Close this search box.

Log in

Top Stories

The husband-and-wife team of Michael and Renee Caney had plenty of experience opening restaurants. On Monday, they finally opened one of their own.

Lit Coco, a Jamaican-themed restaurant, is having a three-week soft opening at 1661 Estero Boulevard, Unit 6, on Fort Myers Beach in the Key Estero Shopping Center, leading up to the grand opening June 24.

The Caneys took a decrepit and shutdown Subway sandwich shop and began gutting and renovating it about 18 months ago.

The menu has nyammins, which are appetizers, and lunch items such as coconut shrimp, jerk chicken, island barbecue wings and jerk chicken yam rolls in the $12-to-$15 range. Dinner entrees start at $19.99 for jerk chicken and go up to $35 for curry goat and Mike’s authentic ox-tail.

Lit Coco is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

“I’ve opened five restaurants for other people,” Michael Caney said. “Never one for myself.” The same held true for Renee Caney, who helped launch several Ford’s Garage restaurants in Michigan and Florida when she worked for the Kearns Restaurant Group.

Opening a restaurant on Fort Myers Beach in June these days is a lot different from when the Caneys were growing up in Cape Coral, they said. Michael Caney is a 2001 Mariner High School graduate, and Renee Caney is a 2009 Ida Baker High School graduate.

“From growing up, it’s changed drastically,” Renee Caney said. “It used to be a ghost town at this time of year. Now, it’s always busy.”

The Caneys said they wanted to diversify their business interests as they also own Luxury Vacation Rentals, which are about 50 vacation rental properties on Fort Myers Beach. Michael Caney also owns Hurricane Enterprise, a property maintenance company.

They are cross promoting Lit Coco at the vacation rental properties with discounts for people staying in them. Their hope is a future influx of more Fort Myers Beach vacationers at the Margaritaville Resort, which is under construction, will discover Lit Coco.

Caney hired longtime friend and Jamaica native Sandray Jackson as the chef. “It takes some time and effort to find the right spices and the right food,” Michael Caney said. “What we have here is all top of the line – and fresh.”

Everything is made from scratch, including the desserts, as Jackson used to be a pastry chef. “You have to have the right spices,” he said. “If you don’t have the spices from Jamaica, it’s not authentic.”

Asked about his favorite menu item, Jackson said he couldn’t answer. “When you’re a chef, there is no favorite,” he said. “Everything is special.”

More hospitality news

Copyright 2024 Gulfshore Life Media, LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent.

Don't Miss

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Please note that article corrections should be submitted for grammar or syntax issues.

If you have other concerns about the content of this article, please submit a news tip.