Friday, August 4, 2017

Sales momentum at Seaglass continues as construction progresses

BONITA SPRINGS — The Ronto Group announced sales continue to surge at the 26-floor, 120-unit Seaglass high-rise tower being built by Ronto within Bonita Bay. Sales contracts worth more than $125 million have been processed. The building is now more than 60 percent sold.
Concrete for the 20th floor has been poured and a new floor is being poured every two weeks. Construction is on schedule for completion in 12 months.
Seaglass is just 600 feet from Estero Bay, making it one of the closest to the water’s edge of the high-rises currently under construction on Southwest Florida’s Gulf coast. All new open-concept floor plans with tall ceilings take full advantage of mangrove, water, and sunset views. Ronto also is providing decorator ready residences that require additional time and investment prior to completion.
Seaglass offers new, fully-completed and ready-for-occupancy residences with designer-selected premium finishes, including flooring, paint, and trim. The space sequences and components found in the kitchens and master baths of the residences will reflect the contemporary flair found in the architectural style of the building. Each residence will come with two protected access under-building parking spaces. Private enclosed two-car garages will be available.
All available penthouse residences within Seaglass are sold. Ronto is making a limited opportunity available to purchasers of residences on the 20th through 23rd floors. In addition to selecting finishes for their new home’s flooring, cabinetry, counter tops, door hardware, plumbing fixtures, and paint colors through its innovative Finishing Touches Program, Ronto is offering homebuyers a limited opportunity to join two upper units together to create a 6,200-square-foot residence with views of the Gulf of Mexico. One expanded residence opportunity remains available. Each expanded residence comes with four protected access under-building parking spaces.
A choice selection of tower residences is available at Seaglass. Three Seaglass tower residence great room floor plans, ranging from 2,889 to 3,421 square feet under air, are priced starting at just over $1 million.
The tower residences will include dual private elevator grand foyers, large island kitchens, three bedrooms and 3.5 baths, or three bedrooms plus a den or fourth bedroom and 3.5 baths, walk-in closets in the owner’s suite, and sliders opening to multiple outdoor spaces that include a gas grill. Ten-foot ceiling heights are included per plan. Three furnished tower residence models featuring the finishes on display at the Seaglass Design Studio will be available for viewing upon completion of construction. Form More Info Click HERE 

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Fronterra - New homes, retail planned on Davis Boulevard

A new residential community is planned behind a future row of out-parcels fronting the north side of Davis Boulevard. The 37-acre property lies west of Collier Boulevard and extends north to Interstate 75.

The gated community of Fronterra will have 154 single-family homes with a resort-style pool and a lake. The new neighborhood will be built just to the east of the Saddlebrook Village and Tuscan Isle apartment complexes.
For more info on new homes in Naples check out

Friday, July 14, 2017

What interest rate do you have? It will impact your monthly payment...

Interest rates have come a long way in the last 30 years. The interest rate you secure directly impacts your monthly payment and the amount of house that you can afford if you plan to stay within a certain budget. Interest rates are at their lowest in years… If you think interest rates will rise in the future, you need to act NOW! 
Find Naples homes for sale at

Or call Mike Shoaff at 239-298-9903

Friday, July 7, 2017

Here are five reasons listing your Naples home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is currently at a 4.2-month supply, well under the 6-months needed for a normal housing market. This means, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this summer.

Also, builder's confidence in the market has hit its highest mark in over 11 years. Experts are predicting that new construction of single-family homes will ramp up this summer.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae anticipates an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007's pace. As the market continues to strengthen, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to a new low of 42 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now NOW. Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.9% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

You can also lock in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 4%right now. Rates are projected to increase in the next 12 months.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.
To find out what your Naples home is worth check out

Downtown Naples Real Estate Firm Launches New Website

Downtown Naples Real Estate Firm Launches New Website

Naples real estate firm Shoaff Properties unveils its new website NaplesHomeSearcher.Com. It features some of the finest condos and homes in Naples Florida.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kitson & Partners’ Talis Park community in North Naples announced that a selection of grand estate home sites and Showcase Estate residences is available for purchase. Luxury homebuyers continue to be captivated by Talis Park’s New Fashioned, amenity rich lifestyle that includes one of just two Greg Norman-Pete Dye designed golf courses in the world, the dining, fitness, spa, and resort-style pool at the Vyne House clubhouse, lighted tennis courts, bocce ball, and a lap pool at the community’s Sports Complex, and the Casa Cortese Grille, a lounge adjacent to the Talis Park Golf Club’s driving range that has been transformed into a sports center complete with a pool table, shuffle board, darts, and a high-tech golf simulator.

