken, chorizo, steak and tofu-based sofritas.

Chipotle will share a building with Pei Wei Fresh Kitchen, targeted to open April 17. Pei Wei, an Arizona-based fast-casual chain serving Pan Asian fare, also has another area location in North Naples.

Chipotle, 6821 Collier Blvd., will operate every day 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.


3. Not Texas Roadhouse's first rodeo

Texas Roadhouse opened Monday afternoon to anchor the 7-acre strip that eventually will have as many as eight places to grab a bite.

“You know, Naples doesn’t have anything like Roadhouse – the value that you’re going to get, the portion sizes you’re going to get, and just the overall experience,” said Christopher Lampley, the owner/operator of the first Texas Roadhouse in Collier County.

“The servers line dance every hour. We’ve got the neon lights, the country music, the peanuts on the floor. It’s a good time to have dinner here. It will be a fun place for people to come enjoy a beer, a game – we’ve got plenty of TVs in the bar area. It will be a good place to have fun and definitely get fixed up with some good food.”

The Naples location is the 20th Texas Roadhouse in Florida, with the nearest location in Fort Myers.

Texas Roadhouse, 6815 Collier Blvd., is open 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 239-417-1111 or go to – Tim Aten/Staff

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