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When Franco Russo and Wayne Entsminger bought the property next door to their existing Two Meatballs in a Kitchen restaurant in Cape Coral, they wanted to call it Next Door.  

They even got as far as creating a social media page and ordering some embroidered shirts to help promote it. Then they realized another Cape Coral restaurateur beat them to the name.  

“So, we had to pivot,” Russo said. “We were just looking up online, what’s another meaning for nearby or next door? So, we came up with Stones Throw, being that it’s a stone throw away from Two Meatballs.”  

At 1339 Cape Coral Parkway in Big John’s Plaza, Stones Throw had a soft launch earlier this week and hosted its grand opening Wednesday. It’s open from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 3 to 10 p.m. weekends.  

There are 24 taps with 21 beers, a chardonnay from Oregon and two craft cocktails. That’s Not Snowflake Punch has Wicked Dolphin Crystal, coconut, pineapple and mango rums with house-made fruit punch. The Expresso Yourself Martini has a mix of J.F. Hayden’s Espresso Liqueur, Smirnoff Vanilla vodka and Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream.  

Most drinks are $10 to $14, while the menu is a mix of appetizers from $15 to $20, salads, chicken, pork, seafood and beef, with most entrees about $30. A 16-ounce Wagyu New York strip served with smashed potatoes and vegetables costs $95.  

“There’s something for everyone here,” Russo said. “You can come in and share a couple of appetizers and have a couple of drinks if you want. You can have a burger, or you can have a $95 Waygu steak.” 

Russo and Entsminger purchased the Cape Coral Two Meatballs building for $550,000 in February 2019 and $750,000 for the Stones Throw building, which was previously Backyard Beer Garden in October 2021. Hurricane Ian caused some damage and, therefore, caused some delays in opening Stones Throw.  

Russo also owns the original Two Meatballs in a Kitchen location in south Fort Myers off Daniels Parkway and Junkanoo Below Deck on Fort Myers Beach.  

“There’s a lot of good restaurants popping up in Cape Coral,” Russo said. “But I think our atmosphere, our service, the chef, our kitchen, our food sets us apart. I think that Cape Coral will appreciate it.”  

Entsminger said he was excited for their staff of about 40 employees to get going.  

“We have people in the kitchen who just care,” Entsminger said. “They’re very passionate. They care about what the food is going out. We care about what goes out. We want people to have a great experience. People are spending a lot of money to come in here. We want them to have a very positive experience, and we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen.” 

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