Five developer owned and two builder owned grand estate home sites are available for purchase in Talis Park’s Park’s Firenze neighborhood. Firenze is an exclusive, gated neighborhood with 13 grand estate home sites measuring more than one acre that offer long range views of multiple fairways and lakes on Talis Park’s golf course. The Firenze home sites are priced starting at $1.695 million and are close to the community’s Great Lawn and the Vyne House clubhouse. With its views and proximity to Talis Park’s amenity core, Firenze is the only neighborhood that offers both a park-like setting and immediate access to Vyne House.

Four furnished Showcase Estate residences are available for purchase in Talis Park’s Prato neighborhood. The Prato Showcase Estates take full advantage of the neighborhood’s park-like setting. With 125-by-175-foot estate home sites overlooking the fairways of Talis Park Golf Club’s 14th and 15th holes, lakes, preserves and citrus orchards, Prato offers the consummate In the Park lifestyle. The view corridor of every Prato site is uninterrupted by another residence. The Showcase Estate models range from 5,900 to 6,820 square feet under air and are priced starting at $4.495 million. No developer owned home sites remain available in Prato. Three pre-owned Prato estates are also available.

Gulfshore Homes’ furnished Dorado estate model is the second of the final four new Showcase Estate models to be completed in Prato. The Dorado, McGarvey Custom Homes’ completed Astaire model, and the still to be completed Cipriani model by M Development and the Grand Santa Barbara model by Sunwest Homes offer a final opportunity to enjoy Prato’s renowned estate living experience.

Gulfshore’s Dorado model features an interior by Lusia "Lou" Shafran, principal designer and CEO at Pacifica Interior Design in Naples. Designed by Stofft Cooney Architects, the residence offers a total of 8,862 square feet with 6,336 square feet under air. The floor plan includes an entry foyer and parlor, and a massive great room that opens to a covered terrace and an outdoor living area that will include a large conversation and dining area, a summer kitchen with an island bar, and a custom designed pool and spa. The great room flows into a large dining area and a double-island gourmet kitchen. The open concept floor plan includes a study, four bedrooms, and a four-car garage. The Dorado is offered at $4.849 million with furnishings.

McGarvey’s completed two-story furnished Astaire estate model encompasses 11,110 square feet with 6,820 square feet under air. Perfectly suited to an indoor/outdoor lifestyle, the Astaire floor plan includes an elegant foyer and living room with a see-through view, a formal dining room, a massive grand room that includes a wet bar and flows into an island kitchen and breakfast area, a study, four bedrooms, including a first-floor master suite that features a bath with his and her vanities and water closets and a private garden with an outdoor shower, a second floor VIP suite, flex room, wet bar, and covered terrace, an outdoor living area with a summer kitchen, island bar, fireplace, pool and spa, and a pair of two-car garages. The Astaire, priced at $4,695,900, showcases an interior designed and executed by Arlynn McDaniel of Freestyle Interiors. McDaniel created a fresh, updated Tuscan look for the Astaire that combines clean lines with an organic richness in the textures and fabrics of the upholstery and warm wood tones.

Sunwest’s sprawling Grand Santa Barbara estate home in Prato was designed by Herscoe Hajjar Architects and will feature an interior by Design West. The two-story design includes a total of 9,200 square feet with 5,900 square feet under air. The floor plan includes a great room, wet bar, island kitchen, and dining area that open to an immense outdoor living area with a large sitting area, summer kitchen and dining space, a pool bath, and a custom pool and spa. A master suite and two guest suites are on the first floor. The second floor is devoted to a second master suite, a covered terrace and a sun deck. Construction of the Santa Barbara is expected to be completed in May. The furnished model is priced at $4.495 million.

Scheduled for completion in June, M Development’s two-story, 6,272-square-foot under air Villa Cipriani estate model is priced at $4.7 million fully-furnished. Designed by Weber Design Group, the Villa Cipriani conveys the grandeur associated with the Prato neighborhood while offering a living environment suited to its park-like ambiance. A grand foyer and formal living room offer a see-through view of a pavered deck that includes a custom pool and spa overlooking golf course views. A formal dining room is served by a butler’s pantry. The open living room and dining room flow into a gourmet kitchen, dinette, and a family room that opens to a covered lanai with an outdoor kitchen and fireplace. A study overlooks a landscaped area at the front of the residence. The owner’s suite has a sitting area overlooking the pool and spa as well as a master bath with a walk-in shower. A guest suite is also on the first floor. A second guest suite, a junior master suite, loft, gaming area, and covered terrace are on the second floor.

