The Mucky Duck sign returned to Captiva 50 years after being stolen

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

In the 1970s, someone stole the sign from The Mucky Duck on Captiva. Flash forward about 50 years, and this relic was found and mailed back to the restaurant.

The Mucky Duck is a Captiva destination.

“It’s not like you’re in a restaurant, and you’re looking way out. You’re right here on the beach, and just a nice, easygoing atmosphere,” said Michele Whitner.

The line out the door before the restaurant opens its doors says it all. The Mucky Duck’s known for its fresh food and casual beach vibe.

When owner Adreas Bieri got a strange package in the mail, he was curious. Inside was a sign from another time and a letter from “Amends Maker.”

“The way it was written, it was just incredibly heartwarming, in my opinion. It was just we all just love that people had tears in their eyes when they read it,” said Bieri.

To sum it up, college-aged kids on a “Well-lubricated night” stole the sign from The Mucky Duck in the late 70s.

After seeing the devastation from Hurricane Ian, the sender, “Amends Maker,” did just that; made amends.

Letter from The Mucky Duck sign stealer.

The note reads, “It was just sooo disturbing to see video of the damage you all realized… But it was so wonderful to see the community spirit gather to raise the phoenix! In that spirit, the enclosed perhaps helps restore a piece of the past to what is now your future.”

The letter writer obviously didn’t know The Mucky Duck had some luck.

“We were blessed. And when we came up here, and we realized it was still here, that was already an incredible surprise. And then when we went inside, there was not even water, nothing. No, the drop of water came in here. And the roof, not one shingle came off the roof,” Bieri said.

It still took months to reopen. Sand piles were several feet high around the place, but thanks to a hurricane, The Mucky Duck is moving forward with a piece of the past as part of its future.

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