Gulfshore Business Daily: September 14

FLORIDA BARS CAN REOPEN AT 50% CAPACITY STARTING TODAY

Bars in Florida will now be allowed to operate at 50% capacity beginning today, said Halsey Beshears, secretary for the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation. The state rescinded the governor’s March emergency executive order affecting the way bars can operate in the state during the coronavirus pandemic. Bars and other alcoholic beverage vendors may resume sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises provided that their operations comply with the parameters of Florida’s Phase 2 recovery plan. These vendors may operate at 50% of the facility’s indoor capacity, allow bar service to seated patrons and permit outdoor seating and service with appropriate social distancing. For more information, visit the Florida Department of Businesses & Professional Regulations.
 
 
Video courtesy of WINK News

GOV. DESANTIS BACKS PERMANENT ‘ALCOHOL TO GO’ FOR FLORIDA RESTAURANTS

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to make permanent a change that has allowed restaurants to sell carryout alcoholic beverages during the coronavirus pandemic. During a restaurant roundtable Thursday in Fort Myers, DeSantis said he will keep the policy allowing it as long as his emergency executive order remains in place, but the Legislature would have to change state law to allow it permanently. DeSantis included what he calls “alcohol to go” in a March executive order to help provide a source of revenue for restaurants, which have been forced to scale back their operations during the pandemic, WINK News reports
 

TOOJAY’S DELI PERMANENTLY CLOSES AT MERCATO IN NORTH NAPLES

TooJay’s Deli has permanently closed its North Naples restaurant in Mercato as well as four other locations in Florida as it emerged last week from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company’s debt restructuring process and implementation of a Chapter 11 reorganization plan allowed it to emerge debt-free, which it believes will provide significant financial flexibility to support its operations. Chicago-based Monroe Capital, the new owner of the 39-year-old restaurant company, is providing capital to support growth in the business going forward, according to a news release. Famous for piled-high sandwiches and made-from-scratch soups, TooJay’s opened in March 2019 in the former space of Stage Deli at Mercato, the mixed-use development at U.S. 41 North and Vanderbilt Beach Road. In addition to the North Naples restaurant, TooJay’s closed locations in Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota, Waterford Lakes and the Villages. TooJay’s, which started in West Palm Beach in 1981, still operates more than 20 locations along Florida’s east coast and in the Orlando area.
 

CREW TO HOST PANEL DISCUSSION ON FIRPTA

The Naples Fort Myers Chapter of CREW will hold a virtual CREW Power Hour from noon to 1 p.m. on Sept. 23. The event will feature a panel discussion on Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA). Panel members include Kate Rypina of CliftonLarsonAllen and Julie Lepore of FIRPTA Solutions. The panel will be moderated by Kristin Conroy of Conroy, Conroy & Durant, P.A. This event is hosted by the Naples Fort Myers Chapter of CREW, an organization dedicated to business development, leadership development, industry research and career outreach for women in the commercial real estate industry in Southwest Florida. This virtual event is complimentary and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required. Visit crewswfl.com/events to access the virtual event link.
 

Trusses flying

HEATHERWOOD CONSTRUCTION BREAKS GROUND ON SPORTS CENTER AT WILDBLUE

Heatherwood Construction Co. has begun construction on a 13,800-square-foot, state-of-art Sports Center at WildBlue. WildBlue is a 3,500-plus-acre community which features 1,100 preserve and sparkling-lake surrounded home sites located off Corkscrew Road, just east of I-75. The Sports Center includes an exercise room, an aerobics room, a pro shop, a salon and an outdoor bar on the gathering terrace. The project is led by the Bonita-Springs-based team’s senior project manager, Rafael Valdes, as well as supervised by Wade Smallwood. The Sports Center was designed by award-winning Humphrey-Rosal Architects. 
 

AVE MARIA REPORTS ANOTHER RECORD-SETTING MONTH FOR NEW HOME SALES  

Ave Maria in Collier County continues to set sales records with its best month ever, reporting 60 new home sales in August. Home sales more than doubled month over month for August and 24 new homes were reported in the first week of September, according to Cee Cee Marinelli, director of development for Ave Maria. Announcing 309 new home sales year-to-date, the master-planned community has already surpassed its total sales for the entirety of 2019. Home sales were reported from the four residential builders in Ave Maria—CC Homes, Del Webb Naples, Lennar and Pulte Homes. At its build-out, the town will include up to 11,000 residences, and 1.7 million square feet of retail, office and business park uses in its 4,000 acres. 
 

Heather Singleton

CHILD’S PATH NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Child’s Path, previously known as Collier Child Care Resources, has appointed Heather Singleton as its new executive director. Singleton has dedicated her career to early education with over 18 years of experience in the field. Prior to this appointment, Singleton served as the director of education at Child’s Path since 2019. In addition to her expertise in early education, she comes to this leadership role with 14 years of nonprofit management. Before joining the Child’s Path team, Singleton was director of Bright Beginnings Early School and served as program director and acting executive director of Gladiolus Learning and Development Center. 
 

Dr. Richard Mauer

EYE CENTERS OF FLORIDA HIRES TWO

Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Richard Mauer and board-certified optometrist Dr. Karen Ottenheimer have joined Eye Centers of Florida. Mauer recently moved to Southwest Florida from Waterloo, Iowa, where he successfully operated a private practice for over 30 years. In 2006, he launched a cosmetic business with wine-themed products that grew to international sales, and in 2008 he opened a medspa. He will see patients at Eye Center of

Dr. Karen Ottenheimer

Florida’s main clinic in Fort Myers as well as the Port Charlotte and Bonita Springs offices. He will conduct surgery at the SurgiCare surgery center in Fort Myers. Ottenheimer most recently practiced in Atlanta, Georgia, after completing numerous clinical externships in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, including Aran Eye Associates, Nova Southeastern University Eye Care Institute, and Vision Unlimited Eye Care. Ottenheimer speaks fluent Spanish and will practice full-time at Eye Center of Florida’s North Fort Myers office.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES

The Heights Foundation/The Heights hosts ‘Run The River’ poker run

The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center will host Run The River: Poker, Powerboats, Pirates and Plunder on Oct. 3. Participants will weigh anchor and navigate a charted course, stopping at five locations to pick up a playing card. Locations include Gather Restaurant; Rumrunners Restaurant; the 121-foot M/Y DRILLER, owned by Tim and Sandy Youngquist; and the 102-foot M/Y TÒ-KALÒN, owned by Dave and Cheryl Copham. The event will end at St. Charles Yacht Club, (SCYC) where participants will enjoy food and cocktails and find out who has the best poker hand. The first-place winner will receive a $2,500 cash prize. Additional prizes will be awarded second and third place, best decorated pirate vessel, best individual pirate and best pirate crew and worst poker hand. The entry fee is $1,000 per vessel including captain and three crew. Additional crew are $200 each and kids under 12 are free. A mandatory captain’s meeting will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Oct. 2. The event will support programs at The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center. For more information, visit heightsfoundation.org/pokerrun
 

Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.