Naples has a lot of restaurants. Seriously. You would be hard-pressed to find another area in the country with as many eateries per person as we have here in Southwest Florida. However, it seems there is a limit, even with the huge demand of a tourism economy and many wealthy homeowners who can afford to eat out at any time. A few recent closings attest to the plea of Naples area restaurant owners, especially during the relatively lean 2007 summer months: “Who will help me eat this bread?”
The overall slowdown of the economy might be partially to blame. As observed by the Naples Daily News:
The first six months of 2007 reflect lower restaurant gross sales than the figures for the same months last year. In July, the last month for which figures were available, revenues for Lee and Collier counties were $114 million, down from $126.4 million in 2006, the Florida Department of Revenue stated.
But it’s not the whole story. Even before the nationwide housing slowdown, a short drive and observant eyes would lead anyone to wonder how many Naples restaurants stay in business. There are simply so many good options when choosing a place to dine that some establishments are bound to get left in the cold (but not literally, of course – this IS Naples, FL).
And therein lies the silver lining: in Naples, you will never have a problem finding a quality meal with a minimum wait. And sometimes, that can be a wonderful thing.