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12 Aug 2022
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Update: The Fort Myers Brewing Company has developed a limited-edition American IPA to help raise funds for Island Cow employees: Moo Crew Brew! To help promote it, FMBC will be open from 12 Noon to 11pm at their taproom location at 12811 Commerce Lakes Drive (1.5 miles northeast of Jet Blue Park off Daniels Parkway).  As always, food trucks will be available, courtesy of Cuban Connection and Vesuvius Wood Fired Pizza! Live entertainment with local musician Ben Clifford starting at 7pm! 

The Island Cow restaurant has been a family favorite since their opening in 2001 with over 300 breakfast, lunch, and dinner items (plus cocktails) and has been TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice four years in a row.  They’ve also been featured for the fun atmosphere with outdoor games, photo opportunities, pet-friendly patios, and live entertainment.  Many of our guests have told us how much they love coming to Sanibel, especially for a meal here.

(By the way, we’re going to try avoiding using cow-related puns because the Cow’s management has already used all of them…probably twice.) 

Unfortunately, the Cow has fallen on hard times.  On Saturday, August 6, a fire broke out in the kitchen after closing and quickly spread.  Though the fire department arrived quickly and there were no injuries (either people or their resident iguanas), there has been major damage inside, forcing them to close for renovations.


The Cow has survived several blows to Southwest Florida’s economy and tourism, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to Hurricanes Charley and Irma, and especially the travel restrictions from COVID-19. 

But the repairs may take as long as 10 months to a year, leaving over 50 employees (affectionately call The Herd) unemployed during the slowest time of the year for hospitality. 

To that end, the owners (Brian and Elke Podlasek) have established a fundraiser with Put It On Pete’s Tab, Inc., a local nonprofit organization where all donations raised go directly to employees and matched (up to $10,000) by Brian and Elke.

There are several options to donate, all tax deductible.  Just be sure to use the hashtag #HelptheHerd to designate your funds to Island Cow employees.  You can go directly to .

You can also go to Venmo and post to @PutItOnPetesTab or Zelle to

Or send a check (with #HelptheHerd on the memo line) to:

Put It On Pete’s Tab, Inc.

PO Box 150911

Cape Coral, FL 33915

We hope to see The Island Cow back up and running better than ever as quickly as possible!

Book Direct & Save…and #HelptheHerd