Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Recipe for Success

Photos by Steve Stefanides

For Frank LaCava, the idea of sitting in a rocker on a porch somewhere is not how he sees himself in life. The restaurant business is just in his blood, said LaCava, as we sat in his new venture known as, Off the Rock Tavern, located at 7723 Collier Boulevard, just across the entrance to Verona Walk.

December 11th would mark the soft opening of his newest enterprise which he opened with his son John. LaCava and his entire family have been a staple of Marco over the last two decades in regards to the restaurant business.

LaCava moved his family here in 1995 from Cleveland, Ohio and never moved back. He would open a flooring company and small sports bar after moving here, but it was the restaurant business that became a major love of his and his entire family.

He would move forward and opened the Marco Island Brewery, which quickly became a successful sports bar and restaurant on the island. Its design and the fact it brewed some of its own craft beers made it an instant hit on the island when it opened in 2010. 

While on Marco, he was known for his support of local fundraising events and was seen as one of the most generous of those in his business. “This was our home, our kids would grow up here, as well as our grandkids and we would put our roots deep into the community,” said LaCava.

Whether it was charity events for families or children in need, LaCava was always willing to step forward. Charities such as the Upon a Star Foundation, founded by Michelle and Howard Jordan, which hosted its annual “Talk Derby to Me” fundraiser for several years there which benefited many with special needs.

Meals of Hope, Eyes Across America, the Marco Island Police Foundation’s Annual Rib Cook-Off, amongst many others were the beneficiaries of the generosity of LaCava and his family.

Jamie Shea and her husband Sean Shea, with the guidance and support of Frank LaCava, Jamie’s dad, would open 2Shea’s Salty Dog Sports Bar on the south end of Marco in 2018. Sean Shea, like his wife, grew up around the restaurant business as his family members owned the successful Rookies Bar and Grill at the south end of Marco. Their endeavor to copy the successful design and layout of the Marco Brewery and would occupy the same space as the successful Rookies Bar and Grill. 

LaCava would later sell his successful Marco Brewery venture to another group of investors on the island. That left Frank LaCava with a choice, find a rocking chair or another challenge. That was when he began the search for another opportunity. 

That led him and his son John to the decision to develop another project just up Collier Boulevard in one of Collier County’s fasting growing areas. Lely, Verona Walk, Winding Cypress, Florida South Western State College, Eagle Creek, Naples Reserve and many other residential communities exploding on that corridor made their choice an easy one.

“The location makes all the sense in the world,” said LaCava as he looked over the inside of what he sees as a proven recipe for success. The design mirrors what made the Marco Island Brewery and the Salty Dog successful, as they combined the interior and exterior access to the full-service bar, a menu that combines a full range of offerings from burgers, baskets and full-dinner offerings.

Its’ light, airy, and is packed with large screen TV’s that cover all the walls so patrons can enjoy their favorite sports teams and events, as well as an abundance of outdoor seating and the ability to have special events there for organizations and clubs.

When the doors opened on that day, in came two of LaCava’s biggest fans, who had previously lived at the Esplanade on Marco and now resided in Lely. “We couldn’t wait for Frank’s doors to open. We loved the atmosphere at the Brewery, the food and the service,” said Mark and Jennifer Lucero as they gave LaCava a warm welcome to their new neighborhood. 





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