The brand new Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille on Captiva Island is under construction and expected to open in August.
Renovations have been underway all summer on the building, which formerly housed Holy Smoke Heavenly Barbecue at the South Seas Island Resort, and when finished will transport the restaurant's fun and tropical style to the northern tip of the island.
This is Doc Ford's third location, the other two on Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach. It offers seating for 300 on outdoor patio tables and three separate dining rooms including a stage, main bar and another decorated with historical photographs of the island.
Work progresses on the main dining room at the Doc Ford’s Captiva restaurant. PHOTO PROVIDED.
"The anticipation is mounting on both sides of the story," said Jean Crenshaw, general manager of Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar and Grille for the last 10 years. "We've been seeing a lot of people from Captiva in our Sanibel restaurant in recent months, checking out our food and drinks excited to see us open on Captiva. I am looking forward to welcoming guests who have not dined with us before."
Crenshaw said the menu at the Captiva location will closely mirror the one on Sanibel, except for the addition of flatbreads which are already available at Fort Myers Beach. The staff is even holding an in-house flatbread tasting this week to determine which ones are the best to put on the menu.
Like its counterparts, the Captiva Doc Ford's will continue serving tropical cuisine and cocktails inspired by the "Doc Ford" mystery-series, written by NY Times bestselling novelist and Sanibel resident, Randy Wayne White, and a cozy atmosphere of booths, sports televisions, and warm wood.
Marty Harrity, co-owner of Doc Ford's with Mark Marinello, had been interested in opening a new restaurant in Captiva for some time. Chef Greg Nelson, executive chef at the two other locations, is also on the management team for the Captiva restaurant.
"We are thrilled about our upcoming opening on Captiva," said Harrity. "Our new venture with South Seas Island Resort has our entire team at Doc Ford's very excited."
The restaurant is at the entrance to South Seas Island Resort but it's open to the public and live entertainment will be on stage every weekend, said Crenshaw.
Job fairs for positions at the new Doc Ford's are scheduled for Tuesday, July 9 from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday, July 13 from 9-11 a.m. at the Fort Myers Beach location. Crenshaw said they wanted to hold job fairs during off-peak hours for anyone who couldn't apply during normal business hours. Applicants can also visit one of the two existing locations.
"We have held a few already and we had great turnouts," said Crenshaw.
For more information, visit www.docfords.com.