Hi, everyone…and Happy 2020 to all of you. I hope it is a safe, happy, healthy & fabulous year.
Just to update you on my last “Greetings from Paradise” where I indicated that I was having some difficulty deciding whether or not to continue writing this little epistle due to circumstances surrounding a close friend of ours. Well, our friend’s situation has come to an end….not the end neither he or we wanted and were fighting for…but an end nevertheless. Life goes on…and we have to deal with the hand that we are dealt. But I HAVE decided to continue on with “Greetings” as a tribute to him….and to all of you who have been my readers for all these many years.
Since I have not written for quite some time, you all probably know more than I do. But just in case, here is what I know for sure:
Naples is still paradise and we are all SO LUCKY to be living here.
The Third Street Plaza WILL BE DEMOLISHED beginning in May to make way for the new boutique hotel….finally.
Permitting and planning for the new Naples Beach Hotel is progressing faster than expected and may start sooner rather than later (which almost NEVER happens).
The new Oakes Farms ginormous grocery & specialty store (it’s 74,000 square feet) seems to be a huge hit. Everyone I have spoken to who has been there has raved about it. Just this morning, I heard from a friend that the grocery carts are fitted with wine glass holders so you can shop & drink at the same time. The store is located at Immokalee & Livingston, the hours are from 7:00 am ro 10:00 pm and you can find out more from www.OakesFarms.com . By the way, there is a Food & Thought area within the store, an ice cream parlor and a wine bar with 32 varieties on tap.
Not such good news for those of you who have been waiting for the new Lucky’s food store to open (particularly the BRAND NEW ONE on Wiggins Pass). They will never open. In fact, Kroger’s has pulled all of Lucky’s Markets out of Florida except for one location in Melbourne.
Carolina Herrera has finally opened in Waterside Shops, as has the new men’s store, Orlebar Brown. The new 120% Lino looks pretty gorgeous in the former Hermes spot. I am waiting for the Santa Fe Cafe to finally open — they have made space there for outdoor eating with cute tables & chairs, so I have to believe it won’t be too long. What a welcome that will be for folks who need coffee and have been missing the Starbucks since they pulled out of Waterside. I have to say, the powers at be at Waterside have been pretty smart. Over the holidays and every once in a while during the week, they have provided a coffee “kiosk” right in the middle of Waterside. At the kiosk, not only could you get coffee but also little pastries and snackies to get you through the morning. Brilliant idea.
At Mercato (I love Whole Foods), Bar Tulia (yes, the same owner as the one on 5th Avenue) will be opening where the Wine Merchant used to be. Very cool. In the Pavilion Shopping Plaza, a business called J.Lee Salon Suites will be opening where Paradise Wine used to be. I am anxious to see what actually goes in and how the “suite” idea works.
As I mentioned last time, the Aielli Group had opened a fourth restaurant in Naples to join Sea Salt, Barbatella & Dorona. The new site, Grappino, located where Timeless used to be…is drawing terrific reviews from friends who have dined there. Bob and I look forward to trying it soon. Good for Ingrid & Fabrizio on their many successes….and now to this new one.
Another friend, Byron Donalds, has thrown his hat in the ring to run for Congress to take the place of Rep. Francis Rooney who is retiring. Byron is such a smart, savvy and wonderful guy. Bob and I are looking forward to supporting him in this exciting campaign.
Mystique in Pelican Bay remains kind of a mystery to many. There is a LOT of activity in and around the new condo building during the week, and with some of the condos lighted at night, it’s a very pretty sight. The mystery….at least to me…lies in the fact that the ugly green gauze is still around the building’s property and construction-type workers are still milling about the area. I wonder what they still have to do.
Bob and I are SO EXCITED as we prepare to leave next Saturday for our 5th Jazz Cruise. I have been waiting for this cruise since we disembarked from the last one a year ago. To be on a beautiful Celebrity Cruise ship for 7 days with over 100 of the world’s best jazz musicians is JUST AWESOME. The artists play every single day from 11:00 in the morning until l:30 am the following morning…..I am already starting to pack. I cannot wait.
SO — until next time — enjoy our beautiful paradise and I will be back with you soon.