Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Deep Lagoon Beckons

Photos by Don Manley


Phelan Family Brands’ footprint on Marco Island’s restaurant scene has expanded with the debut of the company’s newest eateryDeep Lagoon Seafood and Oyster House.  

Located in the Esplanade Shoppes, the restaurant is open from 11 AM to 10 PM, seven days a week.  

Deep Lagoon Seafood and Oyster House is the companys second restaurant on the island. Phelan Family Brands also owns eleven Pinchers Crab Shacks, including the one located off S. Collier Boulevard, in the Marco Walk Plaza 

The restaurant offers an upscale dining experience with a focus on the bounty of nearby waters, while also sourcing items from around the country and around the world, said Grant Phelan, who co-owns the Bonita Springs-based company with his parents, Tony and Kathleen Phelan. 

“We call it a Coastal Casual seafood restaurant that specializes in locally caught seafood, he said in describing the dining concept. “We prepare it in several different styles. You pick how you would like it prepared and what size fish you would like. We’re bringing in fresh fish every day. We have oysters from around the world and from around the United States. We have a great wine collection, and it’s a relaxed, fun, casual atmosphere.” 

The eatery sits across the Esplanade Shoppes patio from CJ’s on the Bay in what was the former home of the Chop 239 restaurant. The space has been completely remodeled and it now accentuates Southwest Florida’s pleasing weather, not just with outdoor seating, but the addition of doors and windows that slide completely open  

“It’s really a unique, cool atmosphere that brings in the breezes of Southwest Florida, said Phelan.  

This is the company’s third Deep Lagoon, joining a Fort Myers location and the first one, located off Immokalee Road, which opened 4 years ago after the Phelans decided to begin offering “higher-end concept” dining. 



“We had quite a bit of success with the two restaurants and then the Esplanade came to us about a year and a half ago and said, ‘The Chop 239 space is available, would you like to put a Deep Lagoon in it?’” recalled Phelan. “We have a Pinchers on Marco and it does really well, and the people are fantastic. I remembered that location, and I’ve seen the success of C.J.’s and Mangos and thought it would be a great spot. We love the boats and the water and the views.” 

Phelan Family Brands is constructing a fourth Deep Lagoon on Casey Key, near Sarasota, that is expected to open in 2021. 

After construction began at the Esplanade Shoppes in January, the economic upheaval caused two months later by the COVID-19 Pandemic threatened to scuttle plans for to complete the new eatery. 

“When they shut all the restaurants down on March 20, I pulled the plug on the construction because we had no idea how long the closure was going to last or what was going to happen,” said Phelan. “We were very close to abandoning the project. Fortunately, Governor DeSantis started opening the state back up and we got our other restaurants back online. Once we were able to do that, in the middle of May, we revisited the Deep Lagoon on Marco and said, ‘Hey, we feel comfortable that the restaurant business is still there to thrive and can still move forward.”  

Construction resumed in early June and the bistro opened in mid-October.  

The Phelan Family Brands portfolio also includes the Texas Tony’s Rib and BrewHouse located off U.S. 41, near Naples, as well as the Island Crab Company on Pine Island in Lee County.  

“We’re not a chain,” said Phelan. “We never have been a chain. It’s just my mom, my dad and myselffamily owned and operated. We just happen to have multiple locations around the area. We try and do right by everyone and we just feel blessed to be where we are.” 

He said demand is high, so he recommended patrons make reservations to ensure prompt seating.  

Deep Lagoon Seafood and Oyster House is located in the Esplanade Shoppes, 760 N. Collier Boulevard, Suite 105. For more information, visit or call 239-235-7497. To make reservations, visit 



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