Scores of Fort Myers Beach businesses were honored Tuesday at the Lani Kai Island resort as part of the Best of the Beach contest sponsored by the Fort Myers Beach Observer and Beach Bulletin.
The "Best of Fort Myers Beach" luncheon recognized the "best businesses" in more than 50 categories, from hotels and restaurants to Italian Ice and sushi, according to readers' ballot submissions.
Breeze Newspapers Advertising Director Cynthia Gallagher emceed the event and thanked the businesses who came and who make Fort Myers Beach what it is.
Skye's Mexican & More took home eight awards, with others also earning multiple awards, including as Hot Heads on the Beach, which won three, and Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina and Nesbitt Real Estate, which won twice.
"We're so happy to have this happen to us again. It's a great promotion for people to visit our salon," said Kay Cissewski, a stylist at Hot Heads, which won for best salon, nail salon and barber shop. "Our owner is going to love to see this."
"I'm new on the Beach, but it's an absolutely wonderful place to work," said stylist Gail Anderson. "I see why we win because it's a girlfriend playhouse."
Wanda Linatsas, who co-owns Royal Scoop with her husband, which won for best ice cream, said it was a treat to win her second straight award since moving here less than two years ago.
"To do this in one year, amazing as it has been, is so humbling. We have the best ice cream and make everyone feel at home, and that's what they enjoy the most," Litatsas said.
Also honored as part of the program was the Humanitarian of the Year, former Beach mayor, Dan Hughes. (See related story on this website.)
Best of the Beach winners include:
Community organization, Bay Oaks Recreation Center
Bike Rentals, Fun Rentals
Boat Rentals, Fish-Tale Marina
Day Cruise, Pieces of Eight Pirate Cruise
Family Entertainment, Beach Theater
Fishing Captain, Mike Denegre
Marina, Fish-Tale Marina
Place for Dancing, Castaway's Bar & Grill
Romantic Dining, South Beach Grille
Sports Bar, Sand Bar & Grille
Water Sports, Mid Island Watersports
Motel, Outrigger Beach Resort
Hotel, Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina
Resort, Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina
Real Estate Agency, Nesbitt Real Estate
Real Estate Vacation Rental, Nesbitt Real Estate
Bartender, Kathleen Hill at Skye's
Bayfront Restaurant, Flipper's on the Bay
Casual Dining, Skye's
Coffee, Tuckaway Bagel and Wafel Caf
Dessert, Trylu Scrumptious
Ethnic food: Skye's
Family Dining Skye's
Favorite Restaurant, Skye's
Fine Dining, Fresh Catch Bistro
Happy Hour, Pincher's Crab Shack
Ice Cream, Royal Scoop
Italian Ice, Magic City Slush
Liquor Store, The Skipper's Liquors
Pizza, Mantanzas on the Bay
Seafood Restaurant, The Fish House
Sushi, Zushi Sushi
Waterfront Restaurant, Flipper's on the Bay
Wine Selection, The Skipper's Liquors
Beach Apparel, Leanis Swimwear & Sportswear
Hardware Store, Sun Hardware
Jewelry Store, The Island Jewel
Smoke Shop, Cigar Hut
Swimwear, Aqua Beachwear
Automotive Repair, Dehays Automotive
Barber Shop, Hot Heads on the beach
Florist, Santini Floral
Insurance Agency, Diaz Insurance
Marina Service, Fish Tale Sales & Service
Marine Supply, Fish-Tale Marina
Motorcycle Sales & Repair, Wild's Cycle n' Auto
Nail Salon, Hot Heads on the Beach
Packing & Shipping, Qwik Pack & Ship
Salon, Hot Heads on the Beach
Spa, Armando's Day Spa
Taxi/Limo, Paradise Beach Taxi
Teacher, Ms. Reed
Chiropractor, Bennett Chiropractic and Wellness Center
Physician Assistant, Elizabeth Ulman