"Family-friendly biker bar" is how Steve Newton, a partner in the business, describes Pine Island's newest restaurant Flatheads Roadhouse.
"Here at Flatheads we might have a heart surgeon sitting next to a middle school teacher sitting next to a salesman, all talking about their motorcycles," Steve Newton said. "We've created a restaurant where families can come and enjoy quality home-made food."
Flatheads is located about 4 miles from the center of Pine Island.
The owners of Flatheads Roadhouse, from left, Steve Newton, Tami Newton and Mike Hervey.
"It's hard to find the right restaurant facility with the right atmosphere," Steve Newton said. "Here in Southwest Florida people like that outdoor space and you need the right outside space to create the perfect setting for customers. I wanted a biker bar and my wife, Tami, has wanted a restaurant for a long time. Her family has been in the food business for years."
"We looked for a while and even came close to opening a restaurant in Delaware where we moved from," Tami Newton said. "Then I came across this place on Craigslist. When we checked it out, it really needed a lot of work but we could see the potential. So we decided to move ahead."
"I was just looking for something to do," partner Mike Hervey said. "I moved here from Alaska where I was in the business of building assisted living facilities. I retired and was getting bored when this idea came up. We're open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. - I'm not bored any more."
According to the partners, so far business has been good.
"We've been busy from the day we opened the doors," Steve Newton said. "Everything we serve is homemade from scratch. We don't have anything frozen or out of a can or jar and the response has been incredible. People will come in here and taste something and are just blown away."
Flatheads Roadhouse participated in the Taste of Pine Island and seemed to always have a line.
"We made 20 gallons of chili, 10 gallons of chowder and 10 gallons of soup and ran out of everything both days," Tami Newton said.
"We seem to be walking that line between being a high quality restaurant and a destination for motorcyclists," Hervey said. "I know the term 'bikers' can have a negative connotation but I read an article recently that said the mean income of motorcyclists is about 25 percent higher than the average income for Americans. Today there are a high percentage of lawyers, doctors and other professionals riding motorcycles for recreation. The old stereotype just doesn't exist any more."
The restaurant's menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner with exceptional items like eggs Benedict, black angus hamburger, Philadelphia cheesesteaks, Maryland crab cakes, bayou shrimp and perigees in habanero cream sauce.
This past weekend Flatheads Roadhouse opened its doors to raise funds for a fellow motorcyclist. Katie Ridderman, aka Katie "Go-Far." Ridderman was struck by a motorist on her motorcycle Jan. 19 and suffered a broken jaw and broken hip with back damage. There are several operations scheduled.
"We had a great turnout Saturday for Katie," Hervey said. "There were probably 500 people there in the course of the day and we raised just over $2,400. Our goal was to just help Katie and her family in this difficult time."
Flatheads Roadhouse is at 13924 Stringfellow Road in Bokeelia.