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Night of music throughout Fort Myers providing much needed aid to some of its pivotal professionals

Posted at 10:14 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 22:14:41-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tonight in downtown Fort Myers, bartenders were out front for a music walk as some have fewer customers. It means lower tips and some even lost their jobs after Ian.

We’ve seen so many businesses in Southwest Florida close after the hurricane as November is the start of tourism season and these workers at places open still rely on tips.

Almost two months since Hurricane Ian and downtown Fort Myers is still picking up the pieces. Restaurants standing vacant and yet, just a block or two away, some are gathering over music and a cocktail.

"We all have good energy and we’re all ready to come back to work.”

Bartenders are getting back to work on the night of downtown Fort Myers’ Music Walk.

“See all of our regulars who we usually see and be with the community right now- it’s really important to us," said Hannah Dieren, bartender at City Tavern. "We’re happy to be here and we’re happy to make money for everybody.”

Making money for some of downtown’s most pivotal professions. Bartenders who otherwise work under the same roof joining for one another.

“We get to meet those people, make good relations with them versus just being with our people," said Chloe Sorensen, bartender at City Tavern. "So I get to meet other bartenders and we get to share our similar interests and things that we’re going through as well.”

Going through tough times as some have been without work since Ian.

"It’s been tough but, like I said, the community has brought us together and I’m just looking forward to city tavern being back open,” said Sorensen.

And just a short drive to the Alliance For the Arts more music is providing aid.

“Every time there’s something big that happens, everybody calls on the musicians to come out and give them their time,” says Doug Harris, owner of School Of Rock Fort Myers.

Only this time for other musicians.

"This is an opportunity for us to kind of give back to them," said Harris. "Especially these guys who’ve lost. Some of the applications I’m getting in, they’ve lost 80 to 100% of their gigs and otherwise just wouldn’t have any income. For a lot of these guys it’s their sole source of income.”

A source of income that is slowly coming back for some.

“I think it’s time the people here enjoy themselves, get their mind off of what’s going on," said Eddie Latour, owner of Nice Guys Production. "Temporarily but this is what it’s all about- getting people together and having fun.”

But no matter the stage these artists are getting back to work.

“I just want downtown Fort Myers to be the best it can be," says Sorensen. "And I think it’s just going to come back better and stronger than ever.”