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Area restaurants offer takeout to stay open

By Staff | Mar 25, 2020

With all restaurants in the state of Florida ordered to shut down their dining rooms due to the coronavirus pandemic, many are trying to stay afloat by offering residents who love to eat out, but can’t, the next best thing.

With takeout still allowed as of the weekend, several North Fort Myers restaurants started to offer takeout and even delivery as a way to satisfy demand for restaurant food while trying to keep staff working as much as possible.

The North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce has posted a list of those restaurants (all Chamber members) on its Facebook page.

Among those doing it as of this weekend were: Applebee’s, The Athenian Grill, Bianca’s, Daddy Dee’s, Heron’s Glen, King’s Crabhouse, Magnolia Landing, Smoke n’ Pit, Sunflower Discount Market, and the Southern Grill at the Shell Factory.

Other restaurants still open for takeout as of early Monday included Stamatis and Heavenly Pizza.

Another restaurant, Nestor’s, is on the list, but has since temporarily closed. The list is ever-changing, and just because your favorite restaurant isn’t on the list doesn’t mean they don’t offer takeout. Call ahead to be sure.

Patricia Dockery, manager of Smoke n’ Pit, said they do a lot of takeout and even has a drive-thru window. She said they are trying to service as many people as they can, even if they can’t come in.

“We have to try to support the community and our employees. They have families to feed and rent to pay,” Dockery said. “Business is down, but we’re getting some people here. We’ve had to cut back on employees and we’re trying to get everybody in as much as we can. You can’t fully staff a restaurant and not be open inside.”

Sunflower Discount Market, on Hancock Bridge Parkway, has kept its deli open for takeout and delivery, of which they do much of its lunchtime business, said owner Lisa Crawford.

“We do delivery with Grub Hub and the Bite Squad. We have implemented some safety measures, such as taping a line for people to stand behind and no indoor seating,” Crawford said. “Primarily our business is takeout, and business has not been as down as we thought it would be.”

In the larger communities, such as Herons Glen and Magnolia Landing, those restaurants have stayed open with the support of those who live in the community, who have taken it upon themselves to keep things open.

“We’re doing takeout and delivery to mostly members right now. Most of our winter residents have left, but many are still here,” said Jason Miller, food and beverage manager at Herons Glen. “We’re trying to be creative with staff, deep cleaning to keep them on the payroll, but business has declined sharply and people are limiting themselves to exposure.”

“We’re adjusting our service. We are doing takeout and delivery in the community from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are trying to support the community because we’re a little bit older and mostly retired so they don’t have the means to go out,” said Carrie Morgan, food and beverage manager at Magnolia Landing, “We also have staff that’s hourly so we want to make sure they’re taken care of. The community has taken care of us wholeheartedly.”

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