Sense of Place: Bruce Barone Jr.

The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District's executive director chats about his happy place and essentials

Photos by Caronchi Photography

Bruce Barone Jr. appreciates the easy professionalism that permeates the Paradise Coast. The Connecticut native moved to Naples in 2001 and is now the executive director of the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Florida Gulf Coast University, he earned his master’s in architecture from the University of Miami and completed a course in urban retail policy through Harvard. When not working to develop the businesses along Fifth Avenue South or serving on the board of the Naples Police Department’s Do the Right Thing program, Barone spends time with his wife, Lauren, and their sons, Bruce III and Henry James. 

His Happy Place: Being with my wife and sons. There is nowhere else I’d rather be.

Dream car: Either a Land Rover Defender 110 or the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck or Lamborghini Urus.

Signature accessory: My Ray-Bans. I wear aviators and wayfarers interchangeably. I also have a Louis Vuitton wallet my wife got me for an anniversary gift, and it’s one of my favorite pieces.

Next purchase: I collect three-piece suits and have been hinting to my wife that I’d like a new Ralph Lauren tailored suit.

Guilty pleasure foods: I’m Italian so pasta and pizza are staples. I also have a sweet tooth. There is an éclair at The French on Fifth Avenue that should be illegal.

Favorite place to shop locally: Wynn’s Market

Wardrobe essentials: I’m a clotheshorse. My uniform-of-sorts has become a navy blazer, dark jeans with a sharp, crisp white or gingham shirt, and a pocket square dictated by the day. I finish it off with my Apple Watch, Warby Parker tortoise spectacles, and Monk Strap dress shoes.

Movies he’s seen more than five times: The Godfather, Tommy Boy, Goodfellas, The Dark Knight, The Matrix, and Fight Club, to name a few.

Product he can’t live without: Yves Saint Laurent cologne

Collects: I obsessively collect comic books, architectural drawings, and guitars.

Cause he’s passionate about: Special needs children. There are organizations here doing tremendous work, including United Way, the Knights of Columbus, and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.

Words to live by: “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” —Thomas Jefferson

Hidden talent: I’m a creative guy and love to draw. When I was younger, I wanted to be a cartoonist, and it’s probably one of the reasons I love architecture.

Style icons: I’m an East Coast guy and like to dress very preppy, so I look to Frank Sinatra and Don Draper. My closet is full of Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren.

Binge watches: I just recently binged the final season of Silicon Valley. Watchmen is next on my list.

Astrological sign: I’m a Leo, and I think it fits my personality. I’m a natural leader and try to keep my eye focused on the big picture. I would say I value loyalty above all.

Last great read: I read the Bible daily. My current reading list includes The Art of War by Sun Tsu and The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Text by Caroline Ridgway

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