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$3 million food, drink and entertainment concept a hit in Naples

Two decades of “successes, failures, bumps, bruises” guides entrepreneurs’ strategy with multi-venue food and beverage venture.

As president of JCS Realty Group, Christopher Shucart understands the commercial real estate market in Naples. So he could see the potential of an empty parking lot and driveway in the city’s burgeoning Design District.

Inspired by his travels to places like the Florida Keys, he envisioned a place where patrons could enjoy great food and drinks, live music and a fun outdoor atmosphere. After more than three years of planning and development — plus an investment of some $3 million — his multi-venue concept came to life over the past year and is already making a mark on the area. 

First to open in August was District, a stylish craft cocktail lounge and restaurant. Guests enter under an awning of pink bougainvillea into the moodily elegant space with dark walls and velvety peacock-hued seating. The lounge also holds a surprise in the back, where a secret door leads to a clubby 1920s-style speakeasy dubbed Staff Only.

The Kitchen & Mini Bar debuted in December, an alfresco spot with a spacious outdoor bar, umbrella-topped picnic tables set up on artificial turf, and an appealing menu of food and beverages. The vibe here is decidedly laid-back and tropical, which is a distinct contrast to the final venue to open, The Alley. The narrow, indoor space for late-night food and drinks first welcomed patrons this past January, boasting a gritty, New York City vibe with graffiti-strewn brick walls, faux fire escapes, and a pay phone that plays a recording of Andrew Dice Clay.