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Hot Spots: Keeping cool in the summer at these island hot spots

July 19, 2013
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Fort Myers Beach is one of the hottest spots in Southwest Florida to enjoy a cold brew and some rockin' live entertainment every day of the week. Although we've settled into the slower summertime swing of things out here, there are still plenty of great places to stop in, cool off, get a bite, get a drink and perhaps even take in a show.

Nervous Nellie's Crazy Waterfront Eatery

Go Bohemian and stop into Nervous Nellie's (1131 1st. St., 463-8077) for some great food and great fun. Upstairs in Ugly's Waterside Bar, enjoy happy hour all day, all night, consisting of discounted bottled domestics, drafts, house wines and well drinks.

Article Photos

SOB (Smokin’ Oyster Brewery) offers a great happy hour seven days a week, offering discounted prices on food and drinks. Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.

Also keep your eyes peeled for daily food specials. With the amount of tasty and fresh food that comes out of this kitchen, chances are you'll be stopping in twice as often. Live music can be heard daily, ranging from such solo artists as Dave Collaton, Smokin' Bill and Paul Jennings to bands like The Oysters, High Tide and Left of Center. Visit for a complete line-up.

The Mermaid Lounge and Liquors

The Mermaid Lounge and Liquors (1204 Estero Blvd., 765-9100) is a fun local spot to hang and make new friends. Enjoy happy hour Monday to Friday, from 3 to 7 p.m., which includes $1 off all domestic and imported bottles and wells.

Be sure to attend Church for $1 bloody marys every Sunday, from 9 a.m. to noon, and press your luck at the lottery with Lotto, scratch-off tickets and more.

The Mermaid just kicked off a special hospitality night, every Tuesday, from 9 p.m. to close. Show your proof of employment in The Biz and enjoy happy hour pricing.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week in both the lounge and liquor shop, so if you run out of booze during the party, you know where to go.

The Surf Club

One of our great neighborhood bars for the last several decades, the Surf Club (1167 Estero Blvd., 463-9256) offers patrons some cool drinks with a tasty hot meal.

Along with $3.25 bottled domestics, $6 Jager bombs, a regular happy hour and a chance to strike it rich in the lottery, try ordering up some beer-battered onion rings, hot wings, a pulled pork sandwich, mini sliders, a grouper sandwich, reubens, quesadillas or all of the above!

Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. every day, with $1 off all drinks. Stop by Sunday for Church, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with $1 bloody marys and margaritas, and $1 beef tacos. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Enjoy live music Wednesday evenings, featuring Mary Winner with Habitat for Harmony.

Smokin' Oyster Brewery

Looking for some of the freshest seafood around while taking in an ice-cold brew and some solid, local tunes? The Smokin' Oyster Brewery, a.k.a. S.O.B., (340 Old San Carlos Blvd., 463-FISH [3474]) offers patrons just that, along with discounted prices during happy hour seven days a week, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Enjoy lower-priced oysters, peel-and-eat shrimp and clams, along with $1 off domestic beer, wine and well drinks. Daily lunch and dinner specials are offered regularly, and live entertainment hits the stage from 6 to 10 p.m. every day.

The Lani Kai

Celebrating more than 30 years on the island, the Lani Kai (1400 Estero Blvd., 463-3111) has pretty much any type of entertainment any local or vacationer craves young or old.

It's the mecca for all things entertainment, with live music all day and night, from early afternoon to 2 in the morning. A wide range of music can be performed at any time, including classic favorites, rock, techno, acoustic melodies, tropical, reggae, you name it, it's most likely playing there.

The stage downstairs usually consists of "plugged-in" rock bands, reggae bands and DJs, and includes the regular performers of the Tropical Breeze Reggae Band, A200 and Free Spirit.

The Casablanca Lounge inside often has karaoke or soothing piano music. And the Sundeck Lounge that rests atop the roof of the resort houses lots of solo and/or acoustic acts.

Hungry? The resort also offers daily breakfast, lunch and dinner specials, and has happy hour on the Sundeck every day, too.

The Beached Whale

You can't go wrong with the Beached Whale (1249 Estero Blvd., 463-5505). It's a great place to catch a football game or hockey match and boasts happy hour Monday to Friday, from 2 to 5 p.m., featuring 99-cent drafts, $3 wells and wines, $2.50 domestics, $5 pitchers, $5.95 wings and mussels and tasty $4.95 flatbreads.

