In the Know: Did L'Etoile French restaurant close in North Naples?

TIM ATEN
L'Etoile, a French restaurant, closed in early May after operating for only six months at 10711 U.S. 41 N. in North Naples.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

L'Etoile, a French restaurant, closed in early May after operating for only six months at 10711 U.S. 41 N. in North Naples.

L'Etoile husband-and-wife team Chef Marc-Jean and Trish Berruet.

Photo by Kelly Merritt/Correspondent

L'Etoile husband-and-wife team Chef Marc-Jean and Trish Berruet.

Q: I went to L'Etoile at the end of May with my recently purchased Groupon coupon. Closed up tight!

— Nancy, North Naples

Q: What happened to L'Etoile? They sold 130 Groupons for dinners at their restaurant on April 29, and by May 15 had a sign up on the door "Closed for season." Interesting! We were planning to go there for our wedding anniversary dinner until they were impossible to get hold of by phone to make a reservation and then most unlikely when we tried in person at the restaurant.

— S. Ray, Naples

Q: Did L'Etoile in Naples close? I know they would be closed for summer, but appears there is a "for lease" sign posted now. They were doing a lot of promotions through Groupon and LivingSocial after season. Hopefully, those customers get their money refunded, if they did close.

— Alys, Naples

A: L'Etoile, a French restaurant, closed in early May after operating for only six months at 10711 U.S. 41 N. in North Naples. Since early July, the 3,500-square-foot, free-standing building has been available for lease.

When they relocated last year from North Carolina, L'Etoile owners Marc-Jean and Patricia Berruet initially had planned to keep open their Outer Banks restaurant, The Pearl, during opposite seasons from their Naples eatery, that had planned to close during the summer. But when they permanently closed the Kill Devil Hills, N.C., restaurant after its fourth season, the Berruets announced that L'Etoile would stay open year round, except for maybe a week or so during vacations.

But, in early May, a handwritten sign was posted on L'Etoile's main entrance: "Closed for the season. See you Aug. 15!" Likewise, a telephone recording said the restaurant was closed for summer vacation. But, instead, the restaurant closed permanently.

The Berruets could not be reached for comment regarding the closing or their plans.

Online deal-making firms Groupon and LivingSocial both have policies that address concerns about businesses closing before purchased discounts are redeemed.

"If anything happens that makes it impossible for you to redeem your Groupon, we'll make sure you get your money back," Groupon promises participants. "If a business closes permanently, we will always honor returns for unredeemed Groupons."

LivingSocial also clearly addresses unexpected closings.

"We provide refunds upon request in cases where you are unable to redeem a voucher because the merchant has gone out of business before the promotional period ends," according to LivingSocial's refund policy.

L'Etoile joins a smorgasbord of restaurants that have opened and closed on the northwest corner of 107th Avenue North a few blocks south of Immokalee Road. The old Heidelberg Restaurant occupied the space for many years and is probably best remembered for that spot. That address also has been home to Mr. G's Italian Restaurant and Rudi's European Cuisine.

The Counter Custom Built Burgers is targeted to open Aug. 18 in the same block as Bravo! Cucina Italiana in Mercato in North Naples.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

The Counter Custom Built Burgers is targeted to open Aug. 18 in the same block as Bravo! Cucina Italiana in Mercato in North Naples.

The Wine Loft wine bar is coming soon beneath the Silverspot Cinema in Mercato in North Naples.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

The Wine Loft wine bar is coming soon beneath the Silverspot Cinema in Mercato in North Naples.

The Counter

Q: When will the Counter burger joint be opening in Mercato? They projected the opening to be in late June, but that date has already passed. Will this be another Chipotle story of opening months later than planned?

While I am at it, do you know any of the information on the wine bar that is opening in Mercato as well? I think it is called The Wine Loft?

— Ryan Rataj, Naples

A: Workers have been busy readying the area's first location of The Counter Custom Built Burgers, now targeted to open Aug. 18 in the same Mercato block as Bravo! Cucina Italiana, said Andres Layrisse, the local franchisee for The Counter.

While, of course, initial plans called for The Counter opening in late June, and then mid-July, many local development projects are more often late than not, so don't draw any conclusions yet because of delays.

The permanent sign recently went up on the 1,300-square-foot corner store on Strada Place.

This may be one of those places where you may need a little more time to do your homework anyway. With the possibility of more than 312,000 different burger combinations, it may be best to go online to familiarize yourself with the extensive menu of gourmet ingredients before you arrive awestruck.

