WE ARE LOCAL
Bonita Bills, situated on Matanzas Pass in Ostego Bay, is owned and operated by local islander, Bill Semmer, since 1991. The slogan “No shirt – No shoes – Can I get you a Beer” pretty much describes the laid back island atmosphere at Bonita Bills! We are a family friendly, fully open air (no AC), pet-friendly (leashed) establishment open from 6:00 am until 9:30 – 10:00pm. Our dock can accommodate boaters who can tie up and grab a bite before heading back out on the gorgeous waters surrounding San Carlos Island and Fort Myers Beach. Start your day with us as you catch the sunrise while having breakfast or just coffee! Grab a stool and enjoy dinner over our world famous sunsets. Our customers have taken some of the most beautiful pictures of the sun rising up over the waterway on a misty morning or sinking into the warm ocean steps away.
WE ARE LAID BACK
We want you to know that when we say we are “laid back” we mean it! Our old-fashioned order-at-the-bar, CASH ONLY environment has been a local and seasonal favorite for years. Fear not, we have an ATM on-site for your convenience! We do not have “wait staff”, we have runners! After you’ve ordered they’ll deliver your food so don’t be afraid to call us over to your seat! Our prices are family friendly so your food will not be served on china. We’re island people, dishes are not our style! Our Menu reflects a very casual establishment and we do boast about our COLD BEER, which you can purchase in both bottles and draught! We also serve affordably-priced wine and kid friendly beverages. Happy Hour is from 3 – 6 pm Monday through Friday!
WE HAVE GREAT ENTERTAINMENT
Live entertainment is scheduled for the day AND night crowd. Dinner might just be a little louder! Check out the Entertainment page to see – When and Who – we are jamming to. We slow down during the summer months as the tourists and our winter “birds” are back in their nests so the music may be lighter and not as often. Always check out the music page so you’re not disappointed when you visit us.
WE HAVE LOTS TO SEE
The views are simply awesome from Bonita Bills! You can watch the shrimp boats come in when they travel back home after a 21-30 day trip out and just up the street from us is the home of the San Carlos Island Shrimp Fleet! You can see the boats at dock when they are in port or catch them on their outbound run, heading back to the gulf waters for “Pink Gold”! The Pirate Ship and the Key West Express always pass by making your visit exciting and memorable for the little and big kids alike! It would be no surprise to see our marine mammals and feathered friends frolicking about, diving into the water or sunbathing on the dock. Dolphins feed in the channel and every now and then you might catch a manatee hanging out near the docks. Herons, egrets and great herons always stop by.
Our most famous and beloved resident was Splash, a beautiful orange and white cat someone tossed off the Matanzas Pass Bridge 19+ years ago as a kitten. Fortunately, one of our locals witnessed this, grabbed his dinghy and went to see what he could find. He found the kitten and brought her in. She was vetted, named Splash, and has been a Bonita Bill’s celebrity ever since! Splash had been a constant fixture at the bar oversaw everything that happed at the restaurant and the docks. She took quite nicely to the laid-back lifestyle and enjoyed many a shrimp dinner. Many people had a special affinity for Splash and would always stop to visit with Splash when they came to Bonita Bill’s. It truly was a sad day when Splash passed away in June of 2019. Her memory lives on. Be sure to visit Splash’s page on the website.
So if you find us and decide to stop in, we’ll do the very best we can to make you feel like a LOCAL!