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New bar/restaurant openings in Collier County!plus Big Cypress Marketplace!

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avatarUdut, Kenneth -- on Sep. 24 2008, from Golden Gate Estates, Naples, FL
Founder of this Naples site of NeighborHelp Referrals.

Info on Big Cypress Marketplace, whatever happened to Lucky's, the new Blue Monkey Bar & Grill, and Shark's Cavern!


NAPLES — Q: Has the Daily News given an update on the status of the new flea market located on U.S. 41 East and when it will open? The last news I read from your paper stated it would open the end of July or in August!

-- Bill Kearney, Naples

A: The Big Cypress Market Place will open Oct. 10 about four miles south of the intersection of Collier Boulevard and U.S. 41 East, according to Clare Ulik, spokeswoman for Basik Development, builder, owner and operator of the Market Place.

The much-anticipated business received its certificate of occupancy Friday, and about 60 to 70 percent of the shops will open Oct. 10, followed by the others in the next couple of weeks, Ulik said.

Basik Development’s tiki bar, winery and produce market will all open Oct. 10, as well as the gaming machines on the food arena’s mezzanine.

Four of its eight restaurants, Backwater Snacks, Keeker’s Watering Hole, Subway and either Taco Ardiente or Boston Street Cafe will be ready for opening day, Ulik said.

Eventual food vendors also will include Slice Pizzeria, Dano’s Frozen Yogurt, and a yet-to-be-named barbecue restaurant.

Big Cypress Market Place will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Basik plans to extend hours for the gaming parlor soon, and for the entire business during season, Ulik said.

Q: Do you know what happened to Lucky’s on 951 in the Sweetbay Plaza? I really liked that place and they closed suddenly.
  • D.C., Naples

A: Lucky’s, a sports bar and restaurant promoted as offering “a taste of Boston in Naples,” closed around March 1 with little notice. The Blue Monkey Bar & Grille opened Aug. 1 at that location in Mission Hills Shopping Center, located on the northwest corner of Vanderbilt Beach Road and Collier Boulevard.

Lucky’s was co-owned by Cliff Swain, considered one of the best racquetball players ever. After playing professionally for more than 20 years and earning six world titles, Swain “retired” after the 2006-07 season and opened the Naples sports bar.

Born and bred in the Boston area, Swain closed his business and came out of retirement this year by teaming up to win the 40-plus USA Racquetball National Doubles Championship.

The Blue Monkey Bar & Grille is owned by John Pietrangelo of Fort Myers. The menu of his 155-seat restaurant includes pizza, pasta, wings, sandwiches and salads.

On Sundays, an a-la-carte brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. includes a complimentary Bloody Mary, mimosa or draft beer with the purchase of any brunch item, such as an omelet or pancakes.

Continuing a Lucky’s tradition, the bar features live entertainment all week, including Battle of the Bands, where three of 42 bands each compete with an hour set every Tuesday night. See all the ballgames on one or more of the bar’s dozen 52-inch plasma televisions.

Restaurant update

Shark’s Cavern bar and restaurant is now open at the end of Marquesa Plaza facing Pine Ridge Road on that southeastern corner of Livingston Road. Originally set to open at the beginning of the year, the original restaurant finally had its grand opening last weekend.

“It’s like a huge weight has been lifted,” said Marie Striebel, one of the local owners, who said the new restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.

“Our chef is outstanding,” she said. “The remarks we have gotten from everybody have just been tremendous. The food is great. It’s beautifully done and it’s very good.”

The menu includes seafood, steaks and homemade pasta, bread and ice cream, Striebel said.

“The chef makes everything from scratch with fresh ingredients. No mixes,” she said.

Shark’s Cavern features shark on the menu and in a huge aquarium.

The Shark Bite Sandwich is made of thresher shark. The live shark in the nearly 3,000-gallon tank is a nurse shark. The aquarium also features puffers, parrotfish, panther grouper and queen angelfish.

The restaurant serves up entertainment, as well, including dueling pianos on Thursday, dinner music on Friday and Saturday nights and a disc jockey after 10 p.m. Saturdays.
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New bar/restaurant openings in Collier County!plus Big Cypress Marketplace! Info on Big Cypress Marketplace, whatever happened to Lucky's, the new Blue Monkey Bar & Grill, and Shark's Cavern!