The California-based chain gives patrons a clipboard to check off items wanted on each burger. Choose among beef, turkey, chicken and veggie burgers, burger size, type of bun, 12 cheeses, 20 sauce options, four of 20 different toppings, and from nine premium toppings such as a fried egg, avocado or sautéed mushrooms.

A local job fair for the Counter will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Friday at 9115 Strada Place, suite 5130, across from the new restaurant in Mercato. The eatery is hiring for all positions, and managers will interview applicants when they apply.

Meanwhile, just down the street in Mercato, The Wine Loft wine bar is coming soon next to AZN Azian Cuizine and on the ground level beneath the Silverspot Cinema. Additional information about the wine bar is not available yet, but expect updates here soon.

Barry Nicholls
Steamers seafood restaurant in Bed Bath & Beyond Plaza in North Naples was able to stay open Friday even after a vehicle crashed through its front window.

Photo by Contributed/Barry Nicholls

Barry Nicholls Steamers seafood restaurant in Bed Bath & Beyond Plaza in North Naples was able to stay open Friday even after a vehicle crashed through its front window.

More local restaurant news

Steamers seafood restaurant got a little steamy Friday in Bed Bath & Beyond Plaza, but the North Naples restaurant was able to stay open after a vehicle crashed through its front window.

On Friday afternoon, an 84-year-old patron stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake while picking up a carryout order, and her vehicle jumped the curb and drove through the restaurant's plate-glass window, according to Steamers co-owner Michelle Mattia.

"She was coming for the great chowder," Mattia said, laughing, noting she can laugh about the incident now because nobody was hurt in the crash.

The window was fixed after the 3:45 p.m. accident, so the restaurant was back to normal for its dinner shift. The huge outside opening let the heat and humidity in and the air conditioning out for a short time, but the restaurant didn't close, Mattia said.

Ironically, the taxicab called for the woman who crashed into Steamers was involved in another crash in the shopping center while coming to pick her up, said Mattia, who ended up taking the woman home herself.

"This is the first time something like this has happened in the 12 years Steamers has been open," she said.

Steamers, 5317 Airport-Pulling Road N., is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 239-593-3388

Refresh, a fast-casual lunch and dinner venue serving sandwiches, salads, wraps and smoothies, opened July 9, 2012, next to Pei Wei Asian Diner in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples.

Photo by TIM ATEN // Buy this photo

Refresh, a fast-casual lunch and dinner venue serving sandwiches, salads, wraps and smoothies, opened July 9, 2012, next to Pei Wei Asian Diner in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples.

■ Refresh, a fast-casual lunch and dinner venue serving sandwiches, salads, wraps and smoothies, opened July 9 next to Pei Wei Asian Diner in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt in North Naples. That space at 2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road has been vacant since Salad Creations closed in November 2010 after operating its healthier alternative to traditional fast food fare for about three years.

Refresh's menu, promoted as "where great taste gets together with nutrition," leads with sandwiches — such as Pesto Club, Zangy Tangy Roast Beef, Yo Turkey and Totally Tuna — on toasted Ciabatta rolls or multigrain bread in a price range of $5.99 to $7.99. A choice of seven wraps is available at $6.99 each. All sandwiches and wraps are served with SunChips, Refresh slaw or "our soon to be famous edamame salad," the menu notes.

Salads, ranging from an ordinary Caesar salad at $5.99 to one with wild Alaskan salmon for $10.99.

Smoothies, regularly $4.99 for a 24-ounce cup, but only $2.99 when added to a sandwich, wrap or salad, are available in more than a dozen flavor combos. Sunshine includes strawberry, mango, pineapple and orange; Big Blue has banana, strawberry and blueberry; The Refresh smoothie has banana, strawberry and pineapple.

Refresh: 239-592-4166

___

Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to intheknow@naplesnews.com.

"In the Know" is published Mondays and Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Related Links

Comments » 23

osamaisdead writes:

"At about 4 p.m. Friday, an 84-year-old patron stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake while picking up a carryout order, and her vehicle jumped the curb and drove through the restaurant's plate-glass window"
I've heard of meals-on-wheels, but this sounds more like meals-under-wheels.
Alternatively; since she was buying chowder, you could say Steamers has everything from soup to lug nuts.

voltihs writes:

L'Etoile what a bomb. I predicted it would be history after 1 season. I was wrong. These people came off with a snobery seldom seen in this town of phonies. This place was a glorified Steak/Frite joint with Parisian prices.

cozyboy writes:

"Refresh"? These names these days. GET REAL. As far as that french joint, no surprise.Starting to believe new eateries have about a 10% chance of making it thru a year. ...What, no pizza news this week. Amazing.

