An Up to the Minute Snippet

Happy Memorial Day, everyone —

I hope you are all enjoying some R&R on this long holiday weekend.  In case you are wondering, we have had some much-needed rain over the last couple of weeks — the most recent courtesy of Sub-Tropical Storm Albert.  The drought the weather people kept harping about is over, everything is incredibly green and beautiful and all the little lakes & ponds are chuck full of fresh rain water.  The temperatures have been in the low 80″s and now, with the rains subsiding for a while, the weather is very pleasant here.  I saw that the Upper Midwest is dealing with 99 degree heat at the moment and I actually heard a woman say she could not wait to get back to that heat and to be away from our rain and 80 degree temps…..I did not even know what to say to that.

It’s been a little over a week since the Royal Wedding and I don’t know about you, but I am still basking in the splendor of that entire spectacle….and sorry that it is over.  I looked forward to that for months.  Bob Harden woke me up at 5 and I watched every single second of that wedding, watched the rerun….and DVR’d it so I could watch it again any time I want.  I just love weddings….but royal weddings are the BEST.  I remember when we lived in Southern California and getting up in the middle of the night to watch Diane (wearing the biggest dress every created) marry Prince Charles.  Cinderella comes to life to me each & every time a royal wedding takes place.  Sigh.  Loved it.

Okay – back to reality.  There are lots of things going on in Paradise…as per usual during this time of year.  One of the most exciting is that the boutique hotel planned for the Third Street Plaza area has FINALLY BEEN APPROVED!!!  Yippee!!  And it is going to be beautiful and a much needed addition & improvement to the area.  Double yippee!!

Now for some restaurant news:

In my last Greetings, I told you that Cibao Grille was rumored to be expanding.  I spoke to the owner and he squashed that rumor immediately.

As of next season, Alexander’s will have a full liquor license and will be able to serve any and all alcoholic beverages….no longer just wine and beer..

Preston’s Steak House — a favorite of so many for so long — has closed forever.

The Pewter Mug will be moving from its long-time location on 41 & will relocate to the former site of Naples Tomato and more recently, Fish Crazy.  I am not sure why the change of locations, but it is an interesting one.

St. Germain’s Steakhouse in Bayfront closed on 3/31 after a VERY short run.  Seth & Matt Berman, the owners of Noodles, will take over full ownership of the restaurant and open a new venue with a new name soon.  The former Roy’s in Bayfront is in the process of being taken over by a “healthy lifestyle” restaurant.  No names or timetables attached to that news.

If you have driven to RSW airport recently via Ben Hill Griffin Parkway, you may have noticed a HUGE shopping development being built just south of FGCU and called University Village.  In it, there will be three known restaurants from Naples — Skillet’s, Tacos & Tequila (their 3rd location in SW Florida) AND KC American Bistro (Keith’s 2nd location).  As you continue north on Ben Hill Griffin & approach Alico, you will see that Miromar Lakes is growing & expanding BIG TIME….the land is being cleared from the current location of Miromar Lakes all the way to Alico Road.  Amazing.

I have been at Waterside a great deal lately — either on my walks…or dining at True Food Kitchen (LOVE their guacamole)…or going to the Apple Store (my iPhone 6+ was on the verge of blowing up so I am now the proud owner of an 8+)..or shopping in general.  A new store has appeared where Calypso used to be — VINCE Contemporary Clothing.  I love Vince & own several pieces so am glad to have a stand-alone store there.  Here is something interesting — it looks like Talbot’s & Talbot’s Petites might be moving to a big spot across from Tumi Luggage and next to Mario Romano Capri.  And now Mario Romano Capri has disappeared from the Waterside Directory.  Since Talbot’s is located right next to the Apple Store, could that mean Apple might expand????  Hope so, hope so, hope so.

And now for some housekeeping items:

Vanderbilt Drive is still closed for the most part and a hot mess.

A reminder — the Ritz Carlton will be closed from June 23 to September 5.  The Ritz Gate (for Bay Colony residents) will be closed JUNE 1.  The Ritz facade will be “refreshed and restored” as will Gumbo Limbo, the Spa, the boardwalks & the Vanderbilt Ballroom.

Grace & Ken Evenstad, Naples residents and owners of Domaine Serene Vineyards in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, had their 2015 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay served at the White House State Dinner honoring French President Emmanuel Macron & his wife Brigitte.  Very cool.

Again, Happy Memorial Day!  More news as it happens.

Cheers –