Here it is, the first week of May already. So starts the “off season” here in paradise—according to some.
As the flocks of car carriers head north, we who remain are supposedly left with a long, hot, humid summer of boredom in a ghost town where the sidewalks roll up and the stores and restaurants close early … or completely. Nothing could be further from the truth, because this is the time of year when things really start to happen.
The former Registry Resort, which changed to the Naples Grande Beach Resort, has now formally taken on the stately title of Waldorf Astoria Naples, with the tastefully lighted “WA” appearing on the highest point of this local landmark.
The recently retitled Waldorf Astoria Naples (Photo: Waldorf Astoria Naples)
Not far from the hotel, St. William Catholic Church was demolished in just a day or two to make way for a wonderful new sanctuary to be ready for next season. Also demolished in record time were the Publix and nearby stores at U.S. 41 and Golden Gate Parkway, to prepare for a brand new, state-of-the-art Publix at that end of town.
The Village on Venetian Bay, a favorite venue of so many of us, has been sold to a local group of private investors. And to the north, the Promenade Shops in Bonita Springs has been sold to a separate group whose intent is to provide a breath of fresh air—and new shops—to this lovely destination.
New owners plan changes to refresh the lovely Promenade Shops in Bonita Springs.
Now as to restaurants … first, the sad news. A favorite of Bob’s and mine over the last eight years has been Naples Tomato. We were so sorry to learn of the Tomato’s closing after such a terrific run. The lasagna, the vegetarian pasta, the olive tapenade … all of it was so delicious … we will truly miss dining there.
Now the better news. Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro just finished its last week at the Pavilion Shopping Center, as owner Michael Mir and staff will be getting ready to move to their new location on Fifth Avenue South in time for next season.
Piola Pizza at the Mercato closed, but in its place will be Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar … a great addition. While Pure Urban Oasis at Mercato closed some time back, I have it on good counsel that something very exciting will be opening there sooner rather than later … more news on that front as it happens.
Above and right, tasty treats are coming to Mercato via Naples Flatbread and Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes. (Photos: above, Naples Flatbread & Wine Bar, right, Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes)
Also at Mercato will be yet another venue for Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes, located next to Chipotle Mexican Grill.
And it’s only the beginning of May… just wait!