Sugarshack takes its internationally successful music business to the next level with a local restaurant, bar and live entertainment venue under construction on Old 41 Road in downtown Bonita Springs.
The new Sugarshack Downtown builds on the epic sensation of Sugarshack Sessions, a digital music series that has operated in a Bonita backyard since 2014; and its Sugarshack Music Channel, which has more than 400,000 subscribers on YouTube. Sugarshack’s timeless new venture, expected to launch in early 2024, is a collaboration with Bonita-based developer Moran Kennedy Real Estate and Brickyard Hollow Brewing Co., a craft beer brewery with nine locations in Maine.
“The key to Sugarshack Downtown is authenticity. These are community-focused people creating a special gathering spot in the heart of an authentic downtown. It will be a one-of-a-kind, must-visit destination,” said Kyle Moran, principal of Moran Kennedy, a local firm focusing on revitalizing downtown Bonita with multiple projects off Old 41.
The Sugarshack Downtown venue is being built at 10510 Childers St., the Old 41 lot just south of the century-old banyan tree across from the Riverside Park bandshell. Development of the property, which is adjacent to the Bonita Springs Historical Society, will retain the shade of heritage oaks on site and repurpose a 1941 “shack” from a former auto transmission shop into an indoor bar and the main entrance to the property. The historic retail building will be joined by open-frame structures for covered outdoor dining, a large covered exterior bar and an outdoor stage area as well as freestanding buildings for a kitchen and restrooms. The venue will have more than 270 seats.
“It’s an iconic site in the heart of a revitalized downtown,” Moran said. “And Brickyard with Sugarshack form the perfect team to create a landmark destination for all Southwest Florida.”
In addition to its signature craft brews, Brickyard Hollow is known for its artisan pizzas. Its menus also include handhelds, salads, shareables and more. Its team is dedicated to creating and operating community-focused restaurants in small towns.
“One of Brickyard Hollow’s guiding principles is community,” said Rob Bolduc, founder and chief operating officer for Brickyard Hollow Brewing’s Florida operations. “Sugarshack Downtown embodies our principle of being better together by binding the local community of Bonita Springs with a team of passionate entrepreneurs hyper-focused on bringing people together to create lasting memories.”
While Sugarshack Downtown’s lunch and dinner menus haven’t been finalized yet, expect some popular culinary items that have been served over the years at a Sugarshack Sessions Experience, the live acoustic recordings where music lovers travel from afar to be part of the exclusive events. Much the same way sugar shacks simmer sap from maple trees to make sumptuous syrup, the Sugarshack team makes modern magic by masterfully marketing music. Its new project broadens the reach that began as a hobby on a backyard deck and grew into a dream job at a full-time multimedia production company.
“We’ve always dreamt of a place that the whole community could come and gather around what we do and how we do it. We’re very excited to bring that dream to life for our 10-year anniversary,” said Eddie Kopp, Sugarshack partner, founder and director.
As Sugarshack has quietly operated for nearly a decade nearby in Bonita Springs, its future plans have mostly been kept under wraps. The local players feel it’s a good time to turn up the music.
“In so many ways downtown Bonita Springs and Sugarshack are Southwest Florida’s best-kept secrets. Over time, this project has the potential to nestle Bonita Springs amongst names like Mussel Shoals, Nashville, Memphis and Austin as special destinations for music lovers,” said Dave Alpert, Sugarshack partner and vice president of partnerships “We truly believe downtown Bonita’s future trajectory includes becoming a launchpad for emerging artists. Might sound hard to believe today but look out for what’s coming.”
For its latest venture, Sugarshack continues to follow the simple mantra on which it was founded: “Do good things with good people for good reasons.” In addition to Brickyard Hollow and Moran Kennedy, other participants in the Sugarshack Downtown collaboration include MHK Architecture, RDA Consulting Engineers and Patrick Fraley, a principal of Investment Properties Corp., all based in Naples.
“Downtown Bonita Springs is a great spot, Sugarshack Downtown is on an unbelievably great site, Brickyard Hollow runs great restaurants benefiting their local communities and Sugarshack is a great partner with a massive worldwide following,” Fraley said. “That’s a lot of greats. It really doesn’t get any better.”