The Villa Cipriani features an interior by licensed interior designers Luanza Maitland and Sydney Leigh Warren of Norris Furniture & Interiors. Their combination of natural materials and contemporary design elements gives way to the home’s warm and livable spaces. The home is elegant, yet casual, and lends itself to entertaining with its open floor plan. Outside, lush landscaping reflects the natural environment and In the Park beauty of Talis Park. The home’s exterior is white with dark shutters and dark tile roofing and includes a circular drive with a fountain in the middle. Inside, a color palette of blues, warm gray, taupe and white offer a rich finish against the wood and tile accents planned throughout the home.

In addition to the estate residences in Prato and Firenze, Talis Park’s selection of luxury residences includes penthouse-style condominiums, resort-style coach homes, terrace homes, and single-family homes are priced from the $600s into the millions.

Talis Park on Livingston Road, north of Immokalee Road. The Garden House sales center is at 16980 Livingston Road. Online at

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Want to know what the High Cost of Waiting to Buy a home is in the Naples area?  With mortgage rates and housing prices expected to increase soon, renters who delay buying a home could end up spending considerably more, according to research by


Monday, March 6, 2017

Good News For Home Owners in Golden Gate Estates - Orangetree Publix opening March 23

Published in Naples News on 3/6/17:

The long-awaited Publix supermarket in Golden Gate Estates is set to open at 7 a.m. March 23.

On average, it typically requires 40 semitrailers loaded with groceries to stock a new Publix store. That work began Wednesday as employees from other area Publix stores reported for duty to start the process, said Brian West, corporate spokesman for Publix Super Markets Inc.

“It typically takes us about three weeks to get the stores stocked,” West said. “It’s a lot of folks. There are a ton of people scrambling throughout the store. It’s a lot of busy work. They’re there with a mission.”

Once the shelves are fully stocked, the final food items to be put into place will be the produce on the afternoon before the store opens, West said.

Although the new store is about 46,000 square feet, it’s roughly 20,000 square feet smaller than the nearest Publix — the nearly 68,000-square-foot store that has operated since November 2001 in the Shoppes at Pebblebrooke at Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard.

“That’s a big store,” West said of the Pebblebrooke location, noting that the grocer’s largest stores used to be built with a footprint of 65,000 square feet but now are topping out at about 56,000 square feet.

The Publix in the new Neighborhood Shoppes at Orangetree on the corner of Immokalee Road and Randall Boulevard is actually slightly larger than the company’s average 45,000-square-foot store now and employs 140 to 145.

“This store will have all the bells and whistles and look like our latest offering,” West said, noting that it will include a soup bar and some different offerings not available yet at most other stores. “Most customers are going to be hard-pressed to look for an item" the store doesn’t have.

The new store will open on a Thursday — the day of the week the Lakeland-based grocery chain usually launches stores in this region — after a brief ribbon-cutting, followed by a day of giveaways and product sampling opportunities, West said.

“We don’t typically do a lot of fanfare,” he said. “It’s really all about the customer. We want to celebrate with them. It’s their store.”

And the folks in Golden Gate Estates have been waiting for years for their store. Some still refuse to believe it is really opening until it actually opens.

A year ago the store announced plans to open last fall, but West cited a lack of water service for keeping the newly built store offline for another four months, resulting in a major loss of revenue anticipated during season. Orange Tree Utility Co. blamed Publix for not adhering to a utility checklist.

But that’s water over the dam. As of last Wednesday, the Collier County Water-Sewer District is the owner of the water and wastewater systems for Orangetree communities.

“It’s resolved at this point. We’ve been able to coordinate with the county and get the (water) pressure we need,” West said. “We are very, very, very excited to get this one open.”

In addition to Publix, the nearly 10-acre Neighborhood Shoppes at Orangetree will include a CVS pharmacy, a Publix Liquors store, a Chinese restaurant, a nail salon and another freestanding business that has yet to be finalized.

