Old staples of downtown Fort Myers return after Ian; others have to go

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Though there has been progress for some businesses, the destruction from Hurricane Ian was severe, and there are bars, restaurants, and shops in downtown Fort Myers that still can’t open their doors. Some, though, are reopening soon and ready to get back to normal.

Meghan Fitzmaurice, assistant general manager at City Tavern, has been waiting to welcome customers back since Sept. 28.

“We had four feet of water inside the building,” Fitzmaurice said. “Every piece of equipment was completely ruined.”

What Ian couldn’t ruin was her determination to reopen the downtown staple where she works. She is beyond ready to get people back in through City Tavern’s doors.

City Tavern. (Credit: WINK News)

“Oh my gosh, we miss it,” Fitzmaurice said. “We’re hoping, expecting end of January, but we hope to open sooner.”

While some in-demand downtown spots are open or getting ready to reopen, a recent local favorite had to close.

Peter’s Ice Cream and Coffee Shop. (Credit: WINK News)

Marika Weiss and her husband own Peter’s Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, but someone new recently bought 1625 Hendry St., the building where the shop moved in 18 months ago.

“Unfortunately, the owner of the building has other plans,” Weiss said. “It’s very sad. But we look forward—we do it like Americans do it.”

Looking forward means staying in business and serving customers, only somewhere else.

“I give my best that we can find a space in downtown here, to keep our customers,” Weiss said.

Weiss loves her ice cream and coffee shop, the food she makes, and her customers. Now she hopes she doesn’t lose them.

Weiss and her husband are on the hunt for a new place to serve their homemade German goodies and drinks. Hopefully, in downtown.

“We look forward and be positive,” said Weiss.

WINK News got ahold of the new owner of 1617 Hendry Street, Alessio and Sons, based out of Illinois. Right now, they don’t want to spill the beans on what’s to come for the property.

Other places like Capone’s and Cabos Cantina have opened up since the storm.

WINK News also reached out to the owner of Twisted Vine, which has been closed since the storm, but we haven’t heard back. There is, though, a permit for drywall up on the front door of the business. The Twisted Vine website says it will reopen.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.