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Traditions on the Beach makes dining out entertaining

July 29, 2011
Shannen Hayes - Editor ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Having the right dinner music is just as important as the meal. At Traditions on the Beach, dinner guests can experience the best of both worlds palate-pleasing food commingled in a supper club ambience.

"We want people to not only have a meal, but have an experience," said Andrea Mucciga, food and beverage director of the newly renovated restaurant inside the historic Island Inn.

When Mucciga made Traditions his new home last year, a perfect spot for his Mediterranean cuisine combined with a spectacular view of the Gulf, he brought along veteran piano man Joe McCormick as entertainment director. The duo has been delighting island diners with mouth-watering food and spirited entertainment since Mucciga opened his four-star restaurant Dolce Vita more than a decade ago.

Article Photos

Joe McCormick, Entertainment Director

McCormick is no novice to the island's music scene. He began providing entertainment at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island some 25 years ago. While McCormick tickles the ivories Wednesdays through Saturdays, the sensational Barbara Smith and the marvelous Marvilla Marzan join him on stage for "Diva" Weekends on Friday and Saturday nights respectively.

Traditions, which is open Monday through Saturday, begins serving dinner at 5 p.m. Music starts to flow through the air around 7 p.m. For the first few hours, guests can expect to hear light jazz, Broadway and popular easy listening tunes. Sometime around 8:45 p.m., the gears are switched to more up tempo beats like Mo-Town, disco, classic rock mixed with Latin, pop and country.

"During our breaks, I supply the break music with a mix of more current music from CD, iPod and MP3 formats," noted McCormick. "This keeps the room festive and upbeat throughout the evening."

Fact Box

To Go:


Prime Rib Special and Prime Jazz

Featuring "Mr. Swing" and Father Al and the Jazz Congregation


6:30 p.m. Aug. 3


Traditions on the Beach

3111 W. Gulf Drive

To make reservations:

Call 239-472-4559

On Aug. 3, Traditions will feature Prime Rib Special and Prime Jazz with beloved vocalist Paul Ventura, also known as Mr. Swing. Father Al and the Jazz Congregation will join Ventura, beginning at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the full menu, the prime rib special and select jazz night cocktails will be featured throughout the night.

"We wanted to bring jazz night into our entertainment lineup," said Mucciga, who always focuses on creating an entertaining and enjoyable atmosphere in his restaurants. "It's something everyone enjoys."

McCormick agreed that jazz is something everyone relishes. "If we do well, it could be a fixture on Wednesdays through the season," he said.

His entertainment line-up for the remainder of the year and into the 2012 season also include Kathy and Dean Winklemann on Saturdays in November; and Bonnie Lancaster will return to the piano and microphone on Mondays in November. For a complete schedule of entertainment at Traditions, visit its Facebook page and become a fan.

"I also Twitter under the name SanibelPianoman," noted McCormick.

Traditions on the Beach, Sanibel's first dining room, has been delighting its guests since 1895. The restaurant, recently modernized without losing its comfortable Old Florida charm, serves casual Italian and Mediterranean cuisine with a modern twist. The menu captures the sun-soaked flavors of the Mediterranean and perfectly compliments the spectacular Gulf front setting. Right on the beach, and famous for its spectacular sunsets, the dinning room, together with its full bar and restful lounge, is steeped in Old Florida charm. Live music and entertainment, just right for dancing, rounds off the perfect evening.

"We have had a really good season," said McCormick.

Traditions on the Beach is also the perfect celebration location. You can book your next anniversary, wedding, birthday party or corporate event by calling the restaurant at 239-472-4559. Traditions is located at 3111 W. Gulf Drive on Sanibel Island.



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