Le Martinique restaurant set to debut in Naples
Q: I’m sure you get this question often, but I was wondering if you had any updates on the Le Martinique property at 41 near downtown Naples. Looks like it’s been closed for a while. Are you wondering if it is for sale or for rent? —Sarah Lutey, Napoli
A: Nearly three years after the installation of its exterior signs, Le Martinique French Cuisine & Bakery is finally set to open its doors this month at 210 Ninth St. N., across from Wynn’s Market and the downtown Naples campus. from NCH Healthcare System.
Chef Henry Tesno, who co-owns the catering business with his wife, Jill, plans to launch Le Martinique this week for lunch-only at first and eventually follow with dinner service when their staff are trained.
“We plan to open for lunch for two weeks while I prepare the dinner menu. I’m doing it in phases because I don’t know how the hiring is going to go. I want to make sure I’m full for my dinner debut,” Mr. Tesno said. “We are hiring this week. I need a few more cooks. I want things to go well. »
Le Martinique took so long to get started that many people assumed the restaurant had already opened and closed over the past few years. Many local restaurateurs and realtors have asked to acquire this highly visible space on US 41 which has housed approximately 15 different restaurants over the past 50 years.
“We thought we weren’t going to open,” Mr Tesno said, noting that he and his wife were seriously injured in a car accident last year after suffering opening setbacks due to the pandemic and permission issues. “We were quite seriously injured. We could barely move.
After physical therapy, Tesnos are back on their feet, Tesno said. “I still have pain, but that won’t stop me from crossing behind that line. We are there now. Nothing stops us,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. I’m fully fired and ready to go.
They still have a few city hoops to jump through before outdoor dining is allowed, but around 100 indoor seats will be available initially. “It will be a nice and exciting atmosphere,” he said.
Billed as a French restaurant with an island twist, Martinique takes its name from the French island in the Lesser Antilles which features a mix of French and Caribbean influences. “I try to do things that are different from everyone else,” said Tesno, an honors graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, formerly in Miami. “I make my take on what I think Caribbean flair should be.”
Always keeping his menu close to his waistcoat, Mr. Tesno is not yet revealing dishes or details. The new restaurant will have bakery display cases for French breads and pastries for sale. During dinner, a pianist will play live on a Steinway grand piano which sits across from the restaurant bar at the edge of the dining room.
The Martinique digs at the corner of US 41 and Second Avenue North previously hosted Chatterbox II for a brief period and Under the Shady Palm Pub for nearly a decade. The original drive-in had carhops when it came to an A&W restaurant franchise, a Dog n Suds franchise, the Coney Island Drive Inn, and the Naples Drive-In restaurant. The drive-in awning was eventually fully closed for a series of indoor restaurants that included Mickey’s Pizza and Spaghetti House, Pete & Danny’s, Pompano Bar & Grill, The Golf Coast Grille, Le Caffe des Artistes, Le Riviera, Flambo and Wahoo’s Bar & Grill.
Pet shop gone
Q: I saw an article about the closing of a pet store in North Naples but I can’t find it anymore. —LL Luft, Naples
A: Petco permanently closed its store on Saturday, April 16 at Gateway Shoppes in North Bay, on the northwest corner of Wiggins Pass Road and US 41 in North Naples.
Initially, the pet store chain had tentative plans to move this store about 2 miles north to part of the space that Southwest Florida’s Goodwill Industries vacated last year in Springs Plaza, Florida. southeast corner of US 41 and Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. Petco is no longer coming to the 12,661 square foot space, which remains available for rent at this center operated by Woolbright Development.
The nearest Petco store remains open at 6424 Naples Blvd. north of Naples.
Best buy elsewhere
Q: I was at the Gulf Coast Town Center a few weeks ago and noticed that Best Buy was closed. When and why did it close? —Joseph
A: The last day of business was Feb. 27 for the Best Buy store at 10033 Gulf Center Drive in Gulf Coast Center. A spokesperson for the Minneapolis-based consumer electronics chain said the company chose not to renew the lease on its more than 30,000 square foot retail space in the outdoor regional mall. of the Fort Myers area.
“These are never easy decisions to make, but it’s part of our regular and ongoing store review process as leases come up for renewal,” said Kevin Flanagan, Best Buy’s external communications. “Stores in Fort Myers, Estero and Naples have always been open and there are currently no plans to close them in the future.”
Many employees from the closed store have been offered jobs to help ease staffing shortages at Best Buy’s other regional stores, which are located at Page Field Commons in Fort Myers, Coconut Point in Estero and on Naples Boulevard in north of Naples. ¦
– “Tim Aten Knows” is published weekly in the Naples Florida Weekly. Email your questions to [email protected] Follow @TimAtenKnows on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.