Celebrating Southwest Floridians
MAN WITH A PLAN Rob DeGennaro’s popular Fort Myers Beach restaurant might be called Nervous Nellie’s. But when it comes to his plans for the area surrounding the business, there’s nothing hesitant about them.
DeGennaro purchased the Snug Harbor Marina, and other nearby property, in order to transform it into a lively waterfront zone called the Old Seaport at Fort Myers Beach. In addition to expanding the marina, he plans to continue bringing in vessels like the Nao Victoria, a replica of the first ship to circumnavigate the globe, which will be at the marina through March 17, and the Lynx, a replica of a War of 1812– era tall ship, which will be docked from March 16 through May 30. Both will be open for tours and other events.
“That’s the thrust of the Old Seaport at Fort Myers Beach— to be technically pleasing, educational and cultural,” he says. “And we really would like to make it a tourist destination.”
The site’s grand opening in October will be marked with a visit from the replica Spanish battleship True Galleon, which appears in the new pirate series Crossbones on NBC this fall. “She’ll be on our docks when the first episode hits TV,” says DeGennaro.
Nervous Nellie’s, 239- 463- 8077, nervousnellies.net
LEADING THE FIELD Last year may have been Doug Mientkiewicz’s first year as manager for the Fort Myers Miracle. But he’s no stranger to the minor- league baseball team affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. He played for the Miracle himself years ago and spent nearly a decade as a first baseman for major- league teams like the Twins and Boston Red Sox.
After leading the Miracle to a winning season, Mientkiewicz was named Manager of the Year by the Florida State League, and several Miracle players made the league’s All- Star Team. “You try to get the best out of each guy,” he says. “Our job is to help them get better and fulfill their dreams.”
His own minor- league experiences aren’t that far in the past for the 39- year- old manager. “I remember the struggles I had,” says Mientkiewicz. “As a player, I was everything from the top prospect in an organization to the 25th man on the roster.”
Though the makeup of minor- league teams changes from year to year, Mientkiewicz has high hopes for the upcoming season, which begins in April. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to do what we did last year,” he says.
Fort Myers Miracle, 239- 768- 4210, miraclebaseball.com