BOKEELIA, Fla.- Neighbors are furious a bar that was shut down for illegal activities is now close to getting the green light to reopen.
People who live in the area say the music was extremely loud, the crowd was unruly, and the alcohol was illegally consumed outside.
“It was miserable. Continuous music, continuous Harley’s roaring the entire time,” said neighbor David Marcheck.
Video and photos neighbors sent WINK News shows what Flatheads Roadhouse on Stringfellow Road was like before it closed in 2014.
Now Russell Smith, the owner, is asking the county to rezone the property so he can reopen the restaurant. It was once called ‘Cracker Café’ before it was leased out and turned into Flatheads.
“I was anxious to get it leased and so when they approached me about you know using the property, I didn’t ask them,” said Smith.
He says to his horror, the place turned into a big party, disrupting the Pine Island way of life. He says if rezoning is approved, this time would be different.
“People can come outside and have tea or coffee, you know, or something like that. And relax outside underneath the shade of the tree and enjoy sandwiches and muffins and pastries and all kinds of baked goods,” said Smith’s daughter, Kaitlin Allen
Allen graduated from culinary school and wants to open a bakery called Grateful Bread. Russell says he’s tried to tell his neighbors that Flatheads isn’t coming back but the neighbors say he’s never talked to them.
“They believe Flatheads is coming back but that’s not the case,” said Smith.
But neighbors don’t trust him.
“If he wants a bakery, I really hope it happens, but I don’t believe him,” said Marcheck.
A public hearing for the rezoning of the property and to allow outdoor seating will be held at 9 a.m., Wednesday, July 22.