From the Board of Directors

Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District

On behalf of the 220 members of the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District, our thoughts and prayers are with so many of you who have lost so much during Hurricane Ian. It has been a difficult time for our beloved City of Naples, but we, like you, know that from tragedy comes eventual tranquility and ultimately transformation. So much is being done not only to put our city back together but to make it even better and stronger than ever. Our City Council and employees swung into action immediately and countless volunteers can be seen everywhere in one of the most amazing “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” response Southwest Florida has ever seen.

Fifth Avenue South is a collection of small business owners that also rode the waves of Hurricane Ian. And like so many homeowners, many of our merchants and restaurants lost the entire contents of their businesses.

With varying levels of destruction up and down Fifth Avenue South, we are working to support the businesses that need extra help during this difficult time.

Culinary Concepts lost two of its three legacy locations, closing the doors of both Pazzo! Cucina Italiana and Chops City Grill. After millions of dollars in previous renovations at both locations, Skip Quillen is committed to restoring and reopening.

Michael Mir of bha! bha! Persian Bistro, located at Fifth Avenue South and 9th Street, noted "There was about five feet of water at the intersection. Next is cleaning up and hoping for the best.” With a fresh canvas after mitigation, Michael has already begun to rebuild. Others may not be open until Christmas, like Deanna Wallin of Naples Soap Company who is in the process of replacing the floors and walls in her store.

Many of those that avoided the worst of the storm have already returned to normal, like Alberto Varetto of Alberto’s on Fifth who kept a vigilant watch over his doors to ensure they held tight throughout the highest waves and wind gusts. And it’s almost business as usual for Vergina restaurant, after the staff barricaded all entrances as the water rose…only to leave the cover of the restaurant to prevent floating cars from invading storefronts. The outside patio at The French Brasserie Rustique is already buzzing again with the sounds of jazz during Sunday Brunch.

We want to thank our community for their support and patience as Fifth Avenue South rebuilds. So many of our merchants and restaurants are already back up and running. By Thanksgiving, there will be many more. While Hurricane Ian dealt a hard blow, it did not crush our spirit. We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, especially our lives.


on Fifth Avenue South

Emily James

While there are nine distinguished art galleries on Fifth Avenue South, there is only one unofficial artist-in-residence—the extraordinarily talented Emily James. She and her work are not just treasured in Naples but nationally and internationally as well.

Tucked away in the courtyard just across from Vergina restaurant you will find Emily most days delicately dabbing and stroking paint on a canvas, as she creates a one-of-a-kind commissioned masterpiece. Voted best gallery in Naples for the last five years, the small hideaway is lined with a variety of works as lovely and uplifting as Emily herself. From landscapes to still life to abstracts to whimsical works, like a painting with shelves lined with jars of candy that Emily cleverly calls “Goody, Goody Gumdrops,” there is truly something for everyone.

While there are some creations that might make you think of the water lilies of Monet, the flowers of O'Keeffe or the Tahiti jungle colors of Gauguin, it is only fleeting as you realize everything here is a special creation of Emily’s.

A current commission piece underway is a triptych, or three separate canvases that hang side by side to create one large work of art. Commissioned by a local Naples couple, the painting is a massive swirl of a blue, green and white Gulf of Mexico with baby turtle hatchlings entering the water for the first time. Emily captures them in their glorious launch into the world as they begin to leave the shore, enter the water and then fragilely bounce on the waves that propel them on their way. Emily’s impish side is even on display in the painting. On two of the baby turtles’ shells, she has carved the first names of the couple who ordered the painting. So delicately done, stepping back just a few feet from the painting, one would have no idea that two of the turtles pictured have identifying marks that will no doubt make the painting even more of a conversation piece.

”I’m thrilled with the success of our gallery,” says Emily. “I love working with our clients, and then I really enjoy seeing where my “children” are going to live. We help our clients decide where to locate the paintings and assist with hanging and lighting too. Most of our business is word-of-mouth where happy clients tell their friends about us.” In addition to individual collectors, Emily boasts many corporate and nonprofit collectors around the world, including luxury hotels, country clubs and universities, among others.

Emily says she was born painting and was called a child prodigy by many. She humbly says of herself, “I didn’t decide to become an artist. I was born an artist. It was a marvelous gift I was given.” She completed her first painting at nine-years-old and called it “Sister’s Dolls.” Her talent was already evident then and well beyond her age. Since then, Emily has painted thousands of paintings and sold everything she has ever painted, with the exception of “Sister’s Dolls” that can be viewed at the gallery, a remarkable feat in and of itself.

Over the years, Emily has won innumerable awards, including her selection as the official artist of the Masters Golf Tournament. She has received a number of Best-In-Show awards, and one of her one-woman shows sold out prior to officially opening. She is the only artist in the U.S. to be selected by the top three fine art publishers, with two of her images being in the top 50 selling prints worldwide. Many of her pieces have been exhibited in Atlanta’s High Museum and featured in the book, The Best of Watercolor.

