Top picks for #SWFL arts and entertainment enthusiasts—JAN. 1-10, 2016

Posted on December 31, 2015


923421_1105745949436178_919659478060557969_nAs we reflect on the top moments of 2015 and on what we’ve enjoyed in the arts and entertainment, I’m excited about what is happening in 2016 in Southwest Florida. Below are a list of the top picks of things to do in the very first week for 2016! Try them and build resolve to enjoy all our region has to enjoy in the year to come.

As 2015 ends please join me in ringing seeing it off at Celsius in downtown Fort Myers where I always do an honorary countdown at midnight. It is the only place to go tonight with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, the best dance music in town with DJ RIFIK and SHOWTIME and drinks from CIROC. For more information head to their Facebook event page here. —E


FRIDAY, January 1, 2016
DSC_0705Happy New Year!
Sober up.
Then stop by The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center during ArtWalk , where they will feature a show by local artist Daniel Linehan titled “A Line by Line by Hand.” The attention to detail is unbelievable. What comes from Linehan’s mind is even more magnificent. Don’t miss this one. The event is free and the show will be on display through January 26. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. Call 239.333.1933, check the event page on Facebook or head to

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 1.32.38 PM.pngUNIT A
Get a look at Marcus Jansen’s latest works before they get international attention and head to Europe. This is a no-brainer. Just go, people. The event is free and takes place from 6-10 p.m. UNIT A is located at 1922 Evans Ave.  Head to .

12002094_1145903748759352_7807194347388607951_nSaturday, January 2, 2016
Do some yoga, get some fresh food
Join the Alliance for the Arts 10-acre campus every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to find an exclusive selection of locally grown, caught and cultivated foods and other products available to sample and purchase. Enjoy live entertainment by local musicians and fun activities for kids, gardening classes, free yoga and live cooking by local chefs. Be sure to check out Gina’s authentic Mexican cuisine. Her tamales are unbelievable and her barbacoa is out of this world. The event is free. The tamales are only $3. More information is available at The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. The Facebook page for GREENMARKET has additional information.

11193333_10153305905878944_3649312531254972448_nSunday, January 3, 2016
Eeeeaaaaaasse into Sunday
Looking for the best coffee spot & doughnut spot in town to ease into your Sunday? Grab a book, write a screenplay or just talk with the coolest SWFL workers at Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Alton Brown bragged “Bennett’s Fresh Roast has the Ft. Myers doughnut market cornered…and with good reason.” Their donuts are heaven. It is also right down the street from Centennial Park and Edison & Ford Winter Estates so go for it—you know you deserve it. Bennett’s Fresh Roast is located at 2011 Bayside Pkwy in Fort Myers.

FMFFTGIM010416Monday, January 4, 2016

T.G.I.M. at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and get a view of how we view submissions for our festival and have a say whether or not they should make final programming with judges Jordan Axelrod, Dillon Dallidonis, Melissa Cofta, host Eric Raddatz and co-host Melissa DeHaven.

The popular T.G.I.M. film screening series will be held the first Monday of each month in downtown Fort Myers. T.G.I.M. features short indie films being considered for the sixth annual Fort Myers Film Festival. Those in attendance will have a say in the Fort Myers Film Festival’s April 7-10, 2016 programming. T.G.I.M. takes place at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers, located at 2301 First Street, Fort Myers. T.G.I.M. offers fresh films, not in distribution, local celebrities and honorary judges, indie music, conversation, drinks and more. Doors open for happy hour at 6:30 p.m. with pizza from Capone’s and coffee from Bennett’s. Films are presented at 7 p.m.


An “afterbuzz” will always be held following T.G.I.M. at the nearby Twisted Vine Bistro, 2214 Bay St., where late night happy hour prices on drinks and appetizers are offered to T.G.I.M. audience members. Twisted Vine was most recently recognized with an excellence award from Wine Spectator, the only restaurant in Fort Myers with that distinction.