The liquor store next to the grocery store will not launch the same day as Publix, West said.

“We don’t have an opening date yet for the liquor store, but we will have one there,” he said.

The other businesses are still months away from opening. CVS plans to begin construction of its building on the 2-acre hard corner in the second half of the year for a store opening in 2018, said Mike DeAngelis, senior director of corporate communications for CVS Health.

The western end of the Publix strip will be anchored by a Chinese restaurant operated by Jack Lin, who also owns China King in the Publix-anchored Brooks Village shopping center at Pine Ridge Road and Collier Boulevard. Because Lin estimates it will take him four months to complete his new restaurant in Orangetree, July will be the earliest he’ll open China Palace, which is what he’s now planning to name it now.

Between Publix Liquors and China Palace, Diamond Nails salon also is expected to open this summer.

“It will take at least three months to get my shop ready to open,” said co-owner Vinny Le, whose family owns six other nail salons in Collier County.

To find homes for sale in the Golden Gate Estates area visit:

Or Call Naples Top Real Estate Agent Michael Shoaff at 239-298-9903 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Clive Daniel installs interiors for Berson custom home located in Park Shore

naples fl - park shore home for sale
Park Shore Homes

Clive Daniel Home has installed total interiors for a Berson Development custom home at 4141 Belair Lane in the Park Shore neighborhood of Naples. The home is for sale priced at $3.275 million, furnished.

With 4,124 square feet under air, this single- story home provides the ultimate in lifestyle and architecture, with exquisite furnishings and accessories. This residence features a gathering room, dining room, family room, study and gourmet kitchen. The master suite includes a spa-like bathroom and exceptional dressing room. There are three large guests rooms and 4.5 total baths, enhanced by unique tile designs in backsplashes.

Added Linda Berson of Premiere Plus Realty, "This new-fashioned Neapolitan home is a modern magic, fine-tuned dream retreat providing Park Shore beach life in motion, connection without congestion. Uncompromising quality, dramatic finishes, textured tiles, elongated shapes, distressed gray wood floors, crème-sickle couture windows – all dripping in architectural trim – create a cool luxury vibe of elegance and warmth with a hit of joy. If you are looking for the picture-perfect home that has the fit and flair that spells panache … this Berson-Clive Daniel collaboration is a must see.”

Interior designers Wilfredo Emanuel and Rhett Josey of Clive Daniel Home have channeled the spirit of coastal ease and freshness with their contemporary spin and a splash of the unexpected. Striking furnishings, window treatments, lighting jewelry and accessories are delivered head-to-toe in tan, sand and cappuccino shades. Metallic hues in champagne, gold and platinum and color pop satin fabrics with attitude.

Developer Buz Berson is continuing the family tradition begun by his father, contractor Harold Berson, who built fine homes in Port Royal and other areas in Naples, beginning in 1955.
The 85,000-square-foot Clive Daniel Home is at 2777 U.S. 41 N. in Naples. A second Clive Daniel Home is in Boca Raton, Florida.

For more information on this Naples Park Shore Home and to see other Park Shore Homes for sale please visit:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Top 5 things to do this weekend in Naples FL

For those that are visiting Naples and looking for something to do this weekend here are the Top 5 from Naples News. 

#5: Bark-A-Que
Help raise funds to pair a veteran with a life-changing medical service dog Saturday at North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livingston Road, North Naples. Starting at 11 a.m., visitors can enjoy barbecue, a silent auction and live music from local artists Joe Bachman & The Tailgaters and Nessa Bransan — a fundraising event benefiting Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. Money goes toward raising and training the dogs for veterans, first responders and others in need. Visit for more information.

For more information on home sales in North Naples Check out my site at:
#4: Ink Fest
Thinking of getting a tattoo? More than 200 artists will converge this weekend as the Ink Life Tour returns to Fort Myers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe Street. Doors open at noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday with performances from bands throughout the weekend, including Suicide Tendencies, Cracker and Matisyahu. Tickets cost $25 for the day or $40 for the weekend, with VIP packages available. Visit for more information.
#3: Naples Children's Business Fair
north naples home sales