Emily has also been named an Outstanding American Woman in the Arts. She also served on the advisory board of her alma mater, Florida State University (FSU), where she studied art. The FSU Dean has said that Emily is a “visual artist who continues to create art with passion and dedication, bringing joy and beauty to the world.”

A lifelong Floridian, Emily was born in Pensacola. She met her husband, John, at FSU, and they have lived in the Naples area for 25 years. They have two children and recently took a pre-COVID-19 planned trip with their three grandchildren and new grand son-in-law to Greece and Italy. It will be interesting to see on canvas what visions and memories will come from the trip, as Emily’s philosophy is “with a joyous heart and hand, I lovingly express what I see.”

The Emily James Gallery is in its eighth year and located at 720 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 111. Emily says, “I mainly wanted a place to put up my paintings. I have been featured in other galleries, but I wanted my very own. My hope is to one day use this space as my studio and have a much larger gallery…if it’s meant to be, it will happen.”

For more information, about Emily and her art



Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Join us here on Fifth Avenue South for these upcoming events.

By The Way, Meet Vera Stark

October 19 to November 6

The Naples Players Don't miss your chance to see this captivating production in our Tobye Studio! These shows are already selling out!

buy tickets

Don't Miss A Christmas Carol The Musical At The Naples Players!

November 23 to December 18

The Naples Players After more than a decade-long run at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, A Christmas Carol The Musical is a spectacular adaptation of Charles Dickens’ most well-known story.

buy tickets

Steel Magnolias

November 12 to December 4

Gulfshore Playhouse Gulfshore Playhouse serves up comedy, curlers, and connection in Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling and directed by Kristen Coury. Witness the play that inspired the Oscar-winning film and captured the hearts of millions. Previews November 10 and 11.

buy tickets

Evenings on Fifth

November 10 | 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

An array of live musical performances up and down the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue South, plus dining, shopping, and more.

learn more

Christmas on Fifth

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Fifth Avenue South and our Annual Christmas Walk is coming soon! For updated details on all our festivities, visit the event page on our website:

view website


Fifth Avenue South Business' Updates

Emillions Art

Irish Artist Elaine Murphy Heralding from a show business family in Dublin, Ireland, Elaine Murphy is an intrepid artist and designer currently based in Naples. A collector once described her paintings as "loose and fluid, with emotional overtones conveyed by elegant lines."

Learn more


Visit Our Woodshop for an Unforgettable Shopping Adventure Cocoon Gallery's woodshop, located in Old Naples, is a five-minute drive from our Fifth Avenue South showroom. The showroom will reopen November 1 after our renovation. In the meantime, we are accepting appointments for buyers to visit our woodshop. To arrange your visit, please call 646-244-5500.

Learn More

Dolce & Salato

Now Open for Dinner! Thursday through Saturday, 5:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

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Native Visions Galleries

We would like to let everyone know that thanks to the tireless work of many We Will Be Celebrating The Re-Opening Of Our Gallery On November 9th From 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Please join us for fine South African Wine and hors d'oeuvres in celebration of our re-opening. Come mingle and see new artwork by our exceptional artists.

Click Here to Register

Naples Soap Company

We are excited to announce that we will be opening ahead of schedule, the first week of November.

Learn More

Culinary Concepts

Pazzo! Cucina Italiana and Chops City Grill We are working night and day to repair all damage and to ensure the health and safety of all our guests and employees. We are hoping to be open by Thanksgiving weekend...

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In The News

Naples Business Owner Samantha Bloom Named 40 Under 40 "Up & Comer"

Business Observer judges honor digital marketing agency owner’s business leadership. Professional photographer and social media expert Samantha Bloom, founder of Oh Snap Media in Naples, was awarded the prestigious “40 Under 40” honor at Business Observer’s banquet...

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Naples City Council Approves The Naples Players Renovation

Only a few days before Hurricane Ian became a threat to Southwest Florida, Naples City Council unanimously approved The Naples Players $15M renovation of their iconic home on Fifth Avenue South in Downtown Naples. “We feel so fortunate that our theater survived Hurricane...

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Dine on Fifth

Join us here on Fifth Avenue South for a great meal.

See All Restaurants on 5th


Shop on Fifth

Shop a variety of stores here on Fifth Avenue South.

See All Shops on 5th


Play on Fifth

Join us here on Fifth Avenue South for some fun.

See All the Ways to Play on 5th


Concierge Services on Fifth

Many concierge services are offered right here on Fifth Avenue South.

See All Services on 5th


Fifth Avenue South | The Crown Jewel of Naples

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649 Fifth Avenue South I Naples, Florida 34102

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