Keeping It Live in the Bars and Restaurants of Fort Myers

Nothing completes a great night out, quite like live music. You'll find some kind of live music at almost every beach bar and island restaurant. You'll also find it outdoors at many of the areas premier shopping and dining destinations. But it's mostly background, which serves an entirely different purpose.

If you prefer watching a band, really listening to the music and perhaps even dancing to it, you need a different venue. As far as the beach goes, one the most popular places for both locals and tourists is known as The Cottage; it's part of The established Gulfshore Grill on Fort Myers Beach. The space is small but the setting is perfect for both acoustic and small bands.

The Martini Bar at the Firestone restaurant downtown Fort Myers, or the Brick Bar as locals call it, is a vintage space on the buildings third floor. It has been updated with a modern touch and employs a variety of bands ranging from Blues, to R & B and rock-n-roll. 

A few rock-n-roll legends and big band greats have ties to Fort Myers and they often bring their famous friends to town. You just never know when they might show up at some of these 10Best spots to watch and play!

Beached Whale


It's downright impossible to miss the turn for this time-tested establishment on Fort Myers Beach with signage that boasts a pink-skinned beachcomber, frothy ale held aloof, sitting atop a purple whale. Such good-natured quirkiness is what has...  Read More



Most beach goers spot Doc Ford's from the big bridge (Matanzas Pass) while crossing over Estero Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Resembling a sprawling stilt house, Doc's has a cool (as in temperature) inside bar as well as ample dining space....  Read More



The Firestone is a four-story entertainment and restaurant complex in an historic building, facing the newly renovated waterfront in downtown Fort Myers. The Martini Bar on the third is known to locals as the "Brick Bar", home to live bands on...  Read More



The Cottage is cool, a favorite spot for locals year round for its great view, food and entertainment. As part of the more civilized Gulfshore Grill, the Cottage is a casual, outdoor beach bar with an unobstructed view of the water. People come...  Read More

Big Blue Brewing
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


A brewery, restaurant and music venue, Big Blue has a lot under one giant roof. Housed in an old bingo hall, the owners paid special attention to the materials used on the ceiling when remodeling the expansive place, keeping the acoustics in...  Read More



This former Chinese restaurant has morphed into one of the most infamous local bars in the Fort Myers area. You'll know you are in the right place by the giant statue of Buddha, sitting in the parking lot. A couple of things you can be sure of...  Read More



The Cigar Bar has been a hotspot in downtown Fort Myers for more than fifteen years. A family owned establishment, the bar was originally known for it's large humidor, superb selection of spirits and itsmasculine, yet cozy lounge. Owners then...  Read More



The Buckingham Blues Bar has been open since the 1950's in the middle of nowhere, as some might say; the Buckingham community is about twelve miles east of downtown Fort Myers. You might expect a blues a bar to be a bit gritty and it is. That's...  Read More

The Roadhouse Cafe
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


The owners of the Roadhouse have connections and they use them, to the extreme delight of music lovers. Inspired by their successful restaurant in Cape Cod, the family of famous trumpeter Louis Colombo, opened this spot in 2007. Colombo had...  Read More

The Barrel Room at Twisted Vine Bistro
Photo courtesy of Gina Birch


Adjacent to Twisted Vine Bistro, this bourbon and blues bar has brought a new level of "cool" to downtown Fort Myers. You'll not only find an extensive selection of whisky, wine and other spirits but also a gastropub menu with the kitchen...  Read More


Meet Gina Birch

Gina carries the rare title of "Native Floridian". Living in Southwest Florida for 22 years, she is a well known, award winning radio and TV personality. 

Besides brandishing a microphone, Gina...  More About Gina