Kent and I have drove past Bert’s Bar, which is before you cross the bridge to Pine Island several times. We always wanted to stop at the bar for lunch but we could never find a place to park. The bar is very busy with limited parking.
A couple of weeks ago we finally got our chance to stop and have lunch. When we were looking over the menu to our surprise on the back this is what we read.
Matlacha housing started in the 20″s. The original bridge to Pine Island was completed in 1927. Fishing shanties and squatter shacks appeared on the Island. Many of them have survived to present day. The area around the Matlacha Bridge was made famous by Ft. Myers author, Richard Powell, in the book Pioneer Go Home. This book was made into an Elvis Presley movie called ” Follow that Dream”.
Guess what that is the name of our boat “Follow That Dream”. We named our boat after Elvis song “Follow that dream”. We also have the Elvis Presley movie Follow That Dream. We didn’t know that the movie was based on the book Pioneer Go Home we just thought it was one of Elvis movies. Here is some more information about the bar that was printed on the back of the menu.
Bert’s Bar is composed of two buildings. The original building was the bar near the road. It was built-in the 30’s as a “sweet shoppe”. Then in 1941 the “hotel” building was built. It consisted of eight hotel rooms. During WWII, army bases were set up at Page Field and many of the soldiers would come out for a weekend to Matlacha to go fishing off the “fishingest bridge in Florida” at Matlacha Pass. They became regular customers of the hotel and the “Hotel Bar”. Stories abound that the hotel had the reputation of “ill repute ” and ladies of the night. Imagine that. Sometime after the war the bar was named Mothers’s and then as Harry’s Barge Inn. In the seventies, the bar was known as Tri Dilly Inn. The hotel continued to operate until the 80’s. It was the home to many local fisherman. Shrimp boats were parked out back of the Inn.
Later the place was purchased by Bert Club. Bert’s became the bar of choice for many people. In 2000 the establishment was sold again. The name remains and the Legend lives on. Bert’s has had a colorful sixty-five years of history and is the home of many stories of its past.
After reading the history about the bar on the back of the menu, Kent and I realized how much of the movie was based on events that happened. The bar was so nice to let us take one of their menus to have on our boat. We left one of our boat cards with them that shows the name of our boat. We really do live in a small world.