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Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library. Photo Credit: WINK News
Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library. Photo Credit: WINK News
Lead Photo: Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library. Photo Credit: WINK News



Naples ranked No. 1 in SmartAsset’s list of “Best Places to Retire” in Florida. In its sixth annual study, New York financial technology company determined the best cities to retire in Florida by analyzing tax friendliness, availability of medical care and social opportunities for seniors. Naples was recorded with 13.6% in tax; 27.1 doctors’ offices per 1,000 people; 9.2 recreation centers per 1,000 people; 1.0 retirement centers per 1,000 people; 52.8% of seniors; and a Best Places to Retire Index of 100. For study results, methodology and interactive map, click here.


The Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library has a new home at an Edison Mall storefront in Fort Myers. No timeline or exact location has been confirmed. This weekend, the museum will be selling off a number of its items to downsize for its new location, WINK News reports. The museum took a financial hit during the pandemic and could no longer afford the rent at its Cape Coral location on Leonard Street, where it had been since 2012.


Jimmy P’s Charred Bistro relaunched this week for lunch and dinner on U.S. 41 in Bonita Springs with a new 90-seat concept for the Pepper family, known for decades for its local butcher shop and deli specializing in house-smoked, high-grade meats. “We have more entrees and shareable dishes instead of only being steakhouse-oriented. It made more sense for us. It’s a better value for the customer,” says Jimmy Pepper Jr., who added bistro to the name of his reopened restaurant in Bonita to distinguish its new menu and separate it more from his original Charred steakhouse in Naples. Charred Bistro, 25301 U.S. 41 S., is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch, and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. For more information call 239-390-0301 or go to


The Rocky Patel Cigar Lounge is coming soon to the Treehouse Rooftop Lounge at Bell Tower Shops in south Fort Myers. “What that means is that you get to enjoy a phenomenal Rocky Patel cigar while getting your best martini, whether it’s a chocolate martini or a gin martini, with great hors d’oeuvres, listening to live music,” says Nish Patel, executive vice president of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, which also operates Burn by Rocky Patel cigar lounge at Mercato in North Naples. Already a two-concept, two-story venue with the open-air Treehouse lounge upstairs and the new Roots Restaurant down, the cigar lounge partnership will add another niche targeted to open in early November. Treehouse, 13499 Bell Tower Drive, Suite E-518, is open 4 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and closed Monday and Tuesday. For more information call 239-437-3935 or go to


Escargot 41 recently expanded from the 1,500-square-foot unit where the French restaurant has operated for more than 15 years to a modern, new 2,500-square-foot space just a few steps away in the corner courtyard at Park Shore Plaza on U.S. 41 in Naples. Within the next two weeks, the larger restaurant will have its full liquor license and outdoor tables will be added around the decorative fountain in the center of the courtyard. Escargot 41, 4351 Tamiami Trail N., is open 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed Sundays. For more information call 239-793-5000 or go to Targeted to open in early 2021 in the space recently vacated by Escargot will be Crème de la Crème, a European-style cafe and bakery with French, Italian and Mediterranean specialties. 


GATES Construction has finished the construction of the Naples Estates clubhouse in south Naples. As part of the rebuild after the impact of Hurricane Irma, GATES demolished the existing hurricane-damaged clubhouse and constructed a new 31,000-square-foot facility, more than double the size of the previous one. The new clubhouse features a multi-purpose room, art room, ballroom with a stage, kitchen, dining area, billiard room, card rooms, and fitness center. Exterior amenities include shuffleboard courts, bocce ball courts, pickleball courts, a mini golf course, pet park, and Olympic style swimming pool. Design services were provided by JVB Architects.


