Rumrunners, a popular south Cape Coral restaurant, closed for a week at the beginning of the year, is undergoing an extreme makeover.
Owners Will Stout and Dennis Bessey resumed operations of Rumrunners, which they opened in 2003, following the exit of the prior management group. Although they declined to divulge the amount of money they just invested into their Cape Harbour spot, it was a substantial sum, Bessey said.
“We did a six-day transformation,” Bessey said. “We changed a lot of things.”
All of the interior artwork was removed and replaced. Numerous photographs of a Rumrunner boat abound inside. The menu has been revamped. The surf-and-turf theme remains, but sushi, flatbreads, vegetarian and gluten-free items have been added. All of the restrooms now have touch-free technology. There’s a new “beach” area outside for kids. There’s a dog menu. A new “super chiller,” has been installed in the bar, Bessey said, making for some of the coldest beer in the Cape. A gift shop has been added near the front entrance. And there will be live music on an outdoor patio from 1-4 p.m. Sundays.
“We installed all new, state-of-the-art kitchen equipment,” Bessy said. “We replaced all the bathroom flooring. We bought new TVs. Everybody pulled together.”
Joe Henning is now on board as the general manager and chef. “He’s a world-class chef,” Bessey said of Henning. “He’s a seasoned professional. He brings some of the best customer service I’ve ever seen.”
About the only thing not finished there yet is the Rumrunner vessel itself. Stout owns the replica of a 1949 Rumrunner. It’s being refurbished but should return to the restaurant at 5783 Cape Harbour Drive next month.
Meanwhile, after formerly operating Rumrunners for 18 years, Chef Todd Johnson recently left to launch a new waterfront restaurant, Nosh on Naples Bay, which debuted Jan. 5 at Naples Bay Resort & Marina.