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Raiford Starke

Joanies Blue Crab Cafe Ochopee FlHi Everyone, we are now going into our summer hours. We will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. We are closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Raiford Starke will continue to perform Saturday and Sunday. Y’all come see us.

Joanie’s Blue Crab Café in Ochopee

CREDITS: Jeane’s Jaunts

-Jeane Brennan

Joanie’s Blue Crab Café in Ochopee on Tamiami Trail hasn’t changed much since Joanie
and her late husband bought the property almost 30 years ago. Traveling east about 40
minutes from Marco lsland, Joanie’s is right around the bend from the smallest post
office in the United States.

My first introduction to Joanie’s, food wise, was the cactus salad. That was many
years ago. Now days, along with good food, cold drinks and great Everglades’s
ambiance, thrilling artists and “back road” talent play at Joanie’s.

Raiford Starke performs regularly, as well as Pete Gallagher, Mark Wesley, and Mike
Martin. Local art grace the walls and the wide expanse of the Everglades surrounds
the perimeter.

One could describe Joanie’s as a road-stop diner, similar to hundreds of other road-
stop diners throughout America. History, color, function, stories galore, love and
life play out at road-side diners and Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe is no exception.

As one drives out into the wide open space of the Everglades, it is easy to imagine
years not too long ago well worn paths, Indian villages, and Model A Fords on
primitive roads braving holes, ruts, and gators gracing the landscape.

There might not be too. many Model A Fords now and the holes and ruts of Tamiami
Trail are minimal, but Indian villages, gators and paths from wild hog, bear, deer
and other Everglades “residents” high-light the beauty and huge expanse of the

Dark harsh summer skies filled with lightning, wind and rain and, then, heat,
humidity and mosquitoes, for some reason, still lure people to these fur-thest points
of southwest Florida. Even after all these years living and working in the
Everglades, Joanie said, “l still love it.”

Boating into the ten thou-sand islands and being in this beauty is miraculous. I care
and treat my guests and employees as family. Joanie’s is a place where you can come
to, relax and be comfortable.

I am fortunate,” Joanie continued, “that guests who ate here I0, 15 years ago, still
make a point to stop and say ‘hello’ and it is like old home week all over again.”

The day I drove out to see Joanie, Raiford Starke was performing. I am always
thankful of my good fortune. While listening to Raiford belt out one song after an·
other, Chef Jack, formerly of Havana Cafe, brought out a grilled portabella sandwich
draped with roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, fried zucchini, olive oil and

I wasn’t surprised when he mentioned that he has added an Italian flavor to the menu
and daily specials. Most always on the menu are fresh fish specials, gator fritters,
calamari, J0anie’s beautiful and colorful salads, sandwich choices and de-licious
fries galore. Chef Kenny is master of the kitchen on weekends.

lt’s difficult to stay seated at Joanie’s place. Looking out the screen door into the
Everglades is too beautiful for words and that sight could easily be one of the many
paintings hanging on her walls. Dozens of pieces of art neatly placed were created by
her sister, Jeanie Ortega.

Dozens of bottle art hanging from the rafters were given to her throughout the years
by a northern gentleman traveling through. Three times a year a German cartoonist
drops in. Sometimes he brings his jazz band, other times friends and family or
sometimes he’s just traveling by himself.

Joanie now has, though, a collection of his cartoons pinned to his very own wall in
the restaurant; cartoon art that he has sent and given her over the years. lt is
always hard to leave Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe and head back to city life. Joanie told
me as I was leaving,

“You couldn’t get me out of here with dynamite. l am glad l work here every day. l
love it here.” For up to date information call Joanie at 239— 695-2682. Address for
Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe is 39395 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, Florida.

Whatever Lola Wants!


Tommy Demos’ MFA Thesis Film, has been submitted to Cinema
Slam 2011, the student film segment of the Miami International Film Festival.

You can watch the film online and rate it by following this link:
click here Whatever Lola Wants!

You must create an account in order to view the film and rate it. Don’t worry, the login
process is simple, and does not require you to give personal information beyond your first
and last name.

Once you have created an account, please click on “FILMS” at the top of the page.

