Happy New Year to all! Our hope is that 2012 will be awesome for everyone. Bob and I hosted a most wonderful New Year’s Eve party, if I do say so myself. We could not have pulled it off had it not been for the fabulous food from Alexander’s Restaurant (4077 Tamiami Trail North, 239-262-4999, AlexandersNaples.com). Our guests are still talking about the delicious beef tenderloin and the decadent, gluten-free chocolate cake. Alexander Bernard offers one of the best catering menus around, and our New Year’s Eve dinner was a success as a result.
Now the season in paradise really begins. As I was driving to and from my various errands today along U.S. 41 (a.k.a. the Tamiami Trail), I saw no fewer than seven gigantic car carriers heading south. The traffic had already “amped up” starting in October; I have a feeling the number of cars on the road doubled … today.
As you will probably be sitting in traffic on Tamiami Trail more than once during the next few months, you might take note of some changes along the way. The Covenant Church of Naples has opened a brand new sanctuary complex in North Naples—quite large and beautiful. Located across U.S. 41 from the southern portion of Pelican Bay, the church is certainly worth a drive by. A couple of new banks have appeared. Bank United has taken over the vacant building on the corner of U.S. 41 and Vanderbilt Beach Road; and a brand new Chase Bank is being built just north of Neapolitan Way on the east side of U.S. 41. The former TIB Bank has now become Capital Bank at various locations.
Some other changes worth noting along the Trail: the former Robb & Stucky has fluffed and polished itself into the new Clive | Daniel Home, and the redo is marvelous. The former Norris Furniture is now open as Norris Home Furnishings. The former Ethan Allen furniture store has been totally transformed into a new Royal Palm Real Estate office. Just a side note: Royal Palm Real Estate is opening offices throughout the area. A sign of an economy upswing?
And on the weird side, the Pure Urban Oasis restaurant in Mercato mysteriously closed without warning. And even weirder, the Byte Shop, the go-to computer store, closed its store on 41 and moved to Mercato. Within about six weeks, the Byte Shop in Mercato disappeared … and is now—just recently—back to its former location on U.S. 41.
Happy 2012 everyone; more news coming in the weeks ahead.