Steve Boge, the owner of the old Beach Theater building at 6345 Estero Boulevard, has filed a pre-application request with the town looking for feedback on whether the town has any issues with him converting the building into a restaurant.
In the application Boge said he’d like to remodel the existing building with a lower level restaurant. He says the kitchen would be remodeled upstairs in the existing location, and he wanted to know if there were “any issues with a restaurant at this location given the movie theater has always had a full service restaurant / bar.”
The most interesting part of Boge’s pre-application is that he wants to turn the parking area under the building into seating for the restaurant. The application does not say if his idea is to close off the lower area or keep it open. The second level would also include a dining room and a bar.
If Boge moves forward this would be another test for the town to see how they want to deal with an application with a reduction in parking. As a movie theater, the property under the building was used for about 30 parking spaces. Boge would be eliminating that parking. Town code requires 8 spaces for every 1,000 square feet. With over 8,000 square feet on the second floor (not including the ground level), Boge would need about 65 spaces. If he eliminates ground level parking and adds a seating area, he’s left with about 35 spaces in his lot.
A pre-application meeting with the town helps applicants decide whether or not they should move forward on a project. Boge could decide, from his feedbaack from town staff, to move forward with his project as is or submit new plans with modifications.
Back in July, Boge filed a pre-application request with the town to construct a docking facility on the canal behind the building. It’s not clear yet if that idea is still in the works.
Back in February Boge was caught illegally removing mangroves from the town when a local resident snapped pictures and said she saw 12 dumpsters full of mangroves being hauled away. Removing mangroves without a permit is illegal. Boge owned up to the illegal act and had been working with the town and state to restore the mangroves.
The Beach Theater closed in May of 2022 when Boge purchased the building for $4 million. At the time he told us the building could be opened as a restaurant or it could be something completely different. He said the building allows for “broad zoning usage.”
Boge’s ownership group also purchased the 34-room Gulfview Manor Resort as part of the deal. The total for both properties was $19 million. Boge is also part owner of The Dolphin Inn and Palm Terrace on the beach.