itmattershere writes:

Told you all, L'Etoile wouldn't last till May.

staghorn writes:

in response to montrelle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

▲▲▲ Remember, this is the same guy who used to picket Hooters being built on Pine Ridge Road.

sunburnt writes:

Think about it, who really wants to eat expensive French food at a restaurant located in scenic Naples park?

freedomsailor writes:

If you don't go to a "new" restaurant within 1 week of its opening, don't bother, it will probably be closed. Naples has far too many restaurants. This area can only support about 10% of them.

bonitaben writes:

Maybe the french restaurant can get some BP money and reopen.

milo writes:

The place is cursed. Cafe in the Park, Heidelberg, Mr Gs and L'Etoile= ALL LOSERS. The landlord there does the same thing Chrissy's does. They sell the same losers over oand over again; just waiting for the next sucker to come along. Who is next? A friend of mine opened Mr Gs in'06 only to find the building a disaster and infested with a serious RAT population. None of this disclosed prior to occupancy. And people lose their life savings. Same old Naples/Mobley type stuff. Prey on other people.

Jarvis (Inactive) writes:

They should have taken the senile old hag to prison, where the public will be safe from her driving skills.

gotero writes:

in response to ISPEAKFORGOD:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Take your meds. The voices you hear in your head are not from God.

Trexler writes:

Like I said a year ago, the place had greasy carpets, grease smell and inferior ac...these folks didnt correct the situation, ..and, for all of the bloggers reasons, it was doomed to fail...anytime the entree is above $15 and its not a known place, e.g., Brios, St Geo, Campys, BlueTini, etc, it cant capture decent dining dollars...even Pates few months at Coastland with slashed rent couldnt make it but brand name Cheesecake could...keep your money under your mattress, you'll have it 5 yrs from now....

jeffz3711 writes:

I had two coupons for this place. One from restaurants.com and one for living social. To their credit they both promptly gave me a credit to use somewhere else. If the owners of this place really left town and did not inform the coupon companies, they should be brought back and charged with fraud.

voltihs writes:

I say lets start a restaurant death lottery. My next pick is Bond (or is it Glue) on Vanderbilt Beach Rd.

naplesnative73 writes:

in response to ISPEAKFORGOD:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Ratpublicans in Kollier Kounty can nơt get rid of the rats because the rats keep change name and moving around like Ispeakforgod or Elephanttammers ect..ect...When every thing going good, you guy pop up and running you chzits and when chzits hit the fan you guy crawling back to under the rock somewhere then change your name waiting for the right moment to resurface.

jt1120 writes:

LE toilet closed, big surprise. Anyone in this economy who thinks they can run a restaurant only half the year and make it is truly fooling themselves. The main reason why nothing ever survives there is the huge wall in front of the building. Gee, let's have a restaurant but build a huge WALL in front of it so no one can see it. Who came up with that design brain fart?

milo writes:

The property is a slime bucket, and anyone crazy enough to ever open a restaurant there again should be committed. The place is a scam.

staghorn writes:

in response to JeanPierre:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LoadStar (Inactive) writes:

Le toilet - hahahaha - I like that

LoadStar (Inactive) writes:

in response to Jarvis:

They should have taken the senile old hag to prison, where the public will be safe from her driving skills.

One more reason to hate old people. Saw the same thing happen at Roy's in Bonita some years back. Crazy old bat drove right through the restaurant window - still had her foot floored on the accelerator, front wheels spinning and screaming. No sympathy - take the da__ed car keys away before someone (besides the offending old fart) dies.

HAP writes:

What a crazy town we live in. You just can't make this stuff up. If you are not smart enough to know by now that restaurants are a big gamble here, then don't buy any gift cert. or coupons.

milo writes:

in response to HAP:

What a crazy town we live in. You just can't make this stuff up. If you are not smart enough to know by now that restaurants are a big gamble here, then don't buy any gift cert. or coupons.

Watch and see. The owner of the building will sucker some poor business person into opening another LOSER there. The place should be leveled and turned into a no-kill animal shelter.

milo writes:

in response to jt1120:

LE toilet closed, big surprise. Anyone in this economy who thinks they can run a restaurant only half the year and make it is truly fooling themselves. The main reason why nothing ever survives there is the huge wall in front of the building. Gee, let's have a restaurant but build a huge WALL in front of it so no one can see it. Who came up with that design brain fart?

Watch and see. The owner of the building will sucker some poor business person into opening another LOSER there. The place should be leveled and turned into a no-kill animal shelter.
..

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features