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Rotary names Three Fishermen Business of the Year

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Dec 28, 2020

John Browning, left, owner of Three Fishermen restaurant, receives the Rotary Business of the Year Award from Bill Thomas, past president of the North Fort Myers Rotary, during its weekly meeting Thursday at the restaurant.


Whenever a charitable organization calls Three Fishermen and its owner John Browning to ask for a donation, they rarely get no for an answer.

On Thursday, during the North Fort Myers Rotary’s weekly breakfast meeting at Three Fishermen, Browning and the restaurant were honored for their service under the most trying of circumstances by being named Business of the Year.

“It’s an honor because we have people in the Rotary who are just incredible. Every time I talk to them, I find out new connections going back in time 55 years,” Browning said. “We love having them here and being associated with such a group of people.”

The restaurant, which opened in 2010, has hosted the weekly Rotary breakfast meetings for the past eight years and, after the pandemic shut them for indoor dining temporarily, they were determined to keep their weekly commitment with the Rotary once things reopened.

“It’s not that we make a lot of money doing this, but when the pandemic came, we had to shut down and we were trying to get things started again. When they came back for breakfasts, it made me feel like there was a road out and we were going to make it,” Browning said.

Wendy Murray, president-elect at the Rotary, said with most of the membership being up in age, Browning made especially sure everyone was socially distanced and had all protocols in place.

“Everyone felt good about coming back so quickly and start engaging in all the things Rotary does,” Murray said. “It’s always great to recognize great businesses at the Rotary. We do it every year and it’s to reflect on what they did in the past year.”

Bill Thomas, past president, said 2020 has been a tough year for Rotary, as it has for virtually everybody. But they continued to fight.

“We had to cancel the golf tournament so that eliminated some funds we would have had to help others here in the community,” Thomas said. “We put a travel raffle together and it helped offset some of the lost money and allowed us to do some things this year.”

Three Fishermen is at 13021 N. Cleveland Ave., behind the Best Western hotel.

For more information, call 599-8568.