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New Gatorz Marinatown opens

Known for wings, tropical atmosphere and entertainment

October 25, 2011
By ANDREA GALABINSKI - , North Fort Myers Neighbor

There's a new waterfront restaurant in town, known for award-winning wings (or "wingz" as they call them), seven-day-a-week entertainment and a tropical waterfront atmosphere.

Gatorz Marinatown has just opened in Marinatown Yacht Harbour, a sister restaurant to the popular Gatorz in Port Charlotte. It is located in the former site of Harbourside Bar & Grill.

One of the owners from the Port Charlotte location, Frank Carnelli, is now also joined by new owner Jerry Steyskal in the venture.

Article Photos

The new Gatorz Marinatown has just opened, featuring famous wings, seafood and entertainment. Staff includes Corporate Chef Jose Blas, head chef Brian Nichols and servers Tiffany Davis, Kathy James, Lisa Sola and Norah Boehm.

The Gatorz concept is so popular in that northern area, Carnelli said, that opening in Marinatown can serve this area with all the food and fun they have offered since 1989 in the north. "We are so popular in Charlotte -and have won awards for Best Outdoor Bar, Best Wings 16 years in a row, Coldest Beer and Best Entertainment.

"We're also starting an early bird special this week, beginning Thursday, for $6.99 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m."

It will be offered most weekdays, except for the Tuesday and Wednesday wing special days.

He's invited the community to come try the new establishment.

"We'd like them to come, try the atmosphere, the live music and the very good food."

The Marinatown location offers them a waterfront spot in this area, he said, where his Post Charlotte formula also can be a winner.

Gatorz has joined the also recently opened Al's Tiki Bar And Grill, existing Cactus Jack's Southwest Grill and there are plans to reopen T.P. Houlihan's Pub, closer to the end of the year, which will bring the total of water view restaurants there to four.

The complex also houses several area businesses, including Paddlecreek Outfitters and its bait shop in the marina, along with a one half mile boardwalk for a relaxing, scenic stroll.

Marinatown is home to 136 boat slips at Marker 52 for boaters, so you can visit Gatorz by land or sea.

The Gatorz Restaurant offers a wide variety of menu items and specials, said Corporate Chef Jose Blas. The head chef at that location will Brian Nichols.

Besides a full menu - where you can see a tiny picture of a gator next to their most recommended, there are also daily specials. They include an all-you-can-eat barbecue on Mondays, 50-cent oysters on Thursdays, Friday an all-you-can-eat fish fry, Saturday a Prime Rib Special and an all-you-can-eat pasta special Sundays.

"Tuesday and Wednesdays are our 25 cent wing specials," Chef Blas said.

On Saturdays and Sundays there also is a Chefs Breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

"Our raw bar is also really unique," he said. "We have freshest seafood in Southwest Florida. It includes Peel and Eat Shrimp, Crab Claws (or "Clawz" as they call them) oysters and clams.

That's offered seven days a week all day.

Sliderz are also a popular menu item, very popular in The Keys and "up North," Blas said. "And all of our steaks are hand cut."

There are also Gator Bitez appetizers (served Cajun or fried). "This is the best gator you'll ever have - real gator. We also have our own homemade marinade for them."

With outdoor and indoor dining overlooking the water, there are also big screen TVs and the NFL package for games.

"Our wings are a house favorite, with 25 cent wing specials each every Tuesday and Wednesday," said Blas. "They come in nine varieties - including 'Frank's Favorite' - a sweet and spicy. "But we also mix and match for customers; customer service is what we are all about."

One new server is Kathy James of Cape Coral.

"I love the food; mussels are my favorite. I also like the fact we are on the water, the atmosphere and the people I work for."

Halloween fun

Over Halloween weekend, the new spot will offer several different costume contests - one for adults and one for dogs.

The adult costume party will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 6 to10 p.m. and the Dog Costume Party will be held Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Over the Halloween weekend, entertainment will include on Oct. 29 Joel from 1 to 5 p.m., Pro's From Dover 6 to 10 p.m., Oct. 30 Joel from 1 to 5 p.m. and Serenade from 6 to 10 p.m.

On Halloween night itself, Oct. 31 from 6 to 10 p.m., The RV Parks Show will be featured.

Parks has played in Marinatown for the last four years, known for his outrageous costumes, song parodies and general fun making. Voted Best Artist in The Keys for many years, he said, "With the RV Parks Show, every day is Halloween."

Hours for the new Gatorz Marinatown are 11 a.m. 1 a.m., seven days a week. Bands are usually 6 to 10 p.m. It is at 3440 Marinatown Lane. North Fort Myers.

For information call 599-8332



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