Meet Naples' future entrepreneurs from from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday during the Naples Children's Business Fair at Mercato, 9132 Strada Place, North Naples. Children ages 6 to 17 will create a product or service, develop a brand, build a marketing strategy and then open for customers at this one-day marketplace. The young business owners will compete for a $50 cash prize. Admission to the fair is free, while participants pay a $10 fee. Visit for more information and to register.
#2: Cornerstone Strawberry & Music Festival
For three days, Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 8200 Immokalee Road, North Naples, will host its ninth annual, family-friendly Strawberry & Music Festival. Find fair rides, craft booths, music and, of course, plenty of strawberries from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. A $10 parking fee is good for all three days. Visit for more information.
#1: Naples Craft Beer Fest
Celebrate the art of craft beer from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Bayfront in Naples, located northeast of Goodlette-Frank Road and U.S. 41. For $55 per person, beer fans can taste creations from breweries across the country paired with food offerings from local chefs. Or, for $35, skip the beer and sample the food. The chefs will compete for a People's Choice award for the best pairing, while brewers will vie for the Brewer's Choice Award. Proceeds will go to the Naples North Rotary Club. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

To find the latest Condo Sales in Bayfront check out:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


BayFront of Naples 


Come join us for cocktails and appetizers and learn about the project! 
Call Mike Shoaff at 239-298-9903 to  RSVP.

Available Residences Starting At $995,000 Up To 1.3m +

Bayfront Condo Sales

Find more condo sales in BayFront at

When you're ready to start your search for your dream home in Naples Florida contact Mike Shoaff @ RE/MAX - Voted Top 10 Realtors in Naples, Fl

Collier County ranked No. 6 on a national list of the "Best Places to Get a Mortgage."

SmartAsset, a New York financial technology firm, did the study and rankings, based on four factors:
·         overall borrowing costs;
·       -   ease of securing a mortgage;
·        -  cheap property taxes;
·         - low annual mortgage payments.

It was the third year for the study.

"This is the first time Collier County has made the national Top 10. However, this is the third year in a row they have ranked in the Top 10 for Florida," said A.J. Smith, personal finance expert and vice president of content at SmartAsset.

Collier ranked eighth in Florida in 2016 and fourth in both 2015 and this year.
"Collier County's ranking was likely helped by the fact that they outperformed the national averages in each of the study's categories," Smith said.
SmartAsset bases its rankings on $200,000 loan after a 20 percent down payment, Smith said.
SmartAsset looks at expected costs over the first five years of the mortgage.
The ease of getting a mortgage is determined by comparing the ratio of mortgage applications to mortgage originations in each county.
Annual mortgage payments are based on the average mortgage rates in each county.
Based on those criteria Collier County had a loan funding rate of more than 61 percent, five-year borrowing costs of $77,755, annual property taxes of $9,920 and an annual mortgage payment of $14,639.
With home prices rising, Collier County has a shortage of homes under $300,000, so the quoted costs for a mortgage and property taxes might differ widely from the information generated by SmartAsset.  Also, the county sees a lot of cash buyers.
Florida counties were well-represented on this year's list:
» Sumter County is the top-ranked spot to get a mortgage in the U.S., beating the national averages in every category.
» Three Panhandle counties are in the top 10 nationally: Walton, second; Okaloosa, fourth; and Santa Rosa, eighth.
» Indian River County cracked the national list at No. 10.
Lee County ranked 15th in Florida and 32nd in the U.S.
More information on the study can be found at


Rank     County                     Loan funding    5-year borrowing    Property tax    Annual mortgage                                                                      rate                         costs                                           payment
1         Sumter, Fla.                 71.58%                 $77,755               $12,615            $14,639
2         Walton, Fla.                 60.97%                 $77,755                $ 7,156            $14,639
3         Jackson, Mo.               65.05%                 $76,189               $18,131            $14,857
4         Okaloosa, Fla.             61.75%                 $77,755                $ 9,665            $14,639
5         San Mateo, Calif.         67.92%               $77,171                  $ 9,085            $14,688
6         Collier, Fla.                  61.31%                $77,755                  $ 9,920            $14,639                  
7         San Francisco, Calif.   66.61%                $77,171                  $ 8,842            $14,688
8         Santa Rosa, Fla.         60.67%                $77,755                  $10,213            $14,639
9         Washington, Ore.        67.35%               $76,700                   $15,292            $14,830 
10       Indian River                 62.36%               $77,755                   $11,749            $14,639
           Nationwide                  57.89%               $77,762                   $13,744            $14,808
Source: SmartAsset
Search for your Naples Home or Condo visit:

Monday, February 27, 2017

Fort Myers vs. Naples: Whose Nightlife Is Better?

