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New Sanibel restaurants to open from the owners of Island Cow and Mad Hatter

Robyn George | Fort Myers News-Press

If all goes according to plan, Sanibel Island will be welcoming two new restaurants in November.

Brian and Elke Podlasek, owners of The Island Cow, and The Mad Hatter owners Max and Bridget Kolshak announced they are teaming up to open Wickie’s Lighthouse Restaurant and The Magic Bus Caffeine & Creamery.

Even before losing their restaurants, the couples were friends. They decided to become partners when an opportunity on the east end of the island came up.

“It’s been a tough year to say the least and this is a great comeback story of two business owners who lost everything coming together to bring the island some great new venues for amazing food and fun,” Brian Podlasek, whose Island Cow restaurant closed in August 2022 after severe fire damage, said in a news release.

The Magic Bus will mix new and old, offering modern coffees, drinks and bakery items with a vintage ice cream and candy store vibe, complete with Volkswagen-inspired décor.

“Both concepts are a nod to the past with an eye to the future,” Max Kolshak, whose Mad Hatter was destroyed by Hurricane Ian, said in the release. “Wickie’s honors the history of the island and its original lighthouse keepers, Dudley Richardson and Henry Shanahan, but with a modern, updated décor and a fresh, coastal dining experience. A few doors down, The Magic Bus serves up nostalgia with a modern twist.”

More about Wickie’s here.

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