The tight-knit community of Marco Island has recently seen a change in ownership among a number of its local establishments. Stonewalls, Zinful Lounge, Su’s Garden and Breakfast Plus have all changed hands within the past few months. While some will stay the same and others will see significant change, they do share one common theme: All four establishments were sold to members of the Marco community.
551 South Collier Blvd., (239) 389-1995
On July 1, Tim and Kim Burke took over as the owners of Stonewalls, purchasing the establishment from its original owner, Tom Garousi. Under Garousi, Stonewalls opened its doors in December of 2010. The Burkes were involved from the very beginning, as Tim came on as Manager from day one. Tim’s experience made for a smooth transition into ownership. Much of the original staff has stayed on, including Chef Al Landers, who has created many of Stonewalls’ signature breakfast, lunch and dinner items.
“The idea behind Stonewalls is the ‘fast casual atmosphere,’ spinning off the ideas of Panera Bread or Chipotle,” explains Tim. “Nobody else on the island is doing anything like this. We offer a fast, family-friendly environment at a great price.”
“Especially for lunch,” adds Kim. “People who want to get in and out real quick and get back to work really enjoy being able to come here, sit down and have a nice meal without having to wait.”
Signature items such as their gourmet flatbreads, signature pasta dishes and giant stuffed baked potatoes have become favorites among the local scene. For those who have become accustomed to these delicious items, fear not. “The menu will basically stay the same,” explains Tim, but there will be some nice changes.“We have added booths for a more intimate setting and are working on upgrading our desserts and wine selections.”
Customers currently order at the counter and servers bring their meals to the table, but the new owners are considering adding table service during dinner hours. Regardless, the staff is always friendly and accommodating. The family-friendly feel is enhanced by the Burke’s two children, Morgan, a sophomore at Lely, and Riley, an eighth grader at Charter Middle School, who both help out around the restaurant.
The interactive menus on flat screen TVs, freshly brewed Lavazza Coffee and clean and comfortable dining area all make Stonewalls a must-stop on Marco. They are open from 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM seven days a week during the summer months and 8 AM to 9PM in season.
1089 N. Collier Blvd #439, (239) 394-0094
Zinful Lounge, known for its incredible wine selection, was recently purchased by Al Wagner, Rob Popoff and Angella Anderson. Purchased from previous owner, Kevin Donlan, the trio closed Zinful’s doors for a month to give it quite the makeover. Opening their doors on June 22, the new owners are excited to bring new wines, entertainment and decor to Marco.
With wine as Zinful’s specialty, Wagner, Popoff and Anderson hand-selected the all-new wine list which features 20 bottles held in a couvee. This wine system keeps bottles fresh longer and chilled to the right temperatures. “Customers can buy wine by the glass or by the bottle,” explains Wagner. “They can also request a particular bottle and we will order it for them to enjoy in our lounge.” The martini list has also been updated and food is available through Vandy’s, which is connected to Zinful inthe Town Center Shops of Marco.
“People really enjoy the feel. It’s a living room,” adds Wagner. “The other night, we had three women who sat and ate a quesadilla from Vandy’s and ordered a nice bottle of wine. They were here all evening, laughing and enjoying themselves.” Interior designer, Michelle Jordan of Marco gave Zinful its new “sexy, elegant” feel. “We added three love seats, a sofa and six matching chairs. Mike, also known as ‘Grandpa’ on the island, did the new stone work, and all of our blood, sweat and tears did the rest.”
Zinful will also be featuring live entertainment on Thursdays and Saturdays. Thursdays will feature a jazz night with local musician Lee Brovitz on stand-up bass accompanied by a piano player. Saturdays will feature the light rock musical stylings of Gema Pearl from 9 to 12 PM.
Zinful is now open seven days a week. Hours of operation are Sundays 7 to 12 PM, Monday through Thursday 6 to 12 PM and Fridays and Saturdays 6 PM until 2 AM. Stop in and say hi to Rob, Angella and Al, all familiar Marco Island faces now proudly serving wine, beer and cocktails in a truly unique and comfortable setting.
537 Bald Eagle Drive, (239) 394-4666
Su’s Garden Chinese Restaurant has been a Marco Island staple for over 30 years. Mrs. Su, the restaurant’s original owner recently sold her restaurant to long-time friend Jean Foley. Along with her brother and sister as business partners, Foley purchased Su’s Garden in the beginning of April.
“I have been helping Mrs. Su in season for the last four years,” explains Foley, who met Mrs. Su 16 years ago, developing a friendship after Su cateredher wedding in 1996. Foley knew it would be a smart business move as, “this is a well-established business with loyal customers. Everybody already likes the food here so we will definitely keep the original menu. All of our workers – the servers and kitchen staff have all stayed.”
In purchasing Su’s Garden, Foley and her husband hope to have less physical demands on them as when they owned their previous restaurant, Breakfast Plus. After 15 years of ownership, “I just sold Breakfast Plus at the end of June. The new owners took over on the first of July. I sold to two brothers who have been working with me, one for 11 years and the other for 8 years. They both know the business very well.” Happy to sell her business to loyal employees, Foley says she will continue to help the new owners when needed. She is also excited that her good friend, Mrs. Su, finally has the chance to retire.
“There have been a lot of rumors about Su’s Garden closing down,” adds Foley, “but that’s not going to happen.” With loyal customers, a loyal staff and delicious food, there is no doubt that Su’s Garden should be around for another 30 years. Visit them, or order take out or delivery, seven days a week, for lunch or dinner from 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM.
Don’t forget to stop by Breakfast Plus at 1035 North Collier Blvd, Suite 302 and say hello to the new owners.
With so many local establishments that are actually owned by locals, it’s a safe bet that regardless of the destination you choose, you will be greeted warmly and experience a meal or a cocktail that is sure to please your palate.