Live entertainment runs from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. throughout the week, and daily lunch and dinner specials are available. Some known rockers to hit the Beached Whale stage include Soapy Tuna, SuperBot, 10,000 Views, Torched and the Riverside Blues Band.

Rooftop seating also offers patrons the chance to enjoy a cold drink while watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. And, starting at the end of August, construction will begin to add an additional sun deck over the front parking lot area of the establishment, thereby offering a two-story deck!

The Yucatan Beach Stand

The Yucatan Beach Stand (250 Old San Carlos Blvd., 333-4FUN) is jam-packed with goodness. Enjoy a tropical flair of ambiance while taking in a cool cocktail and enjoying some live acts on the stage seven nights a week, such as Al Holland, Ira Wilkes, Small Town, Nevada Smith, Cadillac Blue or a little reggae action.

Happy hour's Monday to Friday, from 2 to 6 p.m., with $2.50 wines, wells and drafts, $3 Coronas, $4 margaritas, $5 lava nachos and $5 half-pound peel-and-eat shrimp hot or cold.

A 16-ounce, 30-degree draft beer (known as the coldest draft on the Beach) is $2.50; along with $2.75 domestic bottles, and $5 and up on calls (Absolute, Jose, Smirnoff, etc.).

The hours of this tropical hot spot are Sunday to Thursday, from 8 a.m. to midnight; and Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Virtually everything on the menu is under $20 except the ribeye, N.Y. strip, grouper dinner and king crab's legs.

The Outrigger

The tiki bar at The Outrigger Beach Resort (6200 Estero Blvd., 463-3131) is one of the calmest and most tranquil spots of the Beach. Enjoy sipping mai tais while en gaging in idle conversation or watching some live and local acts pluck some strings from the tiki bar. A few of the many performers at The Outrigger include Geo, Small Town, Endre D, Smokin' Bill and Two Hands, taking the spotlight every day but tuesday.

Two drink specials are offered each and every day, consisting of one frozen drink and one well drink. Not into a cocktail? Kick back with a draft beer, choosing from Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite or Key West Ale.

The Outrigger is the perfect beach bar to enjoy watching the sun set and the waves roll in. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

Bonita Bill's Waterfront Cafe

What a great place to have some affordable and delicious food, get a cool brew, catch some live tunes and enjoy the view of the back bay.

The Bonita Bill's staff is friendly and hospitable, and there's always something new going on over there!

Whether it's a full-on jam session or music from Two Hands, Peppermint Patti or other great groups, you're sure to have a fun time.

Feel free to come by land or sea, and don't forget, cash only or get ready to wash the dishes!

Valerie's Lounge and Liquors

Stop into Valerie's Lounge and Liquors within the Indian Creek Shopping Plaza (17264 San Carlos Blvd., 466-7788) for a great place to cool off, unwind and meet up with friends or make new ones!

The full bar offers happy hour Monday to Friday, from 3 to 7 p.m., which includes $1 off all domestic and imported bottles, wells and drafts.

Press your luck at the lottery with Lotto, scratch-off tickets and more. If you're into pressing your luck while helping a good cause, join the group for Bingo night Thursdays, starting at 6 p.m., raising funds for the Tabarrini Music Foundation. Bingo night is also held at the bar Mondays, from 2 to 5 p.m.

And, if you're looking to keep the party going after-hours, pick up a few bottles from the lounge's liquor store and get home safe to keep on rockin!

Stop in for $1 bloody marys during Church Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon, and enjoy some live entertainment Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through the summer. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Big Game Waterfront Bar and Grill

One of the newer sports bars on the island, Big Game (2200 Main St., 463-3043) hosts an array of fun nights for sports fans of all types.

Catch The Game on dozens of flatscreen TVs with the NFL Sunday Ticket, Big 10 Network, ESPN Game Plan, NASCAR, baseball and more plus free WIFI.

On the menu is an eclectic mix of culinary favorites, including hand-tossed pizzas, scrumptious sandwiches, juicy burgers and crispy French fries.

Big Game has even more action with a sand volleyball league, pool tables, corn hole, ping pong and arcade games. Come by land or water and catch all the action!

Keep in mind, there are far too many places to just list them all in this story, but if you're looking for more summer action, grab a phone book, turn to the "Restaurants," "Lounges" and "Resorts" sections, close your eyes and put your finger down because wherever it points, it's sure to land on a good time!



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