As soon as it was posted on social media earlier this month, word spread quickly around Fort Myers Beach Bonita Bill’s, a popular San Carlos Island destination of locals and tourists for the past three decades, was for sale.

“It is with a heavy heart we share the decision made by the Semmer family to sell the Bonita Bill’s properties and business,a since-removed post on Bonita Bill’s Facebook page read.This decision comes from all of Bill Semmer’s children in the resolution of his estate.”

Bill Semmer bought the Bonita Fish Company and Fish House in 1991 and rebranded it as Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Cafe and Tiki Bar. The beloved community figure, who also owned Semmer Electric, died on Jan. 20, 2023.

Say it ain’t so! This laid-back Fort Myers Beach bar is for sale

He is survived by his children Nikki Semmer, Katie Semmer-Reynolds, and Billy Semmer.

“We will continue to remain open and operate as usual until the property is sold sometime in the future,the post continued.Real estate Inquiries can be directed to SVN Commercial Partners at 239-851-5492.”

SVN had Bonita Bill’s and its properties at 700, 702, 716, and 718 Fishermans Wharf on Fort Myers Beach listed for $7.98 million late Monday night. Highlights posted for the 4,377-square-foot turnkey restaurant include its prime waterfront location, established reputation for great food & drinks, and boat access.

We couldn’t love this iconic gem more.

Here are five reasons you should too:

The view is spectacular

While there isn’t a bad view from anywhere inside the open-air bar and restaurant, we love to grab a stool at the long wood rail near the bar. This shaded area gives you the best of both worlds. Face north and you’re within arm’s reach of the bar and an icy cold beverage of your choice. Spin around to the south to overlook the dock and the calming water of Matanzas Pass. Take a few deep breaths and all your worries wash away.

The coolest vibe

Before becoming Bonita Bill’s, it was the Bonita Fish Company and Fish House. Today, it still has that laid-back feel you would expect from a fish house built in 1926 — creaky floors, customers casually perched on no-frills stools, distressed wood, and the soul-healing sound of water lapping all around. ItsNo shirt? No shoes? Can we get you a beermotto couldn’t be more fitting.

The affordable menu

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are offered six days a week (it’s closed on Mondays during the summer). Early morning options include pancakes ($6.50), omelets ($12) and biscuits & gravy ($8). After 11 a.m., you’ll find conch fritters ($9), cheeseburgers ($12), chicken tenders ($10), grouper ($18), and mahi mahi ($15) sandwiches. The shrimp (peel & eat, fried or grilled) from nearby Erickson & Jensen is as fresh as fresh can be. All orders are placed at the counter. They’ll even cook your catch if you call ahead. 

Cheers to the beer

The icy cold beer at Bonita Bill’s ranges from $4 for a 12-ounce domestic draft to 64-ounce pitchers for $16. Bottled beer ($4-$6), hard beverages, frozen drinks, and cocktails from malt-based liquors) and house wines are also available. Enjoy them for even less during happy hour. Throw in that waterfront view (see reason No. 1 above) low-key vibe (No. 2) and good food (No. 3) and each sip gets better and better.

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And, last but not least, the boat

Bonita Bill’s gained even more love when it reopened six months after Hurricane Ian with a Bertram yacht perched on a dock next to the dining room. Nearly two years later, it’s still there and has become a popular backdrop for photos, selfies, and autographs.People will sign their name or messages or hope or remembrance or even just something silly,Semmer-Reynolds said on the first anniversary after Ian.It’s a way for both locals and visitors to leave their mark.”

How long that boat will be there remains up in the air as does the future of Bonita Bill’s. All we know is that this longtime Fort Myers Beach landmark is one of our favorite beach bars around. It should be yours too.

Bonita Bill’s, 702 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach; 239-463-6119, and on Facebook and Instagram.