Refurbishing the Big John statue in Cape Coral

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Paul Dolan

A Cape Coral staple, Big John, a statue standing tall outside a restaurant, needs some work done before it can return to its former glory.

Recently, Big John is a little closer to the community members than before Hurricane Ian impacted the area.

The statue of Big John in Cape Coral. CREDIT: WINK News

Ralph Sangiovanni, the owner of Razzle Dazzle, spoke with WINK News about the restaurant.

“Big John became Little John,” Sangiovanni said.

He’s not wrong, considering the iconic 28-foot statue lost some inches from the storm.

Elmer Tabor owns the shopping plaza, Big John reigns over, and spoke with WINK News about the statue.

“With that wind moving those giant bags, he obviously ended up getting turned like this, and from moving around so much that pole came right through his head, his upper body slid,” Tabor said.

Some of the damage to the Big John statue. CREDIT: WINK News

Tabor has seen the icon go through Charley, Wilma, and Irma.

While Ian didn’t knock him down completely, Tabor knows Big John is in dire need of a facelift.

“He’s going to have to come down. We’ll end up taking him apart and taking a look at it and seeing the extent of his fiberglass damage. If it’s something that we can do locally, we’ll do that,” Tabor said.

Damage to the Big John statue. CREDIT: WINK News

But if not, Big John will take a vacation to Virginia to a farmer with his original mold so he can be reshaped back to normal.

“A lot of the old established buildings and that we had, okay, are no longer here. And so Big John is kind of like one of those holding down the ground, okay as for the history of it,” Sangiovanni said.

Either way, the plaza Tabor told WINK News, Big John will be at the plaza for years to come.

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