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Downtown Fort Myers restaurants need more employees after Hurricane Ian

Job Fair
Posted at 4:40 PM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-17 05:16:33-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Monday, in downtown Fort Myers, three months after Hurricane Ian, window shopping has become less about what’s inside and more about what’s open.

“People are coming to Social House and they are walking up a couple of flights of stairs trying to get to the rooftop bar and not understanding that we are not open there but we are open here," said Marissa Gandy.

Gandy works for the Kearns Restaurant Group, and from Monday, January 16 to Wednesday, January 18th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the group was hosting a job fair for all positions at their eight restaurants.

The job fair is at the Downtown Social House located in Fort Myers at 1406 Hendry Street.

Here is a list of the locations looking to hire:

  • The Firestone Grill Room
  • Martini Bar & Skybar, Ft. Myers
  • Capone's Coal Fired Pizza, Ft. Myers
  • Los Cabos Cantina, Ft. Myers
  • The Lodge, Ft. Myers
  • Izzy's Fish & Oyster, Ft. Myers
  • Downtown Social House, Ft. Myers
  • The Boathouse Tiki Bar & Grill, Cape Coral
  • The Boathouse Tiki Bar & Grill, Ft. Myers

Gandy said after Hurricane Ian, many of their businesses were impacted by the storm.

“Some had more damage than the others so we were able to take our core group from those restaurants and transfer them,” said Gandy.

Gandy said they transferred employees to whichever of the eight businesses were able to reopen, but as time went on, they realized more employees were needed.

“We’re finding the challenges of we need to pull those individuals out of the restaurants back into their home base and now that leaves open spots,” said Gandy.

Open spots that Gandy said used to be filled by employees that Hurricane Ian forced out of the area.

“It's not that they found other jobs they have completely gone back to New England they have gone out west, they have scattered, kind of panicking,” said Gandy.

On Monday, out of the panic, comes new opportunities and new faces like Alexandria Drake.

“I'm actually new in town, I'm from Texas,” said Drake.

Drake, a bartender from the lone star state said she moved to Fort Myers to be closer to family, where she hopes to land a job with the Kearns Restaurant Group.

“I understand y'all lost a lot in that storm and I know everyone needs work and it's going to be a very competitive field,” said Drake.

A field with a new look and new promises for places like The Firestone Grill Room that has been closed since Ian.

“They put a lot of work into revamping it,” said Gandy.

It's a new look that has people like Drake, hopeful it will bring with it new opportunities.

“It kind of seems like there are a lot more opportunities cause all these people are coming together,” said Drake.