Named After Old Fashion Christmas Lights “The Bubble Room” Restaurant On Captiva Island Is Still Lit Up After 37 Years!
Captiva Island is in Lee County, just off the shores of southwest Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
I went there for the first time, to the Island and The Bubble Room 1/4/16!
I recommend locals and vacationers to visit Captiva!
It’s a beautiful island for walks on the beach, to lie in the sand, swim in the water, and soak up the sun!
If you’re doing either of those activities, you will eventually have to fuel your body. I would suggest you dine at The Bubble Room.
I would advise you to dine at The Bubble Room.
The recently retired Willard Scott the jolly weatherman for NBC’s Today show calls the restaurant one of his favorite places. He put a cookbook together a few years ago and included the recipe for The Bubble Room’s red velvet cake. Oh, and by the way, he owns a home on Captiva Island as well.
What They Say About Captiva Island
The Wall Street Journal selected Captiva Island as one of the 10 Best Places for Second Homes in 2010
Pepperidge Farm named a cookie in honor of the island. They call their Dark Chocolate Brownie cookie, Captiva.
Half the island is in private ownership, with “Millionaire’s Row”, luxury homes on gulf and bay side of Captiva Drive.
There’s the Roosevelt Channel on the east side of the island named for President Theodore Roosevelt who fished there.
Rumor has it Jimmy Buffett wrote ”Cheeseburger in Paradise,” while having lunch at Cabbage Key, a tiny island in the Gulf of Mexico, north of Captiva Island.
It sounds like a great place to open a restaurant!
That is exactly what Katie and Jamie Farquharson did!
What began with just a few tables in the front room of their home has bubbled into a famous multi- theme restaurant that is still going strong 37 years later!
The Bubble Room was born in 1979 but as soon as you enter the restaurant the music and decor transports you into the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and then some.
When Katie and Jamie opened the small restaurant on Captiva Island, they planned to serve cheeseburgers and enjoy a laid-back lifestyle. It appears they did some research on finding the right location but it wouldn’t turn out quite like the laid back lifestyle they planned on.
Along with two employees, they cooked and served freshly prepared food seven days a week. “We really wanted to become the Great American Restaurant,“ Jamie Farquharson recalled.
Then their customer base grew too much to handle.
Local residents and tourists began finding the tiny bubbly eatery as word spread about its funky decor and fresh food.
“We kept building the business up. We were very tired, and we weren`t delegating anything,“ Katie Farquharson said.
But from the start, the restaurant made money!
They soon realized they created something bigger than selling cheeseburgers and would not be taking daily fishing trips and strolls along the beach. Those plans were replaced by plans to open a chain of Bubble Rooms and spread their gourmet food throughout Florida.
Katie and Jamie started on a shoestring budget (many famous places start that way, I did) they figured in the all the necessary things needed for a restaurant but had not really thought about their restaurants interior.
The restaurant was almost ready to open when they realized they had all of the basics and none of the frills — like ambiance and decor.
Let’s face it you’re on an island, an island where people are on vacation 24-7 you got to give them more than food. They’re going to come back if your food is great but how often if your competitors food is also great.
You have to give them something that your competition isn’t.
That something is your THEME!
So Katie and Jamie Farquharson raided their closets, their attic, and their garage. They brought in all their neatest old stuff.
Jamie had always collected antique toys and trains, pictures of old movie stars, Christmas decorations. Katie had always collected miniatures.
”It’s an American phenomenon, this business of being fascinated with old things,” says Jamie. ”We don’t have the long history of our culture that the European countries do, and I think we have a thirst for a history of our own. Maybe that’s why people love to be surrounded by funny old things.”
They combined their collections and arranged everything in glassed-enclosed cabinets they bought for the walls and decided to use some of them as table tops in the restaurant.
You have to see the décor and tables to take it all in; it’s crazy cool!
I haven’t even mentioned their menu yet!
Besides being guaranteed not to leave hungry, the menu selections and descriptions are the best!
Lunch Menu- Click Here
Dinner Menu –Click Here
Gastronaut, artist and seven-time Guinness World Record holder Bob Blumer stopped by the Bubble Room to sample some of their CAKES! He is the creator and host of the television series Surreal Gourmet, and Glutton for Punishment, and a producer and host of World’s Weirdest Restaurants. His shows air on various networks in over twenty countries worldwide.
Their desserts well just look them, all are made right in the Bubble Kitchen!
When I was there we shared the Orange Crunch and Red Velvet!!!
Just this past summer 2015- Wednesday (June 24th) they were featured on The Food Network’s new show Craziest Restaurants in America!
Servers are dressed in Boy Scout costume!
“I will not try to catalog the marvels crammed into this toy box of a restaurant. It is a private Smithsonian of playthings, where one can happily get lost among the toys that were once placed under generations of Christmas trees and the pictures of stars that twinkled on silver screens and scratchy 78s. Generally, I care more about food than ambiance — but on that score, too, I’ve got plenty on my plate to talk about.” Chris Sherman, Sentinel Restaurant Critic
In the late 90’s Katie and Jamie Farquharson sold the Bubble Room!
The present owners have followed and developed these original ideas faithfully adding more and more fantastic toys and decor.
Today there are still many original items along with the moving trains now on all three floors.
Every available wall space has memorably on it.
The front room is still decorated for Christmas, and the additional theme of its always Christmas at the Bubble Room took shape with the introduction of many Father Christmases, the Elf Room and year-round Christmas lights.
The Bubble Room was one of the first on the Island to introduce the bright and cheerful pastel colors now widely used on the island.
The restaurant still presents several of the distinctive original menu items offered by the Farqhuarsons, including such favorites as Socra cheese, Bubble Bread, Carolina Moons, Tarzan, Eddie Fisherman, and many of the delicious and oversized desserts.
Your Theme is one of the necessary components in becoming a successful restaurant and “The Bubble Room” has been true to its THEME for 37 years!
Do you have a THEME you would like to develop into a restaurant?
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