When it comes to downtown Fort Myers dining, entertainment and nightlife, there is one place that stands out among the rest. It has for years. It’s The Firestone Grill Room, Martini Bar and Sky Bar. The landmark three-story entertainment complex has hosted some of the biggest parties in Fort Myers for the last decade. It has character, quality food and drink, and lots of space to accommodate partygoers.
The bars and restaurant are a staple for Ladies Night. Complimentary dining is offered in The Grill Room as well as complimentary drinks on the rooftop Sky Bar. Not to mention the daily drink specials, live music, topnotch DJs and more. Check the website and social media for specials and updates going into the holiday season.
When The Firestone opened, it was the final piece of an historic dining and nightlife trifecta by the Kearns Restaurant Group, led by Daniel Kearns. His vision for dining and entertainment has reached far beyond The Firestone. With numerous other establishments under his supervision, his concepts have been a catalyst for revitalizing the downtown scene into what it is today.
Kearns had been operating The Edison at Fort Myers Country Club and originally began transforming the downtown dining scene with partner Mike McGuigan by opening Ford’s Garage on First Street. The Firestone was the last piece of the historic dining and entertainment puzzle. It represents the friendship of Southwest Florida’s three most famous winter residents, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.
The Firestone is in a 100-year-old building on Bay Street, across from the yacht basin. On the ground floor, you will find The Grill Room with its signature conveyor belt of tires moving along the perimeter of the high ceiling. The brick walls are adorned with vintage photos that create a welcoming feel.
The chef-driven restaurant gets much of its flavor from a wood-fired grill. The rustic smokey flavors from the grill make the dishes served here unlike those found in any other downtown establishment.
It is ideal for cranking out gourmet flatbreads. A popular selection features sun-dried tomato, baby spinach, artichoke, goat cheese and mozzarella, finished with a drizzle of port wine reduction. The grill is used to cook much more than flatbreads. The wood fire lightly chars stalks of romaine lettuce for Caesar Salad, and grills broccoli for a signature side dish. That broccoli comes with creamy bleu cheese and red pepper coulis and is topped with crispy tempura flakes. It is legendary and it is delicious.
And then there is the Chef’s 32-ounce Tomahawk Steak, a centercut, long bone-in ribeye that is meant to be shared. Covered in decadent gorgonzola butter, demi-glace and crispy fried onions, the meal comes with a choice of three sides. It’s a lot of food.
Take the elevator to the third floor and you’ll find the sexy Martini Bar. With more exposed brick walls, it has large windows facing the water, a high ceiling and big city character. Try the signature Supermodel Martini. The deep pink drink is made with Ciroc Red Berry Vodka, Pama and a splash of cranberry juice. It’s topped with Champagne for an extra special touch.
You’ll often find live music in the Martini Bar as well. The space can be reserved for private events and is ideal for a holiday gathering.
The icing on The Firestone cake is the rooftop Sky Bar. An express elevator from The Grill Room’s lobby whisks the well-heeled straight to the bar. It is one of downtown’s most popular spots for happy hour and a picturesque sunset over the Caloosahatchee River. After the sun goes down, the party cranks up a notch. The cozy couches host VIP bottle service for the party crowd. Some of the area’s best DJs keep the music pumping into the wee hours of the night. You can hear the laughter on the street below, beckoning you to join.
“One of the things that has given us so much longevity is our versatility,” says Kearns. “We have upgraded our look, our menus and what we offer multiple times to keep things fresh and exciting.”
The restaurant group has negotiated a licensing deal with Bridgestone Firestone company. “It’s a big deal,” says Kearns. “The screening process was quite rigorous.” The deal is a seal of approval from the corporation, which would allow Kearns to expand and open another Firestone. However, replicating the Fort Myers operation in its historic building would be next to impossible. The Firestone truly is a one-of-kind drinking, dining and entertainment complex that shows no signs of slowing down.
The Firestone Grill Room, Martini Bar and Sky Bar is located at 2224 Bay St. in downtown Fort Myers. The Grill Room & Loft are open for dining Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. Drinks are served in The Martini Bar Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Skybar is open for food and drink Sunday through Tuesday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. To get in touch, call 239-334-FIRE (3473) or visit FirestoneFL.com. Reservations are accepted. Private dining and event space are available. VIP bottle service is offered.