Photo Credit: Tim Aten
Another popular come-as-you-are hangout permanently shuttered in Naples.
The Parrot Bar & Grill was evicted Wednesday after losing a Collier County court case to extend its lease another five years. Co-owners Patrick Daly and Timothy Coakley locked up for the last time Wednesday night after operating for about 11 years at Dockside Boardwalk, a rustic retail destination at 1100 6th Ave. S., near Tin City and where the Gordon River flows into Naples Bay.
“So, 11 years of hard work done. I’m out. I’m done. Shoved to the side,” Daly says.
The Lazy Parrot LLC filed suit last year against TBC Dockside LLC, the previous owners of Dockside, and then Shoppes at Dockside LLC after it purchased the center this spring, in a real property action regarding a five-year lease option. An emergency motion to stay was denied Wednesday morning and a writ of possession put Shoppes at Dockside LLC and its principals in possession of the property. According to the case’s final summary judgment, the tenant did not have a written lease agreement, court records show.
“The court case revolved around a five-year option that I thought I had,” Daly says. “I legitimately thought I had a five-year option. They were saying, ‘No, the option has already been exercised.’ The reason we’re appealing the case is because the judge threw it out. We didn’t even get to court. It was thrown out on a preliminary judgment, so I didn’t get a chance to weigh evidence or bring people in to testify.”
Dockside owners argued that The Parrot already exercised its five-year option, which did not extend the term of the lease. “Next month would have been 11 years if I had made it,” says Daly, who opened the local business in October 2010.
“We made the case and we tried to get a stay of the eviction during the appeal,” he says, but the judge did not grant a stay Wednesday. “So, I don’t think I have a chance of winning the appeal.”
The Parrot did not have an option to renew under the lease or extend the lease term, the court ruled. “There was no breach of contract committed by Shoppes at Dockside LLC and TBC Dockside LLC,” according to the final summary judgment filed Wednesday.
The 150-seat establishment with a Key West feel previously was the Pickled Parrot and the longtime CJ’s Tavern. It always has been a local hangout and had a loyal following, especially for working-class residents. The local dive bar attracted tourists and the late-night crowd of local hospitality workers. “In season, I got beat up pickup trucks parked next to Lamborghinis and Bentleys,” Daly says. “The people in this town have got to understand that the people who mow their lawns, cook their food, paint their house, they need someplace to go. They can’t afford to go down to Fifth Avenue every day.”
Naples native Kelly Phillips, a longtime patron of The Parrot, said many displaced locals are heartbroken that greed in Naples has pushed out blue-collar workers. Phillips was saddened to see the closing of a local business that supported the community with fundraisers and charity events. “The employees are the best in town and the regulars all have relationships with them,” she says. “It’s like a local ‘Cheers’ bar where everyone knows your name, a home away from home for a lot of us. I can’t tell you how many people have come through there as patrons and become friends.”
During the court proceedings, the owners of the property brought in a real estate valuation expert to testify on record. “He said to the court that The Parrot Bar and Grill’s clientele diminishes the value of your property. So, they, basically, said that the people of Naples that like to go out and have a beer and a burger on Saturday after they go to the beach are not their type of clientele,” Daly says.
“This is disgusting what they’re doing. What’s going on since COVID is the very, very rich are getting very, very richer and the small businessmen are just getting shoved to the side,” he says. “This is another case of money winning. From what I understand, the guy that owns the property now is worth $200 million. I’m worth significantly less than that.”
Ironically, Dockside Boardwalk’s new owners this year thwarted plans to demolish the mix of waterside restaurants, shops and office space in four mixed-use commercial buildings dating to 1984. The previous owner had plans to raze the property and redevelop it into condominiums. The Shoppes at Dockside LLC purchased the 22,000-square-foot property fo
“We bought this nostalgic property to rescue it from demolition,” ownership representative Clayton Coleman said at that time. “We plan to restore it and lease it to unique local businesses.” The company could not be reached for comment this week.
The owners of The Parrot are not sure about their future plans. “I’m just going to take a little time to decompress,” Daly says. “I’ve been looking at other opportunities, nothing really solid. If something good comes my way, I’ll take advantage of it. This was supposed to be my retirement. I’m 58 years old so that five-year extension would have brought me to 63 and, at the end of it, I could have sold it to somebody. They pretty much raided my 401(k).”