Comfort Food: The Gathering Place

Owners Combine Traditional Favorites with Family Recipes
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Posted at 4:51 AM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 12:01:06-05

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — If you're into hidden secrets and little gems here in Southwest Florida, then we have just the restaurant spot for you!

It's called The Gathering Place. It's tucked away in the Beacon Executive Suites in Fort Myers and when you pull into the parking lot you might think you have the wrong place. Why? The Gathering Place is deep inside what used to be a nursing home 30 years ago.

But don't worry, their website has a map to help you wind through the hallways that are now filled with little shops. Your nose will help lead you to some awesome comfort food that the owners, Anthony Clark and Shawn Leiva, are cooking up.

The menu at The Gathering Place has a huge variety including traditional comfort foods like meatloaf and lasagna, but it's the recipes that Shawn learned from his mother, while growing up in Belize, that really make this place special.

"We have a lot of flavor and spice," Leiva explains. "When I say spice, I mean seasonings."

You won't get your refried beans out of a can or the chicken without flavor because at The Gathering Place everything is made from scratch and you can taste it in every bite.

One fan favorite is the marinated chicken and pork. The chicken has a deep red color showing off all the love, seasoning and spices that went into making it.

"His mom gave him the recipe, so it's been in the family forever," Clark explains.

You can order the tasty chicken or pork on several different dishes listed on their menu and if you feel right at home while you're enjoying your meal, well, that's exactly what the owners were hoping for.

"It means we are doing our job properly. If they feel like they've come home to eat their lunch and they leave with a big old smile on thier faces, then you can't ask for anything more out of owning a restaurant and making sure people are happy." Clark says.

To find out more about The Gathering Place or to check out their menu, click here.

And, if you get lost in the hallways, here's a link to the map. ENJOY!