Sanibel residents and guests are discovering a new seafood restaurant that opened quietly on the island on March 19.
It's called the Sanibel Fish House, but anyone who has dined at Fish House locations on Fort Myers Beach or Bonita Springs will recognize it immediately. Owner Barry Greenfield, who opened the first Fish House in the mid-1990s, wanted to expand his restaurant to the Sanibel market and settled on the vacant building at 1523 Periwinkle Way previously occupied by Mr. T's.
After 14 months of renovations inside and out, the Sanibel Fish House sign went up outside the very day the doors opened for their first customers.
Manager Eddy Tetlak has welcomed hundreds of lunch and dinner guests to the colorful new Sanibel Fish House since it opened March 19 on Periwinkle Way.
"It was a soft opening," said manager Eddy Tetlak. "It's easier to do it that way than having a grand opening."
Since then, many of the 52 employees have been busy visiting other businesses and handing out to-go menus all over the island.
"It's just a fun, casual restaurant," said Tetlak. "It's a happy place with competitive prices, not overpriced."
Tetlak managed the Fish House on Fort Myers Beach for several years before being sent to the Sanibel location.
The first thing visitors and passersby notice is the colorful exterior and the bright sign out front. Inside, is a beach decor with simple wooden chairs and booths. To the left of the hostess stand diners can choose a sports bar area with 10 large screen TVs hooked up to satellite dish offering sports network broadcasts of all the major events with NFL Sunday Ticket coming in the fall.
Open to serve lunch and dinner guests from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, diners also are seated in three other divided areas of the restaurant.
The same menu serves all three Fish House locations. A range of shrimp, oyster, clam, calamari, conch, wing appetizers and soups, called Fish House Firsts, lead guests to a selection of salads, sandwiches, baskets and Fish House Specialties entree choices with pasta, lobster and other surf and turf dishes.
The Fish House signature, of course, is fresh, locally-caught grouper served blackened, broiled, grilled, jerked, lightly fried or stuffed with a choice of two sides. Another House specialty are the two-for-one rumrunner drinks all day, every day. They also observe happy hour 3-6 p.m. with special pricing on domestic beer, wine and well drinks.
Guests might be compelled to purchase Fish House T-shirts that are on display at the main entrance.