The Turtle Club's Resilient Return: A Tale of Rebuilding and Revival

SUSAN KOSCHALK January 26, 2024

After a 16-month hiatus, the iconic beachfront haven, The Turtle Club, is poised to unveil its rebirth in February, marking a triumphant return to the North Naples dining scene. Devastated by Hurricane Ian's fury in September 2022, the restaurant, nestled within the Vanderbilt Beach Resort, faced challenges that tested its resilience.

Co-owner Mick Moore expressed gratitude for having a structure to rebuild, emphasizing the community's support during the arduous recovery process. The Turtle Club, synonymous with cherished traditions and special occasions, has left an indelible mark on generations of patrons.

Despite enduring construction delays, the renovated 3,477-square-foot restaurant will retain its Old Florida charm while showcasing a lighter, fresher aesthetic with a palette of white and blue. The layout remains unchanged, providing 74 seats indoors and 84 outdoors along the Gulf beach.

Architectural plans promise a seamless blend of the familiar and the rejuvenated, with upgrades to the electrical system, lighting, and air conditioning. The Turtle Club's symbolic namesake, a large sea turtle shell, found after the hurricane, will reclaim its place as a prominent wall decoration, embodying the restaurant's enduring spirit.

Peter Tierney, co-owner of The Turtle Club, assures patrons that the essence of the beloved establishment will remain intact, inviting them to rediscover the beauty of the manicured hall adorned with gas lamps and the timeless allure of the beach.

The interior changes, subtle to the eye, are geared towards enhancing the staff's operational experience. A testament to the establishment's familial ethos, a significant portion of the staff, embodying a family culture, is set to return. Curtis McCreary, the general manager, anticipates retaining around 80% of the staff, creating a seamless transition for both loyal guests and the dedicated team.

As the renovation project enters its final stretch, The Turtle Club's staff, along with its loyal patrons, eagerly anticipates the reopening, signifying the end of a challenging chapter and the dawn of a revitalized era. The Turtle Club stands resilient, ready to welcome back its cherished guests to a slice of paradise that has been lovingly restored.

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