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Civic discusses proposed restaurant for Matlacha

November 14, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

At the Greater Pine Island Civic Association monthly meeting last week, two business partners made a presentation about their plan to build a new restaurant on Pine Island Road in Matlacha.

Partners John Berry and Liz Callahan presented their plan for a 150-seat restaurant located at 3948 and 3954 Pine Island Road, N.W., Matlacha. Berry owns the Ice House Pub in Punta Gorda. The proposed name of the Matlacha restaurant is The Icehouse Fish Shack.

"We took this theme of the fish shack and the fishing village of Matlacha and decided to open a fish shack restaurant selling local seafood, as local as we can be," Berry said. "We are modeling the restaurant after one of the famous fish shacks in the harbor."

Article Photos

Graphic provided

An architectural design of the proposed Icehouse Fish Shack.

The 3,700-square-foot restaurant will include 140-150 seats with 43 parking spaces and 9 boat slips. Two handicapped spaces will also be available.

"We are planning nine small retail spaces on the ground floor for local artists because that's what the whole island is about," Berry said. "When guests arrive they will ride the elevator, located inside the cistern, to the second floor restaurant."

The properties are located west of A1 Marine Service. Currently there are two dilapidated buildings on the two properties. Both will be torn down.

After the presentation questions were raised about the limited (43-space) parking for the restaurant and offered Miceli's parking as an example. Berry said the parking met Lee County requirements. Also, according to Berry, no traffic study had been conducted.

"If everything goes according to plan, construction should begin in January and the restaurant will be open for business in October 2019.

Approximately 36 people voted in favor of the restaurant and 4 voted against the plan.

The meeting was adjourned after 30 minutes so people could get home for the election results.



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