on Venetian Bay

2013, July 24
Naples News — In the Know: New owner to rename Cloyde's Steak & Lobster House
By Tim Aten

In three or four weeks, the longtime waterfront restaurant Cloyde's will be renamed T-Michaels Steak & Lobster.

A local steakhouse soon will have a newfangled name after operating as Cloyde's for 25 years in The Village on Venetian Bay.

In three or four weeks, the waterfront restaurant will be renamed T-Michaels Steak & Lobster, said Ty Ernst, its new general manager.

"We are hoping to make it the premier steakhouse in Naples. It's one of the best locations in Naples on the water," Ernst said. "We are looking to be here for the next 30 years. We are looking at the long run."

The new name will signal the end of an era for >Cloyde's Steak & Lobster House, located at 4050 Gulf Shore Blvd. N. in the southwestern corner of The Village shopping center. Although longtime restaurateur Cloyde Pate sold his self-named venue a few years ago, the second owner Michael Hocter continued operating it as Cloyde's.

But the surf-and-turf restaurant has changed hands again. On July 16, Hocter sold Cloyde's to Skip Kent, an audio engineer with an impressive resume of television live events, specials and award shows, including this year's Tony Awards and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for the last few years.

Kent's cousin, Ernst, will handle the day-to-day operation of their new venture. Ernst has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years and most recently co-owned 84 Diner, a 400-seat restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, he said.

T-Michaels is an amalgamation of the first names of Ty Ernst and his son, Michael. The Venetian Village landmark is getting more than a name change, though.

Changes have already begun as the restaurant remains open for dinner nightly leading up to a planned grand opening celebration at the end of October or early November. Expect an updated wine list with both new and Old World labels as well as a new dinner menu featuring fresh fish flown in daily, Ernst said.

"Already, the quality of the food is twice as what it used to be," he said. "We want to be serving fresh every day. We are making the food and the liquor and wine changes immediately."

In addition to seafood such as whole Maine lobster and fresh Scottish salmon, T-Michaels also features local fish in season such as grouper and yellowtail snapper.

Of course, the classic steakhouse includes tried-and-true landlubber options, too, such as prime rib, New York strip steaks and filets.

"I think the prime rib will be one of our signature dishes," Ernst said.

The Village on Venetian Bay