Food + Dining Main

What's Next for Fifth Avenue's 400-Block Favorites

What will become of Bella Maria Cafe, Cafe Luna and Avenue Wine Cafe?

BY April 11, 2016


Pretty soon (by May 1), a host of longtime restaurants and watering holes on Fifth Avenue South will shutter for work to start on downtown Naples’ latest redevelopment project. Get your fill now—here’s our scoop on their second helpings.


Bella Maria Cafe: The laid-back spot for empanadas, paella and Latin small plates is planning a farewell fiesta for the last weekend of April, but it shouldn’t be good-bye for long. Franco Iribarren says his family has been approached regarding new locations here and on the East Coast. They’re “focusing on season,” but after a summer of travel, they will reopen their booth at the Third Street farmers market and soon after find a new home for the restaurant.

Kohr’s Family Frozen Custard: It is not yet determined whether another local shop will join the ranks of this small chain, which has most locations in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, area and one other in Florida. However, the two brothers who own the company (and have deep roots in the ice cream business) manufacture the hard-scoop flavors sold as Republic Ice Cream, which can be found in grocery stores.

Café Luna: For a decade, it has been touting a “veally good deal,” the cheeky (endearingly cheesy) and insanely popular special pairing two entrées with a bottle of wine all day long for $29.99. A second location at 4947 Tamiami Trail N. is already open, but the original will not close until the lease is up—and the owners are hunting for another downtown space to replace it.

Avenue Wine Café: In Naples it has become the place where everybody knows your name, and owner Colin Estrem is giving fans hope it will stay that way. “My regular clientele and staff have had an impact on me. They made me think that as long as we can build a plan for a successful new reincarnation in a new location, I absolutely want to do that,” he says. He’s looking downtown, but until he finds the right locale, the bar’s furniture will be in storage following a good-bye party—and don’t forget you can still get a brewski at his nearby 7th Avenue Social.


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