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Pei Wei launches in Restaurant Row

The line of eateries continues to grow at Restaurant Row with the addition of Pei Wei this week on the corner of Collier Boulevard and U.S. 41 East.

The fast casual concept for Pan Asian cuisine fell in line Monday in a building it shares with Chipotle Mexican Grill, which launched about a month ago with neighboring Texas Roadhouse. And Pei Wei’s fans got in line, too.

Although a few patrons may have come for opening day freebies and festivities, most were there for the food without having to drive to North Naples to enjoy it.

Suzan Wharton, who lives nearby the East Naples restaurant, has been closely following the progress and awaiting the opening date of Pei Wei. The new restaurant in her neighborhood means she won’t have to drive to North Naples to enjoy Pei Wei at Airport-Pulling and Vanderbilt Beach roads.

“In season I couldn’t get up there if my life depended on it,” she said. “I live five minutes up the road, and in season it takes a lot of time to get up to the Shoppes at Vanderbilt, so I was very excited for this restaurant.”

The nearly 100-seat restaurant brings 50 new jobs to East Naples.

All the dining spots previously announced as coming to Restaurant Row have opened, but some additional spaces are available in the 7-acre strip bordering Freedom Square shopping center. A vacant space remains in the building shared by Starbucks and T-Mobile, and two structures have yet to be built.

Pei Wei, 6821 Collier Blvd., unit 102, is open 10:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 239-530-1201 or go to peiwei.com. -- Tim Aten/Staff

The Sandlin’s receive Indiana University distinguished alumni award

Alan and Linda Sandlin just returned from a weekend on campus at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where they were awarded the distinguished alumni award “in recognition of outstanding and significant achievement.”

Dr. Robert Clutter made the presentation at the alumni distinguished awards banquet.

“The Sandlin’s formed the Sandlin Team of Realtors in 1982<” Clutter said. “Since then they have received every major local, state and national real estate award. Based in Marco Island, Florida, the Sandlin’s have immersed themselves in their island community for the past 40 years serving through their church, local and international Rotary, a myriad of community events and organizations, and leading the building of the award-winning Marco Island Historical Museum.”

The Sandlin’s expressed gratitude for their experiences at Indiana University. In a statement, the couple said, “We are ever so thankful to IU, our professors, and friends for instilling in us the building blocks not only to succeed in business but to help make the world a better place to live through community service.

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