Were in Southwest Florida we tend to stick close to home when it comes to a night out. Naples people stay in Naples. Fort Myers people stay in Fort Myers. This creates a certain rivalry between the two. You’re either a Fort Myers person or a Naples person. So that got us thinking: Putting all allegiances aside, where is the best nightlife, exactly?
We dispatched two writers to answer that question. Stephanie Davis is known as the Downtown Diva in Fort Myers. Senior Editor Justin Paprocki haunts Mercato, Third Street South and everything in between. The catch: Neither really visits the other city that often.
So, we sent the two on a night out in each city. Here’s what they found.


A night out in Naples feels a little different from a night out in a lot of other cities. Afterall, there aren’t that many places where you can play luxury car bingo on an otherwise low-key November night. (Lamborghini? Got it. Porsche? Got it. Bentley? Bingo!) But don’t get too wrapped up in stereotypes. Yes, there’s a lot of wealth here. Yes, it gets flaunted. But look beyond the glitz and glam and you’ll find some great little bars and eateries that will make for an excellent night out.
For our nightlife adventure, we planned on hopping around a bit in Naples. Unfortunately, the hot spots are spread fairly far apart. Alas—if you’re barhopping in Naples, best to bring a DD (or download the Uber app).

Blue Martini, Mercato

JP: We started the night at Blue Martini because of its great happy hour. It’s half off all drinks from 4-8 p.m. daily. We got there and the dinner crowd had hogged the back patio. Luckily, the bar area was fairly free. The feel is definitely lounge-like—low lighting and an extensive cocktail list. Later on, it would be crowded—which is great if you’re single and looking to mingle. Neither of us is in that particular demographic anymore, so we scooted before the band started on the stage right behind the bar.
The nice thing about Mercato is that if you’re not into the scene in one bar, another is just steps away. Burn by Rocky Patel is a cigar bar with a great cocktail menu. TAPS is a nice place for craft beer and apps. The list goes on. Just be prepared to struggle to find parking, especially in season.
SD: I’ve been to Mercato two or three times since it opened, and while I enjoy the variety, I can never completely forget the fact that, technically, I’m visiting a shopping center. Not only that, if you’ve got a million dollars (give or take), you can actually live at Mercato. It’s like a manufactured town with a parking garage. That said, if I lived there, I’d never leave. I’d wake up at noon, slip down to one of the eateries under my condo for mimosas, then get my nails done at the salon, do some shopping, then go to happy hour, dinner, the movies, dancing, and then get back on the elevator to go to bed. My liver and my wallet would likely take a beating, but it could be a fun change of pace. During our recent visit, Blue Martini was a fine spot to start the evening, and since it was early-ish, there was an older demographic enjoying the half-price happy hour. Even at 6 p.m., the atmosphere was festive.

Paradise Wine, Paragon Pavilion

JP: Across the way from Mercato is another burgeoning hot spot. Paradise Wine just opened a little more than a year ago and right alongside came Inca’s Kitchen and Tacos & Tequila. It’s a great spot to grab dinner at one place then a drink at another.
What makes Paradise Wine unique is its setup. It’s a bar with a full-scale wine shop inside. Pick out a wine and the bartender will open it for you without a corkage fee. The vibe is laid-back. Most people were gathered outside this night, relaxing on the comfy sofas and chairs. Inside, The Mark Vee Band was playing and couples were up dancing. We chose to sit outside at the bar for a glass of wine but could have easily grabbed a table inside to watch the festivities.
SD: Not only can you drink, you can shop for wine, beer and liquor—Paradise Wine sounded like paradise, indeed! This was my first visit, and although it too was in a shopping center/strip mall, I warmed to it fairly fast. I found more variety in the clientele than at Blue Martini—I saw a couple with a stroller, some more mature folks, some younger ladies enjoying a girl’s night out. Paradise Wine felt like the perfect little neighborhood wine bar—plus, the menu featuring small plates looked yummy.
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RipTide Brewing, 987 Third Ave. N.