By year’s end, Lovers Key State Park “Welcome and Discovery Center” will near completion. It will be open to the public in 2021. The structure will serve to educate and inform visitors to Lovers Key State Park. A 2,100-square-foot exhibit hall will highlight the many different habitats in the park through professionally designed interpretive and interactive displays. The large community room will give the park its first indoor space to conduct classes and programs and hold events. State-of-the-art projection and audio equipment is being installed to enhance the experience, according to a news release. The Friends of Lovers Key State Park (FOLKS) are beginning the Phase II fundraising process to complete the interior of the new Welcome and Discovery Center and are seeking donations to complete the exhibits. Exhibit Sponsorships are also available at this time. For more details, visit



Faces of HOPE mental health fundraising luncheon goes entirely virtual

HOPE Clubhouse’s annual mental health fundraising luncheon, “Faces of HOPE: Celebrating 10 Years of Growing HOPE,” has transitioned to becoming an entirely virtual event via Zoom to adhere to Centers for Disease Control & Prevention safety guidelines. It will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Oct. 19. Funds raised at the event will aid HOPE Clubhouse’s mission of providing a community of support for adults living with a mental illness and opportunities for paid employment and access to education, housing, and wellness. The event is open to the public. The program will include a welcome by Daleen O’Dell, the honorary chair, entertainment by comedian Amy Tee, messages from Clubhouse members, and recognition of the founding mothers, Judith Gardner, Sharon Harris, Carrie Lucas, and Susan Tew, in honor of the Clubhouse’s 10th anniversary. A live auction will also occur and all ticket holders will automatically be entered into a drawing for a grand prize. Tickets and sponsorships for the event are available for purchase online here.

​Free PPE equipment to be handed out in Estero

Volunteers from the Village of Estero will be handing out free personal protection equipment (PPE) to residents from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 at Goodwill Industries, 10351 Corkscrew Commons Drive, and ​Estero United Methodist Church, 8088 Lord’s Way. The PPE handout includes a reusable shopping bag filled with a U.S.-made N95 mask, a reusable mask embellished with the Village of Estero logo, and a hand sanitizer bottle. The PPE is being provided through the CARES Act and is meant to encourage mask and hand sanitizer use during the continuing COVID pandemic.

Boys & Girls Club of Collier County receives grant

Boys & Girls Club of Collier County has received a generous grant from the Women’s Foundation of Collier County. These funds will support the Club’s Junior Women of Initiative program which helps middle school girls build their self-esteem, confidence and personal awareness while building vital life skills necessary for future success. Mentors are recruited from the Women’s Foundation of Collier County and throughout the community. The selected mentors are strong and successful women who serve as role models for the girls. For more information, visit

Youth Haven awarded $45,000 grant

Youth Haven Inc. has received a $45,000 grant from the David R. Clare and Margaret C. Clare Foundation. The funds received will be used in support of its mission of protecting and empowering children and teens in Southwest Florida through comprehensive care and community collaboration. Youth Haven is Southwest Florida’s only residential shelter for boys and girls ages 6 – 19 who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or are homeless. Its programming is designed to address the trauma experienced and help them heal by providing them with innovative therapies, normalizing experiences, and therapeutic environments that assist with their healing journey. 

Mina Edison Society to host drive-through donation event for students

Mina Edison Society members are holding a drive-through event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Items such as toothpaste, body soap, shampoo, plastic dinnerware, and hygiene items are needed for Florida SouthWestern State College students. Participants can just pop the trunks of their vehicles and a team will gather the donations.  Cash donations are also accepted. Mina Edison Society’s title sponsor is Busey Bank. To learn more, visit Foundation.fsw/MinasPantry. 

Keep Lee County Beautiful marine cleanup upcoming

Keep Lee County Beautiful is holding its 27th annual marine cleanup from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 7 to fight against marine debris.  The cleanup is named “Monofilament Madness” for its focus on the monofilament fishing line which is discarded or left by careless fishermen especially in the mangrove areas. The event includes a volunteer appreciation lunch sponsored by the Galloway Family of Dealerships. This is a water-based cleanup that requires a personal watercraft for there are a limited amount of available kayaks/canoes.  The cleanup will take place at three locations:  the Mound House on Fort Myers Beach, Salty Sam’s Marina, and Bunche Beach. Click here to register and for additional details.


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