A dedication ceremony Friday afternoon will honor Jeanne Harvey, a Bayshore Drive pioneer who founded The Real Macaw restaurant in East Naples more than 30 years ago.
Collier County Commissioner Penny Taylor will honor Harvey with a plaque at 3:30 p.m. Friday while formally dedicating a new public parking lot and art space at 3321 Bayshore Drive. Harvey died in March 2021, but her daughter continues to operate The Real Macaw, Harvey’s legacy Key West-style local restaurant at 3275 Bayshore Drive, just north of the new lot.
Harvey, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist, was a community trailblazer instrumental in the development and success of the Bayshore Arts District. After running hospitality ventures in Spain, the Virgin Islands and Cape Cod, she opened The Real Macaw in 1992. Her eclectic personality cultivated an equally diverse and enthusiastic clientele drawn to the escapist oasis she created to serve award-winning food and drinks.
“Those fortunate to know her found a fast friend with a kind heart, larger-than-life personality, and a knack for making every moment full of fun and laughter,” said Siobhan Cleveland, Harvey’s daughter. “This exuberance was complemented by a Brooklyn girl’s self-assuredness and strength of character that enabled her to build and sustain a beloved business for almost 30 years.”
The county’s Community Redevelopment Agency purchased the vacant lot in 2018 at the corner of Coco Avenue and Bayshore Drive to develop a public parking lot to help with the growing demand for parking along the revitalized corridor in the Bayshore Arts District. The $443,772 construction project began in December 2020 and was funded by the Bayshore Gateway Triangle Community Redevelopment Area. The Bayshore Beautification municipal service taxing district will handle future maintenance of the parking lot.
The new lot has 37 parking spaces, plus two spaces for ride-sharing vehicles. The heritage tree on the corner was preserved to provide a park-like setting for the community to enjoy with benches and Adirondack chairs. An electric car charging station will be installed this year and space exists for future public art installations.
In addition to Taylor and Cleveland, speakers at Friday’s event will include Karen Beatty, chair of the Bayshore Gateway Triangle Local Redevelopment Advisory Board.