JP: Southwest Florida is experiencing a craft beer boom. By our count, there are 16 craft breweries in Lee and Collier counties. RipTide, tucked off a side street in Naples, opened a little more than a year ago. You’d probably pass it on your way to Third Street South or Fifth Avenue South. But our photographer for the evening, Reagan Rule, suggested we give it a shot. It was a great surprise. Walk in and the first thing you notice (aside from the large silver drums used for brewing) is the crowd. It’s a young crowd. And that’s not “Naples young” (meaning 40s and 50s) but “young young” (meaning 20s and 30s). I got a 16-ounce glass of the Rip Tide Paddlepuss Blonde Ale. Not only refreshing, it was also only $5. A steal. After some time at the bar, we wandered out back and watched a game of cornhole under the clear night sky.
SD: We found the millennials of Naples—and they’re at RipTide Brewing (also in a strip mall, sigh). Finally, man buns and handlebar mustaches—a nice change of scenery. I’m not a beer drinker (like, ever), so the bartender asked me if I like coffee—which I do—so she hooked me up with a glass of their house-brewed “Totch” Brown, which tasted like a chocolate/coffee milkshake. It was not only delicious but also kept me from ordering a very unhip Diet Coke. RipTide was a bit brightly lit for my tastes, but when you’re in your 20s, lighting isn’t something to be overly concerned with. I’ll bet this place will be hopping (Get it? I know, I’m old) around spring break.
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Bar Tulia, 462 Fifth Ave. S.

JP: No trip to experience nightlife in Naples is complete without a walk along Fifth Avenue South. So many bars, so little time. Usually, streets are packed with locals and tourists popping in and out of establishments or grabbing a drink on the outdoor patios. We ended up in Bar Tulia, which has a great reputation for cocktails. I had the Basilica—bourbon, Aperol, Carpano Antica with a burnt orange peel. I usually don’t go for orange-y flavors, but this one was rich and smooth and hit the spot.
The room itself is small and narrow, but featured a good energy. Young and old, lots of couples and small groups of friends. Some were eating, but this is the type of place I’d go for a cocktail after dinner—perhaps at the neighboring Osteria Tulia.
SD: I’m a big fan of Fifth Avenue South and sometimes wish there were a high-speed train that could transport me from downtown Fort Myers to downtown Naples for variety’s sake. I do love the twinkly lights, the shiny cars and the chance of stumbling onto a fashion shoot for a glossy magazine. Fifth is posh—and most refreshing of all, there are no strip malls. Bar Tulia was a delight—filled to the brim with folks of all ages chatting, laughing, eating and drinking. And speaking of drinks, cocktails are truly an art at Bar Tulia. The bar menu was fancy/rustic/hip—think fried pig ears, Wisconsin cheese curds and octopus carpaccio. Me? I went for a nice, normal cheese pizza.
Final thoughts
SD: I’ve ventured to Naples for nightlife a handful of times over the years, and every time I do, it’s like going to a different country. It’s definitely a tale of two cities; just an hour apart, but socially so different. But, I don’t mean that like it’s a bad thing. I think most of us feel at our comfiest when we’re wining and dining close to home in our own neighborhoods, where we’ll likely run into friends and the bartender knows our name. In Naples, unless you stick to Mercato or Olde Naples Fifth Avenue South or Third Street South, you’re going to end up driving around. So if, like me, that is decidedly not your thing, I recommend getting a hotel for the night and making a mini-weekend of Naples nightlife. And if you intend to drink (especially those deliciously strong mixes at Bar Tulia), cab it or Uber it—that way, you can relax and enjoy all the variety that Naples has to offer.

Fort Myers

There was a time—not so long ago—when downtown Fort Myers was so dull that you could practically see tumbleweeds blowing down First Street. In the mid-’90s, there were a couple of dive bars, two or three restaurants that catered to lawyers who lunch, very limited retail space and barely a pinch of culture. For most folks in Lee County, the only reason to venture downtown was for a court appearance, and that’s rarely a positive experience. But, it all changed in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when developers and entrepreneurs saw potential in some of the 100-year-old buildings, Florida Repertory Theatre made its home in the Arcade, and the City of Fort Myers invested in beautifying the River District. These days, there’s a sparkling nightlife scene that draws the happy-hour crowds and the late-night revelers. Friday nights are particularly festive, as each Friday of the month is an event—Art Walk, Music Walk, Mystery Walk and even Pet Walk (basically happy hour for dogs). Keep in mind, though, on most Friday nights, some streets in the neighborhood are blocked off for bands and vendors, so parking can be a hassle. So, we met outside of downtown and took the free River District trolley (score one for Fort Myers—public transportation).

