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Brooke’s makes name as neighborhood eatery

July 10, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Two years ago, AmiJo Beecroft pretty much walked away from the restaurant business, feeling she didn't deserve to walk on the footsteps of her mother.

For local foodies, it's a good thing she changed her mind.

Brooke's Restaurant and Lounge, at 4450 Hancock Bridge Parkway, a seven-iron from the Cape Coral city line, has been serving great food for more than 30 years under a number of owners.

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AmiJo Beecroft, owner of Brooke’s Restaurant at 4450 Hancock Bridge Parkway, shows off one of her signature dishes, Sissy Nuggets.

CHUCK BALLARO

But it was only this year that the longtime eatery was able to earn a North Fort Myers Neighbor "Best of" award for best restaurant by readers.

"We were really excited, when we learned we had won it. It was also surprising because we don't do any advertising. We were told that clearly we didn't need to because we won," Beecroft said. "It makes us proud because we try to set an example for North Fort Myers."

Brooke's opened around 1986 with Jim Heckler as the owner. He later sold the place to the family that now owns Victory Lane.

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At the time AmiJo's mother and grandmother worked for them. Billi Joe Daggett, one of the owners, said she realized her mother was doing a great job running the place.

"She said she would either fire her and take her restaurant back or my mom would have to buy it," AmiJo said. "My mom and grandma bought the place."

AmiJo has been there the whole time, from age 11, starting in the dish pit and moving up to running the place after getting her master's degree in business management in 2012.

But it wasn't easy. Beecroft took a long road trip in 2017, thinking she was done with the restaurant business. She said she learned an entirely different lesson than the one she thought.

"I didn't feel like I earned ownership, which was a load to bear. I thought I wanted to get into the outdoors," Beecroft said. "I ended up coming home, falling back in love with Florida and doing a remodel which made me fall back in love with the restaurant."

Beecroft said Brooke's is like Cheers, where everybody knows your name and the staff knows what you like to eat and everyone is like family. Many of the customers have been coming for years.

"We always put out really good food. We take great pride in how good it is," Beecroft said. "We get lots of repeat business Even our snowbirds are regulars. When they're here, they're here."

Brooke's is known for its "Sissy Nuggets," boneless Buffalo Wings. They also make great burgers and pot roast. Virtually nothing comes in frozen, which Beecroft said makes a big difference.

They have a $5 Sissy Nugget basket special on Monday, 50-cent wings Tuesday, and $2 cheeseburger sliders on Wednesday. There is also trivia, live music and even a prime rib special on Friday and Saturday.

Brooke's will also be offering a Sunday brunch, as well as online ordering and possible delivery, which will mean starting a Website.

Brooke's is open Monday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

For more information, call 995-1900 or visit their Facebook page.

 
 

 

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