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Turtle Club back in business in Naples 19 months after Hurricane Ian struck

The iconic Naples restaurant told Fox 4's Naples Community Correspondent Mahmoud Bennett that since reopening, it has received thousands of reservations and that it is booked through June.
Posted at 5:16 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 22:17:45-04

NAPLES, Fla — It took a whopping 19 months, but a popular Naples beach restaurant is finally making its comeback after Hurricane Ian.

On Monday, the Naples Turtle Club welcomed its first customers since September 2022, when Hurricane Ian slammed into parts of Southwest Florida, including the Naples coastline. The popular restaurant was left in ruins.

It is one of the only restaurants on the beach you can find in Naples according to the owner.

"The day we came after the storm, we knew right away that we wanted to rebuild," said Mick Moore, the co-owner of the Turtle Club.

Moore told Fox 4's Naples Community Correspondent Mahmoud Bennett the property has been in his family for 3 generations. Moore said he really had to struggle to keep the family's legacy business afloat after Ian, but he credited the support of the local community and people from around the world for getting it up and running again.

Turtle Club Restaurant Naples photos
A glimpse inside the rebuilt Turtle Club restaurant. A Naples staple for decades, the signature spot was destroyed by Hurricane Ian. 19 months later, the owners said they were fielding thousands of reservations.

"When times were at their worst in the immediate aftermath of the storm, those comments from people that they were supporting us, that they wanted us to come back, really helped," Moore said.

Despite ongoing efforts to offset the costs of rebuilding, the Turtle Club has seen a strong start, with thousands of people already making reservations, according to Moore. Many diners, despite frequent wait times, said the wait was worth it.

"Everybody waits for it to come back; it's just a special place to so many people – we've been coming here for years," said one patron who was visiting for the first time since the reopening.

"This is one of our favorite places to come and eat," added Larry Whobrey who has lived in Southwest Florida for 30 years.

Turtle Club Naples Restaurant photos
"Fine dining with your feet in the sand" is the experience that has made the Turtle Club restaurant special for decades in Naples.

The restaurant is open 7 days a week.

"It was just as delicious yesterday as it was in the past... and as far as what else has changed – it's beautiful. They've redone everything so nicely," said another patron.

The Turtle Club says lunch is first come, first served. Meanwhile, its dinner reservations are already booked solid through the end of June.