The Bacchus Room at Prime De Leon, 33 Patio De Leon

SD: When the owners of Spirits of Bacchus lost their original space at the corner of Bay and Hendry streets last summer, most thought it would be the end to one of downtown’s longtime favorite watering holes. But you can’t keep a good bar down, so with the same employees and Cheers-like atmosphere, it moved up to the second floor of the Prime De Leon restaurant. With a cozy inside bar and an expansive outdoor balcony bar, it offers the perfect views for people-watching or enjoying a band playing in the patio. It was so busy on the balcony the night that we were there that our biggest challenge was finding a table. Luckily, we did, and enjoyed cocktails and a great post-sunset view.
JP: This was a good place to start. The streets were starting to get crowded from Music Walk, so up top was a nice way to look down on all the festivities. Pretty nice when you can kick back on a rooftop bar and still enjoy the music from down below. Oh, and four drinks cost only $26. I do live in a state of sticker shock down in Naples when it comes to prices. Naples has its spots, but overall, I feel like a night out in Fort Myers is a better fit if you’re on a tight budget.

The Barrel Room at Twisted Vine Bistro, 2214 Bay St.

SD: We strolled through the crowds about a block away to the Sky Bar in an effort to get a view of the river, but it was packed—no place to sit and not even enough floor space to stand. So we exited stage left to the Barrel Room next door. The Barrel Room is a welcome new addition to the River District with live jazz and blues, an extensive cocktail list, and food that you can either order off the house menu or from The Twisted Vine next door. There was a $5 cover for the band, but we ventured in and enjoyed a bite to eat and cocktails in a relatively quiet atmosphere. A nice break from all the hubbub in the streets.
JP: Barrel Room was small but a great place to hear a jazz combo. The room was fairly narrow, bringing your attention to the stage. The crowd appeared to be there for the show. There was some small talk, but it didn’t drown out the band. By the way, this was real jazz with long stretches of improvisation—not the soft R & B or Motown covers that sometimes get passed off as jazz around here.

The 86 Room, 22 Patio De Leon

SD: A visit to The 86 Room feels like stepping back in time to the Fort Myers of the 1920s with its speakeasy vibe, silent movies projected onto one wall, and vintage cocktails like the Sidecar, the Bees Knees, the Pimm’s Cup and more. A favorite of neighborhood residents, hipsters and theater folk, The 86 Room really gets going as the night wears on—an excellent spot for a tasty, old-fashioned nightcap.
JP: I sat on a piano stool and looked over a menu consisting of mint juleps, old-fashioneds and similar classics. The 86 Room went all in for the retro vibe. It could have been tacky, but I thought their attention to detail made it work—from the bartender’s throwback look to the funky chandeliers. I could have spent the evening just watching the silent movies projected high on the wall. But it’s hard to sit still in Fort Myers for that long.

World Famous Cigar Bar, 1502 Hendry St.

SD: Hoping to squeeze in one last stop, we popped into one of my favorite old haunts, the Cigar Bar, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary downtown (there are also newer locations at Gulf Coast Town Center and in Cape Coral). The bar is smoke-filled and masculine, with heavy leather furniture and animal heads mounted on the wall. The ultimate man cave, the Cigar Bar is warm and welcoming, and just as you order your drink, you realize that the last trolley runs at 11 p.m. and you’re about to turn into a pumpkin. We darted out, grabbed Reagan, and miraculously hopped on the last trolley out of downtown. As usual, a Friday night in the River District is never dull.
JP: I wish we could have spent more time here. It was a laid-back bar without a lot of stuffiness. I could imagine myself living in downtown Fort Myers and making this my neighborhood bar, as my companion for the evening once had.
Final thoughts
JP: Fort Myers does have a totally different feel compared to its neighbor down south. But that’s not Naples’ fault. Fort Myers has history behind it. It makes for a different night out when the streets are brick and the buildings have 100 years of stories in them. I enjoyed Fort Myers for its eclectic crowd and diverse bar scene. If you don’t mind a crowd, Music Walk or Art Walk would be a great time to go to really gauge what Fort Myers is all about. There’s little pretense here. I felt comfortable in just about any bar—as long as we could find seats—dressed fairly casually. In the end, it’s hard to say which is better. It just matters what your taste is—or what type of fun you’re looking to have. I live in north Naples, so either end of Southwest Florida is fairly accessible. I can easily see myself replicating this little experiment every month. With two short drives, I can have two totally different nights out. Perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky.
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