Fort Myers Beach, Fla.- Today, was supposed to be a day of celebration, an historic one on Fort Myers Beach. Instead, disappointed patrons will have to wait longer to sip drinks on the sand. "The Cottage" on Estero Boulevard had the green light to start serving alcohol, but despite all the hard work, the beach bar didn't pass it's final inspection.
"You know it's very frustrating, we have been waiting for years to get this approved on the beach," said local Larry Arno.
Locals and visitors alike thought today would be the day they'd be able to toast a new era on the beach.
"It's been a long time coming, everyone's been pretty anxious about getting the permits signed and following all the regulations," said local Rick Reed. All day, anxious regulars showed up by the numbers for the chance to see history made.
"did we get approved? "no, we are still waiting, impatiently."
But alas, after a final inspection of the rope and post, town officials said "The Cottage Beach Bar" will have to keep its glass and metal inside for now. "It's a long time over due, I think we should be able to be able to drink in this confined area," said Reed.
Here's the problem: trash cans weren't in the right spot and the bar still needs to put permanent signs that say "no alcohol allowed past this point" in the sand.
"It's going to be great if we ever get it done, it frustrating, but lets just keep positive because we are doing the best," said Arno.
And that meant having cottage employees race against the clock to get the proper signage.
"These are the old signs, these are the new signs- the paper wasn't good enough."
After three visits to the hardware store, time ran out.
"It looks like their in compliance, little things, everyone's waiting on the final word," said Reed.
Bar patrons will have to drink inside until the permit gets signed.
The state will need to come out and inspect the rope and post after the town does its final inspection. Employees did go pick up their permanent signs. We do not know when the next inspection will take place.