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Times of the Islands Magazine

Restaurant Blue Giraffe Celebrates Second Location Expansion

It has been one month since the family-owned Blue Giraffe expanded to its second location at Beachview Estates. With a goal of serving the surrounding neighborhood,—featuring 224 homesites on Par View Drive, Birdie View Point, and Eagle Run Drive, and the Sanibel Island Golf Club containing its 18-hole course and tennis courts—the restaurant has felt a considerably supportive response from the community, receiving positive praise in person and through social media channels.

"We’re very excited about taking care of their needs," said owner Bill Letendre. "After the first week, we see they do take advantage after a round of golf or a tennis match. They do come in for lunch. Grassroots support by the neighborhood is going to be spot on."

The previous occupant of the space, Malia Island Fusion Cuisine, permanently closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the space was empty and the golf course was looking for a partner in the restaurant arena. Having four years experience on the island at the original location at Periwinkle Place, Letendre said he and his family had already been looking to expand. When the opportunity presented itself in August, the Letendre's jumped. 

"It seemed like a fit for what we wanted to accomplish on the island going forward," Letendre said. "With many neighbors giving us support and encouragement, we decided to take the plunge. Even though the pandemic was in full force, you’d think you wouldn’t want to get into business, but it was one of those opportunities you certainly can’t ignore, so we were pretty excited about it."

The décor at the new location is a bit different and the menu has slightly changed, retaining many of the well-received dishes from the original location and adding to them. The biggest difference between the two locations is that the Beachview Estates building has twice the amount of space in its floor plan, giving it considerably more seating and its very own clubhouse. 

"This is a separate room from the main restaurant dining room," Letendre said. "The clubhouse is a membership opportunity for those who want to take advantage of what is essentially a game room with a pool table, shuffleboard, card and board game tables, recliners overseeing an 86-inch TV so they can watch the big game. Just a place to hang out."

As of just before the holiday season, 60 percent of the limited memberships had been sold.

Blue Giraffe's island-inspired cuisine is cooked up by chef Geoffrey Letendre, Bill's son, and Flavia Letendre, Geoffrey's wife, and sous-chef. Geoffrey is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and has been in corporate America for 15 years, most recently being an executive chef at one of the Cheesecake Factory’s locations in Houston, prior to coming to Sanibel to cook at the Periwinkle Place location. Bill's wife, Lise, is also involved in the business.

"Looking at the island, I think there are opportunities to provide the family island cuisine motif if you will in the restaurant arena," Bill said. "We just keep looking for opportunities, this presented and is something we wanted to take advantage of. Going forward, want to perpetuate that family island cuisine if other opportunities present themselves down the road, as well."

The new Beachview Estates location - Blue Giraffe at Beachview Estates - 1100 Par View Drive, Sanibel, FL - is open at 11 a.m. daily for patio dining, indoor seating, and takeout.

For more information, visit or call 239-558-5634.