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continued on page 49Marco Town Center MallMarco's largest shopping center, this spacious tropical mall has 30 great restaurants and stores, including Publix. It offers a huge variety of merchandise including beach, casual and formal wear, shoes, jewelry, health foods and fl owers and is also home to Marco's active community theatre, The Marco Players. Map1 (C4) Lo-cated on the South east corner of the intersection of Collier Blvd and Bald Eagle Drive, it has entrances on Bald Eagle, Collier Blvd and East Elkcam Circle.. BLUE MANGROVE GALLERY - this lively gallery offers a wonderful collection of tropical art, furniture, gifts and jew-elry, including SW Florida's largest Trollbead collection, fea-turing new releases and limited beads. It's fun, colorful and exciting! 239.393.2405.. CARIBONGO - everything in this brand new store, includ-ing Marco Island apparel, jewelry and nail polish, changes color in the sun! 239.233.8401. GEORGIE'S - this busy boutique has been a fi rm favorite of locals and visitors alike for the last 26 years. Owner Georgie Doll unfailingly pulls together a distinctive collection of top quality, high fashion ladies' clothing, shoes and accessories for all ages. 239.394.2621. MARCO CRAFT AND SHELL CO - this great little store has a wide selection of specimen shells and a new make and take craft space where you and your children can work on craft projects without messing up your home. The locally made handcrafted gifts will inspire you and the great selection of art, shell, memory book and jewelry supplies, along with the helpful, experienced staff, will help you bring your ideas to frui-tion. 239.394.7020. OBSESSION - whether you're 16 or 96 this glittering, beautifully appointed store will help you add a little sparkle to your life. With its great selection of up to the minute ladies' fashions, including clothing, shoes and accessories, this rela-tively new store has already attracted a huge band of glamor-ous fans of all ages. 239.393.6332. PERIWINKLES - if it's casual, easy to wear ladies', men's and children's clothing you're looking for, then a visit to Peri-winkles is a must. Featuring only brand named merchandise from Fresh Produce® and Life is Good®, their young at heart, colorful clothing, swimwear and accessories are the perfect match for the Marco Island lifestyle. 239.642.2334. SANDPIPER CLOTHIERS - quality clothing, shoes and ac-cessories from famous brand names such as Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyards Vines and Vera Bradley attract a wide range of cus-tomers (men, women and children) at this long established family run Marco Island store, which also has sister branches in Naples and Key Largo. 239.642.6691. THE UPS STORE - avoid airport hassles by getting your ex-cess luggage packed and shipped home ahead of time by the UPS store. They also offer a huge selection of packing sup-plies, in-store computer rental, high speed internet, copying, notary services and mail boxes. 239.642.0011. YOUR ISLAND HOME - there's no need to leave the island to fi nd a great selection of high quality, yet reasonably priced, home decor and gift items - just visit Your Island Home in their new, larger location in suite #420! From luxurious bam-boo linens, sumptuous towels and decorative pillows to col-orful serving pieces, stemwear, lamps, photo frames and art-work, this store offers a remarkably wide choice of tropically themed items including locally hand painted holiday decora-tions and Marco Cat gifts. 239.642.7366

It takes a lot of confi dence to expand the seating in your restaurant by three times in this economy. But then Ismael and Diana Perez, owners of Margarita's restaurant at Marco Town Center Mall, have always had complete confi dence in the quality of their food, as evidenced by their promise you'll agree they serve the best Mexican food on Marco or they'll give you your meal for free!Apparently their confi dence springs both from their customers' comments and the fact that Ismael is the chef and knows that everything, from their beans and rice to their famous salsa, is made fresh daily in house and Diana is in control of front of house and can ensure that every customer is greeted with a smile. So, when so many other restaurants are just coasting along waiting for "the good times" to return, at Margarita's they're going full steam ahead. They've taken over the space next door and now have close to 200 seats, when you include the pretty outside patio area. The decor is very "south of the border", with lots of Mexican pottery (which is also for sale) and a vivid color scheme to match the colorful cuisine on their new menu.Full Bar with over 30 varieties of TequilaThe old entrance way has been converted to a full service bar, com-plete with fl at screen tvs, four domestic and two Mexican beers on tap and an amazing selection of tequilas. In fact, with over 30 different tequilas on offer, they now have a separate Margarita menu which even includes a low calorie option for those of us who want to keep in shape but still join in the fun!Everything made from scratch to orderWith such a large new seating capacity you may think they might start cutting corners a little, but Diana assures me that every-thing on the menu is still made from scratch to order. So, especially at busy times, don't expect your meal to appear too quickly. However, this is a blessing in disguise because it gives diners the opportunity to enjoy their complimentary homemade chips (hot and crunchy from the oven) and delicious tomato salsa (so popular they went through between three and fi ve boxes of it a day even before the expansion).The new menu includes lots of old favorites as well as some of their most popular specials which customers requested should join the regular fare, like their delicious seafood enchiladas. My favorites include seafood tacos and a wonderful avocado salad topped with succulent shrimp with a light dressing and crunchy taco strips.Happy Hour Specials & Margarita MadnessAnd last, but not least, don't miss Margarita's famous happy hour daily 2-5:30pm, with amazing drink specials, and the return of Margarita Madness, with $3.50 margaritas on the rocks all day Monday. Both run through until December 20th 2011. For details call 394.6555 or visit their new website and blog at www.margaritasontheisland.comLocated at 1069 N Collier Blvd, in Marco Town Center Mall, Margarita's is open daily for lunch, dinner and take out