Fort Myers Beach offers La Ola a solution to cited shipping container restaurant

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

There’s hope for a popular restaurant after they were told to leave Times Square. Fort Myers Beach came to a decision on La Ola’s temporary shipping container restaurant.

WINK News reported on Thursday that the temporary setup had to go because it’s on land susceptible to flooding.

The town says La Ola has to find a way to get their shipping container on wheels or get it out. That’s the final decision. It needs to be ‘road ready.’

Fort Myer Beach Mayor Dan Allers said that Tom Houghton, the owner of La Ola, has options, but not many. He doesn’t want this to be a “hard no” for him.

This leaves the restaurant in an interesting position because Florida does not authorize mobile bars. If La Ola is going to bring its shipping container up to code, it has to be put on wheels, but if it’s put up on wheels, it can’t serve alcohol.

Houghton is hoping the state might be able to give leniency on that law. WINK News spoke with him shortly after he spoke to the mayor.

“He told me that it wasn’t a hard no. That I needed to make the trailers road ready,” said Houghton. “I’m certain that this wasn’t the answer that I was looking for. Let’s see how this meeting goes. I think it’s a little too early to know.”

Houghton is on his way to the island to speak with town leaders about starting the permit process to mobilize the unit.

This decision could have implications down the road. It’s a message from the town to businesses saying if you are in one of these floodways or vector zones, like everything in Times Square, you’ve got to be up to the current code. There are no special exceptions.

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