Food + Dining Main

First Look: Sunshine Seafood Café’s Long-Awaited New Digs

Half a year after Hurricane Irma forced the iconic Captiva spot to close, its second coming is up and running down the street in a larger, contemporary space.

BY June 26, 2018


Summer means staycations—and what better time do we have to explore the shelling and dining on Sanibel and Captiva than when tourists recede and the beach is ours?

Sandy Stilwell, Lee County philanthropist and hospitality industry maven, couldn’t have picked a more opportune moment for the work to be completed on the new location of her longstanding Captiva restaurant, Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar. Back in September, Hurricane Irma ravaged the original beach cottage on Andy Rosse Lane, forcing Stilwell not just to sit out season but also to find another home for the restaurant all together. Now, just steps down the street (where other eateries of hers like Keylime Bistro and RC Otters harmoniously coexist), doors opened in June for the second act.

Awash in beachy neutrals with pops of color from heathered aubergine chairs, royal purple glass votives and brightly hued contemporary paintings with a seaside flair, the new space further elevates the restaurant as one of Captiva’s more elegant.


A larger eat-in, high-top bar peers into the kitchen for those who like to see the theater of chefs. Old favorites are on the menu and there to stay, like the cornmeal-crusted snapper piccata and the seafood, chicken and sausage paella—and Stilwell’s team debuted new dishes to usher in the new era as well, like a truffle-perfumed cast iron skillet of roasted Brussels sprouts.

It’s an island gem that just got polished—and if you’ve never been, you shouldn’t be holding back.


To plan your visit:

Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar
11508 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva
(239) 472-6200


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