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Shucker’s celebrates 100 years

Fort Myers Beach restaurant holds 1920's-theme bash

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | May 10, 2021

Greta Reinfried-Corazza, Dana Gosford, Janet Ferris and Gary Ferris co-own Shucker's at the Gulfshore and Cottage Bar, which has been in the hands of their family for 50 years. The establishment celebrated its 100th anniversary on Fort Myers Beach with a 1920's, casino-themed bash on Saturday at its Estero Boulevard location. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

With men in suits and women in 1920’s flapper outfits, Shucker’s at the Gulfshore and Cottage Bar celebrated 100 years of being on the beach Saturday with a casino-themed party that paid homage to its roots and raised money for Fort Myers Beach Elementary School.

Patrons gathered around poker tables, blackjack tables, a craps table and a roulette wheel as part of the fundraising efforts for the school. Guests purchased play money, with the biggest winners earning prizes such as weekend getaway vacations and jet ski rentals while the band Smack Daddy played music from the The Cars and Eddie Money.

“We are just absolutely blown away at the response from the community,” Shucker’s General Manager Brian Nagle said.

“I think this is what Fort Myers Beach needed right now,” he said. “It’s just a great way for everybody to come together for teachers and students.”

The owners of Shucker’s were all in town for the festivities, with co-owners Greta Reinfried-Corazza and Dana Gosford remarking on how much times have changed since their arrival on the Beach in the 1960’s when they attended Fort Myers Beach Elementary School.

Sucker's General Manager Brian Nagle, server Lisa Wanjiku, host Sarah Shirey and server Allie Stora helped put on the 100th anniversary for Shucker's on Saturday in Fort Myers Beach.

Greta and Dana are the daughters of Dan Reinfried, one of the original owners. When he first bought the property they said it was more of a restaurant. The Cottage Bar was just an unused cottage at the time, they said.

“We’re honored to be here to celebrate the anniversary,” Reinfried said. “We both went to the Beach school so it’s full circle.”

The two sisters used to work at the restaurant in the early days of the family’s ownership. “We used to wash the dishes by hand,” Gosford said. “We would stand on a Pepsi

crate,” Reinfried-Corazza recalled. “We would scoop the ice cream and make the salads,”she said. “One of my happiest feelings was when they got a real dishwasher.”

On a busy weekend with traffic lined up and down the Matanzas Pass Bridge and into downtown Fort Myers Beach as visitors searched for parking, Dana and Greta remarked at how much the Beach has changed. “It was not as busy,” Gosford said. “We didn’t have the traffic. You would fly some place and the planes would be empty.”

Their father, who used to work in the shrimping business and spent time in Fort Myers Beach worked in the shrimping business decades before buying Shucker’s, and lived across the street from Shucker’s. After getting into the oil business, he purchased the Shucker’s property with Wakynn Ferris and Malcolm Young. Reinfried and Young also built the Outrigger Resort. The Reinfried family still operates Charley’s Boat House Grill & Wine Bar across the street from the Outrigger Resort.

Elizabeth Buchanan and Micaela O'Malley of Casino Parties by Show Biz Productions helped set the mood for the 1920's themed centennial celebration at Shucker's on Saturday. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

Gary Ferris, son of Wakyn, ran Shucker’s for three years and oversaw renovations of the property. During the renovations of the roof, they found an old “The Gulfshore Inn” sign which now hangs in the dining room along with photos of the original owners.

Asked what they like most about Shuckers while near their table overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Reinfried-Corazza said “you are right on the water, you are right on the sand, beautiful sunsets. It’s paradise.”

Gosford said “it’s a piece of paradise.”

Val Caroca spins the roulette wheel at Shucker's for guests raising money for Beach Elementary School this past weekend.

Debbie Nagle and Marla Davidson play charity blackjack to raise funds for the Fort Myers Beach Elementary School at the 100th anniversary bash at Shucker's in Fort Myers Beach Saturday.

Shucker's was a popular destination this past weekend for their 100th anniversary on Estero Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach.

Alanna Osborne, Lori Frank, Jacki Liszak and Jane Plummer were enjoying the flapper spirit at Shucker's on Fort Myers Beach Saturday during the centennial party for the restaurant.