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Curious Gulf Coast: Why Is the Door of the SWFL Restaurant Industry a Revolving One?

Alan Levine
A "sorry we're closed" sign hangs in a window below an off neon open sign

This week, WGCU is answering your questions about development in Southwest Florida in a multi-platform Curious Gulf Coast series. 

A perennial topic in the region is restaurant development — rather, redevelopment. There is a well-known revolving door of food joints in Southwest Florida.

Mark Bole is a professor at the Institute of Entrepreneurship at FGCU. He joins Gulf Coast Live to talk about why restaurants aren't always able to weather the offseason.

He is joined by Dorothea Sonne, the food and wine editor of Gulfshore Life. She talks about why restaurants may be more inclined to renovate an existing space, rather than build from the ground up.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.