A special podcast of attending filmmakers will be taped after each T.G.I.M. at Twisted Vine bistro. To hear that audio podcast go to

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, by going to or by calling 239.333.1933. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. To learn more, visit the T.G.I.M. Indie Movies Downtown Facebook page or  Facebook discounts are available at and there are updates on Twitter. Sponsored by Capone’s Pizza, the best in town. Join the afterbuzz at Twisted Vine every Monday after the show for late night happy hour and appetizers.

showart-website-all_cocktail-hourTuesday, January 5, 2016
Ok, drink some more
Hopefully you are sober from your NYE parties so now’s the time to have another drink.

The pre-dinner cocktail hour is a time-honored ritual at John’s parents’ elegant home, but when he returns to announce he’s written a play about them, their calm demeanor dissolves. As the martinis flow so do the revelations and recriminations. Both hysterically funny and heart-breakingly poignant, The Cocktail Hour is a comedy about how far one family can stretch the ties that bind them.  From the author of The Dining Room, Love Letters, and Florida Rep’s all-time biggest hit, Sylvia, this play will have audiences shaken and stirred with laughter as one family confronts its demons.  Show starts at 8 p.m. The Historic Arcade Theatre is located at 2267 First Street. Tickets start at $55. To purchase go to

396994_205317936230622_212791666_nThursday, January 7, 2016
Visit the Eric Raddatz Bridge for fresh fruit, veggies and more
Ok whatever you call the Caloosahatchee Bridge, be sure to come down from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. every Thursday year round in the Centennial Park parking lot 2000 W. First St. for great fresh market items, awesome food trucks, locally produced honey, veggies and more. Be sure to like the Eric Raddatz Bridge Facebook page here. 

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 1.50.07 PMFriday, January 8, 2016
Just keeps rollin’ along
Sing along to the classic as Show Boat spans almost 50 years and follows the lives, loves and heartbreaks of three generations of riverboat performers, while illuminating the racial and social changes that were shaping the country. The main story follows the captain’s daughter, Magnolia, who marries a gambler and moves to Chicago only to be abandoned by him and left alone with their young daughter. As time passes, Magnolia and her daughter are reunited with their family on the show boat and her estranged husband returns with hope for a second chance. The timeless score includes Ol’ Man River, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man and Make Believe.

Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the main auditorium. Ticket prices range from $39-$62 and are now on sale. Get yours by calling 239. 278.4422, by visiting or by stopping by the box office at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

10636721_10153798733734826_7759031069486872339_oSaturday, January 9, 2016
Alexandra has barricaded herself into her NYC brownstone with enough Molotov cocktails to take out the block. She is an 80-year-old artist who demands her independence while her family insists it is time to move into an assisted living facility. When her estranged son returns to mediate the situation, their past love and pain make for beautiful and wickedly funny theater. at The Laboratory Theater of Florida, located at 1634 Woodford Ave, Fort Myers. Show starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $22. For more information head to their website or the Facebook event page HERE.

TVawardGet twisted
How’s the week going? No matter what day it is consider celebrating happy hour at Twisted Vine, which become the go to restaurant when it comes to the most delicious, locally grown, eclectic cuisine, prepared delicately for the most wonderful culinary delights. They were just recently awarded with a Wine Spectator recognition, the only one in Fort Myers with such a distinction. Twisted Vine is located at 2214 Bay St., Fort Myers. Call them at 239.226.1687 or head to for more information. You will see me there


Picture 8Best Food Downtown—Hands Down
Twisted Vine has become the go to restaurant when it comes to the most delicious, locally grown, eclectic cuisine, prepared delicately for the most wonderful culinary delights. Be sure to go here while you are in town. If there is a celebration to have you will see me there. Twisted Vine is located at 2214 Bay St., Fort Myers, right next to the recently opened basin walk. Call them at 239.226.1687 or head to for more information. You will see me there!

10320291_10154734284150565_1054798492140566181_nFair trade downtown Fort Myers
Market Earth supports local artists, fair trade partners and recyclers from around the world. At their store in downtown Fort Myers you will find unique products that support a global marketplace with exceptional standards of quality and creativity. All their goods represent a philosophy of social awareness and they are proud to be a purveyor of change in the way they treat this beautiful earth and all the people, everywhere, who live on it. Check them out at

—Eric Raddatz is occasionally surprised as to all of the cool events that are happening in #SWFL and likes to share them with you. Follow him at for more updates!

When in doubt be sure to pick up a Florida Weekly while in town or head to This week read all about New Year’s resolutions.


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