Marc and Sheri Neeley opened the cafe in 2007, modeling the menu after their family’s successful restaurant in Cape Cod. Regulars here love the scallop risotto, the steaks and the Chicken Homard, which is chicken breast stuffed with lobster and Swiss cheese, breaded, baked and then topped with a lemon herb butter sauce.
The martini list is fitting for a music club, and the wine list will delight discerning palates. Both have a relatively low markup for such a sophisticated-looking place.
Enjoy live music and dancing every night at Roadhouse. — Photo courtesy of Gina Birch
Even though the owners come from a musical family, when they first opened, live music was only heard a couple of nights a week. But it was quality, and patrons not only appreciated it but also demanded more. Now, talented musicians take to the stage every night of the week, including Sunday Jazz Jam, where you never know what will happen.
The décor is a bit eclectic - Art Deco with lots of metal, columns and tiered chandeliers. The tables are covered in crisp white linens, adorned with fresh flowers and set with Riedel crystal stemware, the highest standard for wine drinkers.
For guests who really like to feel the vibe, there are six seats around the piano with space for food and drinks. It's an intimate experience for both the musicians and the fans.
For intimacy of a different kind, there is The Cave, a chic, semi-private room that comfortably seats six. It’s a great spot for high-profile guests who want to enjoy their company as well as the music, without interruption.
The groups here play everything from big band, jazz and blues to disco music. In fact, a disco ball hangs above the dance floor, which gets particularly crowded on Friday nights. The crowd is mixed, but tends to be on the more mature side.
One of the reasons music lovers and highly sought-after musicians flock to Roadhouse Cafe is because of Sherri's father, famous trumpeter Louis Colombo. He had quite a career, performing with legends the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Tony Bennett. Spending the winter months in Fort Myers, he loved to play at Roadhouse, and his famous friends did, too.
On March 3, 2012, Colombo took to the stage and gave a performance that raised the roof. He spent his whole life searching for and trying to create the perfect mouthpiece, and it appeared he finally had it.
Colombo left the venue, full of excitement, but didn't make it very far; he was killed in a car accident shortly afterwards.
New dining room dedicated to trumpeter Lou Colombo — Photo courtesy of Gina Birch
Sheri says about that night, “He was on top of the world, the place was packed, it was a great night.”
He literally went out on a high note.
After Colombo’s death, the Neeley family acquired some adjacent space. When their expansion was complete, the new dining area was dedicated to the former patriarch, with a bright mural and a showcase of his horns.
The addition gives the restaurant and club the capacity of nearly 200 now, but it still has a cozy, comfy feel.
“When we opened this, we wanted it to be like we were inviting people into our home,” Marc says.
Fans say, "Mission accomplished!"