An excerpt from a recent issue of the Island Reporter; article written by Tiffany Repecki:
Rosie’s Cafe & Grill on Sanibel is back, with all of its beloved dishes – plus a few new extras.
Toward the end of July, co-owners Joanne Fitzgerald and Irving Gavin reopened the restaurant in its former location in Palm Ridge Place off of Tarpon Bay Road. They had sold the business last year, however, the new venue that popped up in the place of Rosie’s did not fare as well as the old favorite.
They explained that the restaurant’s history dates back a few decades, when it went by the name of Rosie’s Deli & Market and was located on the east end of the island. A woman who bought the space at the time was trying to come up a new name for the eatery when her priest gave her a rose at church.
“It has remained Rosie’s ever since,” Gavin said.
The fourth generation of owners tied to the business, Fitzgerald and Gavin bought Rosie’s Deli & Market in 2009 when it was still located on the island’s east end. Two years later, they closed down the venue and relocated it to its current spot, reopening in 2012 under the Rosie’s Cafe & Grill name.
Gavin is the son of Eugene, of the well-known Gavin family that settled on Sanibel in 1914. He and Fitzgerald met in real estate school and tried several business ventures before purchasing Rosie’s.
After taking back the restaurant earlier this year, the two worked on undoing the decor and other interior changes that the previous buyer had made to the space. The aim was to bring back Rosie’s.
“We took the time and money to make it Rosie’s again,” Fitzgerald said.
She noted that they brought back the same favorite menu and Royal Scoop ice cream.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” Gavin said of the dining options.
With the recent reopening, however, the two have a few new additions up their sleeve.
Gavin explained that the restaurant now serves up barbecue, including baby back ribs, chicken wings, chicken and such. The meat selections are cooked with his homemade house rub or barbecue sauce.
In addition, around October or when season kick in, they will expand the area of the restaurant where the ice cream is located for a new bakery. There will be handmade donuts, pies, cakes and pastries.
Rosie’s Cafe & Grill is located at 2330 Palm Ridge Road. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, as well as beer and wine selections. The restaurant is open 8a.m.-3p.m. Sunday and Monday and 8a.m.-6p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information, call 239-579-0807.