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New Doc Ford’s restaurant on Sanibel to have open house Sept. 8

By Staff | Aug 31, 2016

Doc Ford’s restaurant on Tarpon Bay Road. ASHLEY GOODMAN



After a year and a half of planning, the new Doc Ford’s on the corner of Tarpon Bay Road, will hold a soft opening on Thursday, Sept. 8.

“The menu is going to be the way it’s always been but it’s a new showroom for our staff,” said Mark Marinello, co-owner of Doc Ford’s.

One of the biggest differences about the new location is the size of the kitchen. The new kitchen is twice as big as the previous one on Rabbit Road. The restaurant is 7,600 square feet and seats about 225 people; similar to their old location. Another positive is that the new location on Tarpon Bay is all under one roof.

Marty Harrity, Brenda Harrity and Mark Marinello, co-owners of Doc Ford’s. ASHLEY GOODMAN

The interior is made up of mostly reclaimed materials. All of the wood in the building has been reclaimed and the lighting fixtures were taken from vintage boats and were refurbished.

The open house on Sept. 8 will take place from 5 to 7 p.m.

“We’ll have a couple stations set up with appetizers and drinks to showcase it for everybody. Everyone is so curious to see what the inside looks like,” said Marty Harrity, co-owner of Doc Ford’s.

Doc Ford’s was established in 2003. Marinello and Harrity were partners for 20 years before opening a business together. Before Doc Ford’s existed, both were involved with real estate. The first restaurant they opened together was the Beached Whale on Fort Myers Beach. Since then, business has expanded quite a bit.

For the past 13 years, Doc Ford’s has become deeply embedded and involved in the community. Harrity is grateful for his hard-working staff and loyal customers.

“It’s the people in the building that makes the company what it is, we’re very blessed with the people that we have. The other side of that is the customers that we have. We have a great core of customers. We’re embedded in this community and we have been for a long time. We’re involved in everything that we can participate in. We make our money here and we feel it’s imperative that we give back a lot of what we do to the community that helps us be successful,” Harrity said. “It’s been a good, strong relationship and we hope it continues for a lot more years.”