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Mercato: A Three Part Series - Part Three: A Supposedly Fun Place I'll Never Visit Again

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

Mercato

www.mercatoshops.com

9118 Strada Place, Naples, Fl


...And then there were three. Meat King, Jamie, just Jamie and I left Burn by Rocky Patel and were debating on what was next when the siren song of Blue Martini hit our ears in the face. And by siren song, I mean "I like to move it, move it, I like to move it, MOVE IT!"


Clearly the ranch water was clouding my judgement because I'm pretty sure there is no sober way that I would ever willingly walk into a place with that playing unless it was a professional sports stadium. To make matters worse, there was a line, small, but a line nonetheless. I do not wait on lines. It's not because I think I'm better than anyone, but I just really hate standing and not moving around. It makes the National Anthem very challenging for me.


Upon entering you are greeting with a throbbing mass of humanity; although if I was an alien landing on earth and this was my first engagement with humanity, I'd think twice about the value of colonizing Earth. If Burn was Naples version of the Star Wars bar, Blue Martini is it's version of a petri dish. The odor is some combination of sweat, perfume, cologne, stale White Claw and based on the age of some of the gentlemen there, Ben Gay or some other pain relieving ointment.


Once we got inside and got our bearings, we headed to the bar to get drinks. After three steps towards the inside bar I realized I couldn't deal with it and sprinted to the outside bar to order up. Now if you recall, I like my ranch water with real lime juice. The drink I was handed tasted something like a sour Sprite, so they were clearly using lime juice from a gun. If Robitussin made a pre-packaged cocktail, this is what it would have tasted like. Blech.


We stood there a while, talking and watching the Bosch-like gaggle on the dance floor when Jamie, just Jamie wanted to do a lap to do some people watching and check out the place. I don't think I've "done a lap" since the Lamppost in Albany, New York my sophomore year of college. I also didn't enjoy it then and I didn't enjoy it now. The only difference being that I usually had a full bladder then because of pee shyness.


After the lap, we headed back to the refuge of the patio where I was less at risk of tinnitus and an airborne toxic event. Other than the human health code violations, the other thing that stood out about BM (oh wait...BM..now I get it..) was the music. I'm not referring to the volume, but rather to the complete and utter lack of creativity. Don't get me wrong, just because my tastes tend to run more to the lesser-heard, doesn't mean I don't appreciate a good "O.P.P." or "Groove Is In The Heart" like the next person, but this playlist was basically the same twenty-five songs you hear at every single gathering of middle-aged people dancing ever. Whoever the DJ was had the easiest job in the world. I'm pretty sure he just went to the social hall of Temple Beth Sholom and lifted it from the playlist of the Finkelstein Bar Mitzvah.


Finally, mercifully, we called it a night. As I headed home, I couldn't help but think of my former mother-in-law (imagine a mix between Jessica Walter from Arrested Development and a younger Betty White). She used to say she would love to go dancing but the Blue Martini was the only place in Naples that always had it, but it was never a place she would ever visit.


Welp, at least Blue Martini did one good thing. It got me and my former mother-in-law to agree on something.


The End.

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