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KC’s Riverstop continues petition drive to stay

By Staff | Oct 15, 2009

KC’s Riverstop is reaching out to the community, hoping that overwhelming support will help a bid to continue operating beyond its contract expiration in 2010.
A petition drive, which continues today, is aimed squarely at that goal.
Owners Carmine and Betty Serrago are offering $1 draft beers and hot dogs as part of their effort to lure people to their business to sign the petition.
But the promise of discount beer and food is just a bonus as most everyone who made their way to KC’s Wednesday just wanted to help out the Serragos.
“I’ve been coming here since they opened … I love the place. People are friendly, prices are reasonable,” said Peggy Racanelli. “There aren’t many places to eat on the water, even though we’re a waterfront community. It compliments the Cape Coral lifestyle.”
Racanelli is so passionate about KC’s she composed a poem for the Serragos, which they promptly displayed on the side of the building.
It is that kind of support the Serragos are hoping to capture with their petition drive.
As of Wednesday evening, they had more than 1,000 signatures. Betty Serrago thinks they will top out close to 1,500 over the two-day haul.
She plans on having the petition presented to city council at its meeting Monday.
“A lot of people we haven’t seen in a long time are in town. Some heard through word of mouth, others e-mail … it seems the word is spreading,” Betty Serrago said.
City officials maintain that they have been more than pleased with the job the Serragos have done during their 16-year run as the owners of KC’s.
But Parks and Recreation Department Director Steve Pohlman said the economic conditions are ripe to open up one of the Cape’s premier destinations to other bidders.
The Serragos have the right to bid on the property, but Betty Serrago thinks they should have been given first refusal rights.
“We’ve erected a landmark for Cape Coral and they’re ready to throw it all away,” Carmine Serrago said.
As Racanelli sat on the deck, listening to music and having bite to eat with her friend, Sherry Jabara, the Serragos greeted people like everyone was one big, extended family.
Jabara, like the others who signed the petition, wants to see KC’s live on, and not have a chain restaurant or some other unfitting structure take its place.
“She’s really created the ambiance,” she said of Betty Serrago. “It’s just very natural and comfortable here and I’d hate to see it gone.”
KC’s Riverstop petition drive continues today until 7 p.m.