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Moody River Grille takes pride in ‘real good food’

Restauranteur carves niche with ‘homestyle’ fare

November 6, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Jeff Smith has owned restaurants and nightclubs throughout the country for more than 30 years, so he knows a thing or two about bringing customers in and keeping them.

Two years ago, he bought Moody River Grille at 484 Hancock Bridge Parkway at Orange Grove Center after owning two Foster's Grill locations for several years.

It's become a go-to place for breakfast and lunch.

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Jeff Smith, owner of the Moody Rover Grille at Orange Grove Center in North Fort Myers.


Smith, who owned nightclubs in Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina before coming here, bought the place that used to be Rojo's in late 2016 and created a family restaurant everyone can enjoy.

"I was looking for a homestyle restaurant and I thought North Fort Myers would make a great fit," Smith said. "We have great customers and an older clientele. For some it's their home away from home."

Its breakfast menu is a favorite. They specialize in three-egg omelets, cut their own potatoes for hash browns and make their own syrup for anything in the pancake group.

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The work has paid off, as they have won awards for their breakfasts.

Lunch features their Reuben sandwiches, where the meat is slow cooked for 12 hours overnight, after which is basically falls apart, making for a great sandwich. They also sell half-pound cheeseburgers, wings and Philly Cheesesteaks.

There is also a limited bar in which they serve beer and wine

"Everything is made fresh and homemade, unlike others who serve their food frozen," Smith said. "We have daily specials that change every day, such as meatloaf and open-face sandwiches which allows our chefs to be creative and do their own stuff."

Business has been strong, as they get their regulars, including local firefighters, who have found the place to their liking. Smith has even started a wall of honor for them.

Moody River Grille is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is available for special events after hours. He has held fundraisers and poker and wine-tasting parties to raise money for local charities, such as K-Kids.

Smith said he is looking into possibly doing dinner hours once season gets into full gear.

For more information, call 599-2615 or go to their Facebook page.



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