FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Another new culinary/hospitality focused option for Fishermen’s Village: Turtle Bay Café
by Sue Wade
Punta Gorda, Florida – March 3rd, 2021 – It should come as no surprise that Punta Gorda restaurateur Chris Evans is making himself at home at Fishermen’s Village. His grandfather, F. M. “Don” Donelson, originally developed the place nearly 50 years ago. Evans first took sushi chef, Noah Copenhaver, under his wing there when Noah was an infant in a walker and Chris was 10.
Young Chris grew up playing with other mall kids throughout the Village property.
In February 2019, Chris opened The Pier @ Fishermen’s Village, a fresh coastal contemporary new 215-seat dining destination overlooking the harbor from the Village’s last northwest building, facing the sunset.
But Fishermen’s Village owner, Jon Larmore and restaurateur Chris Evans had planned all along to take much more advantage of that harbor view. Soon he’ll more than double his restaurant square footage there.
In mid-April 2021, under the umbrella of his newly formed Harborside Hospitality Group, Evans will open a separate, fast-casual, counter service concept unlike anything else in Fishermen’s Village.
At the new Turtle Bay Café, diners may sit down for a bite or grab-and-go in a low-key café next to The Pier. Everything there, from hand-helds to creative, organic salads, will be prepped for portability. Customers can fork into the salads’ proteins and greens, which will come precut into bite-sized chunks.
Similar to many new concepts but with many healthier options, the 310-seat café will let customers place orders at the counter and visit a service area for fountain drinks, coffee and tea. After getting a number for their table, they may go to an inside or outside table. The 50’ bar top will span the west side of the building facing the water and unparalleled sunsets.
Well-known local chef Noah Copenhaver is orchestrating all Harborside Hospitality’s new Fishermen’s Village restaurants. As Chef/Manager, Copenhaver brings 10 years’ culinary engineering to the job. Noah was also raised on the “Kona,” a sailboat in Fishermen’s Village.
“Turtle Bay was always part of the plan, from the beginning,” Copenhaver said. “But one great thing about Chris is that he believes in rolling out news in increments, to build anticipation for each concept as its own entity. People already love The Pier.”
“Turtle Bay’s a little different, balancing healthy organic, vegan, vegetarian and keto options like power salads and proteins with other choices, like classic deli sandwiches. Visitors and the health-conscious people of this community can come in off the boat or after shopping to eat there or grab something to go.”
“Now we have something for everyone—sushi and entrees at The Pier, fresh healthy salads, sandwiches and dinner plates at Turtle Bay.”
According to Evans, the Village is undergoing a major culture change as its traffic increases. “We are fortunate to have an owner who is significantly investing into the future of the property. Even going through a pandemic, we are incredibly pleased with the sales of the Pier and anticipate the same strong sales for Turtle Bay Café. The best days are certainly ahead of us, said Evans.” For many years, it sat dilapidated, and in a state of disrepair. Village owner Jon Larmore plans dramatic new experiences for more visitors and locals than ever.
In keeping with the owners’ vision — which includes showcasing the harbor front side for dining—Evans has set his sights well beyond fried food, aiming instead for culinary diversification, unique attractive spaces and enhanced experiences in what is fast becoming his own sector of Fishermen’s Village. The same philosophy of gracious hospitality that underlies his downtown Blue Turtle will also inspire his new venues. Turtle Bay is aiming for a mid-April opening! No doubt this will be another exciting culinary enhancement for Punta Gorda, Fishermen’s Village and the locals.
Fishermen’s Village General Manager Patti Allen said, “I continue to believe that our customer experience is always our number 1 priority. With the new addition of the Turtle Bay Café it will bring diversity to our culinary line-up. Truly something for everyone here at Fishermen’s Village.”
Fishermen’s Village’s set hours for restaurants—11 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m.—will apply to all Harborside Hospitality eateries.
Visit www.turtlebaypg.com for more information.