The Matlacha restaurant is back as residents work to rebuild the island

MATLACHA, Fla. — Jesse Tincher is one of the owners of Blue Dog Bar and Grill in Matlacha.

“The floors were clean now, but there was mud everywhere — probably because it was so deep,” Tincher said.

His restaurant has come a long way since Hurricane Ian hit.

He said he planned to ride out the storm at his home a few blocks away, but decided to leave at the last minute.

“I was not afraid of death. I didn’t mind that. I just bought a new truck two months ago. I didn’t want it rolling down the street,” Tincher said.

That truck saved his life.

“It was the best thing to hear as if they were all alive,” Tincher said.

When he saw the damage inside, he thought he would have to close his doors for good.

“I locked the door and I was going to go back to Miami,” Tincher said.

But then word spread that Pine Island Road was being repaired.

“When the governor finally signs the dotted line, I tell people you can’t wipe this smile off my face with a shovel,” Tincher said.

This is not Jesse’s first obstacle.

He had his last chemotherapy four years ago.

“It says throat cancer survivor — it’s really like I’m not a survivor, I’m a success,” Tincher said.

Boom, like the rest of the community.

His business still has no electricity, but water is now available on the island.

“Life has kicked me in the butt a few times and then I get off the canvas and laugh in his face and say is that the best shot you’ve ever had? And just keep going,” Tincher said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Latest

To Top