Dozens of new eateries are popping up all over Southwest Florida - an area that already has plenty of places to eat. But while some builders are putting up new homes as fast as they can for the county's growing population, others are cranking out more restaurants to feed the people flooding to the area.
Construction on a future restaurant row began early this year at the Northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Collier Boulevard in East Naples, in the Freedom Square Plaza. The 7-acre strip of land will feature at least 8 new restaurants.
"I think there could be more restaurants in this area," said Anthony Pitruzello, a frequent visitor to East Naples from Manhattan.
He said he enjoys established eateries like Carrabba's and Panera Bread, but will try the restaurants when they open.
"Of course it'll add to the traffic, but I think we can deal with it," he said.
Meanwhile in downtown Naples, the Boston-themed pub Lansdowne Street opened at the beginning of May - after peak tourist season. General manager Dan Maurer said that's the ideal time to launch a new restaurant in the area.
"It gives us time to staff correctly, to learn the flow of the restaurant, and get prepared for what comes in October (and) November," Maurer said.
Target dates for the eateries at Freedom Square have yet to be announced.