North Fort Myers businesses struggling

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo
Published: Updated:

Many are focused on the declining foot traffic in downtown Fort Myers because of the bridge closure, but this collection of businesses said they are struggling just as much.

The owner of Cheeks at Sunset Harbor, Sean Donnelly, said it’s always something in the restaurant business; whether it’s the bridge closure, COVID or a hurricane, they are gonna keep fighting to keep their doors open.

Blackbeard Tavern owner Andy Kralik isn’t even sure if he will break even this summer.

“You don’t have the customers; it’s coming out of my pocket,” Kralik said.

And for servers, it means less tip money.

“Lately, I get one or two tables before I leave,” said Desiree Durkee, a server at Nauti Parrot Tiki Hut. “We don’t have the customers, and we’re not really making anything.”

They know it’s been a pain to travel there, so to get people in the door, they are all offering incentives.

Blackbeards Tavern added more bands and entertainment to get people in the door, and Nauti has drink deals and fun.

“Wednesdays, we’re doing six beers for the price of five. We’ve started a few new specials. We started doing trivia on Monday nights, and then we also do poker Monday nights.”

And Cheeks has some food deals going on.

“20 for 10 on Wednesdays, so it seems to be bringing some people in, Monday, so we’re doing 50 cent shrimp today, tacos on Tuesday,” said Donnelly.

They are doing everything they can to get their customers back in the door, and don’t forget, it’s always nice to support your local businesses.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.