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‘Sunny Mugg’s’ introduces new dining concept in Cape Coral

By Staff | Apr 7, 2011

A new dining concept has been introduced to the Cape Coral area after a family owned franchise wanted to turn a failing restaurant into a successful one by adding new features and menu items.
The first Denny’s Restaurant in Lee County appeared 20 years ago on Daniels Parkway after the York family, Marcia, Ron and sons Marc and Lance purchased the franchise. Later, the family developed the Denny’s Classic Diner to provide affordable prices for individuals on Gladiolus Drive near Summerlin Road in Fort Myers. Cape Coral also had a Denny’s built on Del Prado Boulevard more than 22 years ago.
Marcia York said since their franchise ran out more than two years ago, they wanted to create their own concept out of the Denny’s brand to address today’s market in Cape Coral. Sunny Mugg’s was created to be a mixture of a restaurant and bar and grill for the Cape Coral community that serves beer, wines and a few light alcoholic drinks like bloody Mary’s and screwdrivers. Mimosas also will be served with breakfast for those who are interested.
“You’re supposed to smile when you come in,” York said about Sunny Mugg’s. “It’s a fun atmosphere.”
York said since Lee County is an economically challenged area, she feels if Sunny Mugg’s succeeds here it will anywhere else in the United States.
Once the Yorks decided to depart from the Denny’s brand in Cape Coral, they wanted to make sure they kept the store open after they changed the restaurant’s name and began the remodeling process.
Improvements are still being made during operating hours. York said due to some of the renovations, the restaurant will close towards the end of summer for a day or two when the volume of people subsides.
“We wanted to keep the store open during the transition time because we wanted to keep our employees employed,” York said, adding they are an extension of the family.
She said they approached the employees about a month before they decided to leave the Denny’s brand to invite them to join them on a new adventure with Sunny Mugg’s.
“We retained everyone and hired additional employees,” she said smiling.
The 24-hour restaurant is the first one of its kind in the area. The Yorks launched the concept by deciding to gut and remodel their old facility.
“It is a real positive thing for the area,” York said about Sunny Mugg’s. “It is a positive thing that a restaurant doesn’t go dark.”
The focus of the restaurant is to provide speed, value and quality for the customer, along with healthy food and vegetarian meals.
Breakfast and improved lunch and dinner offering have been added to the menu, along with a value menu for seniors or anyone else who wishes to eat smaller portions.
“The prices are great,” York said, adding that they also have better food quality.
A cross section of individuals were asked what kind of preferences they had with the coffee they drank, which created two different strengths for the customers. York said they have a sit down coffee that is mild, but rich in taste, along with a stand up coffee that is a 100 percent Colombian Rainforest coffee, which is stronger in taste.
York said a certain percentage of each cup sold will go back into the Rainforest Alliance to help the farmers.
York said they are currently looking for local authors who just recently had a book published or is about to publish their book to participate in an author night at the restaurant. She said she also wants to rotate in artist nights to stimulate culture in the area.
Those who are interested in participating can call York at (239) 872-5666.
Family nights are also a future plan for the restaurant as well.
York said Sunny Mugg’s is currently giving away her book “A Turtle to Go” to all the children who dine at the restaurant. She said the book, which was published in 1991, is geared towards children who are 4-8 years old. The book is an ecological adventure that teaches and instructs children about endangered species.
In November 2012, the Yorks will decide whether or not the other Denny’s will remain the same or change to Sunny Mugg’s.
Sunny Mugg’s, which can seat up to 133 individuals, is at 1306 Del Prado Blvd.