Literally everywhere you look in Naples there is new construction, both residential and commercial, happening, but for southeast Naples, this is truly an exciting time. It’s like the area that I’ve called home now for 15 years is finally coming into its own.
Up until about two years ago, our restaurants in southeast Naples were limited to Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Beef O’Brady’s and Cracklin’ Jacks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I love those eateries, but if we craved anything else, we had to drive to North Naples or downtown Naples for a wider selection of restaurants.
However, within the last year or two, we’ve seen a Fresh Market and an Outback Steak House join the ever-expanding commercial choices down this end of town. Favorites like Cracklin’ Jacks has now relocated to a larger venue. And I couldn’t believe it when Chili’s Bar & Grill closed up on the heavily trafficked Route 41 and opened in a new location off Collier Boulevard (aka 951). That was an awesome surprise.
Now we see building going on in Berkshire Commons and come to find out we are expecting even more eateries. Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Royal Scoop ice cream parlor will join already existing eateries, including First Watch, Subway and Naples Pizza in this popular shopping center that’s anchored by Publix and Walgreens. We’ve had a Starbucks at this center for several years, too, but it will be relocating to the new building so it can now have a drive through.
Further south, down off East Tamiami Trail, in the Shops at Hammock Cove, plans call for a half dozen new restaurants in addition to other retail establishments and even a possible hotel. The first restaurant coming to the area will be Culver’s, which currently has a location off Airport-Pulling Road, north of Pine Ridge Road.
And, at the intersection of East Tamiami Trail and Collier Boulevard, we can expect to see a drive-through Panera Bread and a Stein Mart (yes, I know that last one’s not a restaurant, but the ladies reading this will understand why I couldn’t help mentioning it!), in addition to a host of other restaurants that are slated for a section coined, “Restaurant Row.”
I’ve lived in this part of town now for 15 years and I love it for many reasons. Now I’ll have even more reasons to love it! Now if someone would just bring a state-of-the-art movie theater down our way, we’d be set!