Then, click on “UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI”
, in the center where it say “Contest entries“.

If “WHATEVER LOLA WANTS” does not appear on the first page of UM films,
please “NEXT” until you find it “WAKE-UP CALL,” another recent film of Tommy’s,
is also up for consideration. Please watch and rate it as well.

Three films from each school will be selected as Cinema Slam Finalists in an American
Idol-style voting contest, with 50% of the score determined by online public voting and 50%
determined by a select group of faculty judges from each school.

The winning film from each school plus the grand prize winner
(“Miami Student Film of the
Year”) will be selected by MIFF’s esteemed Florida Focus Jury.

Cinema Slam winners will be announced and screened during the 28th Annual
Miami International Film Festival being held March 4-13, 2011.

The DEADLINE for viewing and rating films online is JANUARY 28th, 2011. Please
participate! Please invite your family and friends to participate in this event as well.

thank you…

University of Miami V student Tommy Demos as wrote the original screenplay and also
directed the 20—minute long, fictional short story narrative film with,three characters.

That’s A Wrap…

By Janine Ouillette
Special to the

Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe, on U.S. 41 near Ochopee, recently
became famous as the site of Florida’s newest film location.
A small group of University of Miami graduate students
converged on the restaurant to use it as a set to film a
school project called “Whatever Lola Wants.”

The film will be shown at a later date during the University
of Miami 2010 Student Film Festival held on campus in Coral

Gables. University of Miami student Tommy Demos wrote the original screenplay and also directed the 20-minute long,
fictional short story narrative film with three characters titled:

Whatever Lola Wants

The film script starts on Alligator Alley midday describing a
shot of a white pickup truck moving down the road, then
directs the action to, “cut to truck picking up hitchhiker,
Jessie,” played by professional actor John McGlothian and
the driver, Lola, portrayed by professional actress Juliana Harkavy.

The shot includes the pickup truck’s rear window plastered with stickers including;

Warning — Burning rubber makes me horny.” The scene shifts to Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe´
dining room, the closed set where most of the action takes place, said Harkavy.

He was waiting for a cue from Demos who was setting up the next scene of her washing her
hands because she has just murdered the cook, played by Ken Clement; because she was
offended when he twisted her comment to him into a sexual innuendo about one of his body

“I play Lola and I seduce Jesse (McGlothian) in this story,” said Harkavy, explaining she
was recruited for the film through friends playwright/director Tom my Demos.

Harkavy and McGlothian gathered on the porch to get a cold soda and they were very
forthcoming in describing their part in the drama after that scene was shot.

They related Lola and Jessie leave Joanie’s to find a motel, and the action shifts to a
dream sequence told from both the actors’ a perspectives and fades to a shot of the truck
going down the road, and who is driving is the shocker that will be revealed at the end of
the film.

The 25-year-old Harkavy said her most recent acting assignments
included a Glad commercial and a minor part in “A Dolphin’s Tale”
starring Morgan Free-man and Ashley Judd. The ’ movie is a warm
and fuzzy family film that takes place in Clearwater and was produced by Warner Bros. for release in 2011, she said.

McGlothian said he’s been acting four years and confided, “I just
recently started earning enough to pay the bills, but my next part
is in ‘“I Hate Hamlet” being produced at the Tamarac Theater of Performing Arts in Tamarac near Coral Springs.

Interestingly, Wes Warner, the stand-in for the · cook (Ken Clemente), said he was an employed professional sous chef waiting to start work Oct. 4 at Mar a Lago, Donald Trump’s estate on Palm Beach Island.

Actually, my cousin is a friend of Tommy (Demos) and he invited me.
I thought it would be fun to hang out for the week…By Janine Ouillette Special to the Eagle

Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe´
39395 US 41 Ochopee F l, Phone: 695-2682
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.


University ot l\/liami V
student Tommy Demos as
wrote the original
screenplay and also
directed the 20—minute
long, fictional short
story narrative film with
,three characters.


Down In The Everglades


Mark Wesley covers “Down in the Everglades” by Totch Brown Live at Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe US Highway 41, Ochopee FL. just a 1/4 mile east of the Ochopee post office in beautiful downtown Ochopee.