About F.M. Don’s


Everybody who comes to this town loves the history, the harbor, the story of Punta Gorda. We’ve created a space dedicated to telling just a part, of that story, where you can come with your whole family, relish in delectably fresh food, and see the history of Punta Gorda on the walls.


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F.M. Don’s seats 260 guests and has a private function room that seats 45. Outdoor patio dining is available. Our culture is simple, a genuine desire to meet and exceed the expectations of our guests.

Our Team

Our Team

“I want to keep everything super fresh, seasonal, and scratch-made, taking advantage of the many resources we have here locally.”

CheF Keith Meyer

After 10 years in the financial word, Keith decided to pursue his passion of cooking. He moved to New York City and attended the French Culinary Institute in New York City.

After graduating, he furthered his craft in New York at San Domenico and Lever House, both Michelin star restaurants, under notable chefs Odetta Fada and Dan Silverman, respectively.

After moving to Southwest Florida, Meyer soon became a Punta Gorda favorite while serving for six years as Trabue’s executive chef/general manager. His finance background helped him run both the front and the back of a chef-driven house where he could be intensely hands-on and never had to sacrifice quality.

Chef Keith utilizes French techniques while keeping the menu fresh, varied and approachable. He continues his practice of visiting the dining room to reveal cooking techniques and share in guests’ satisfaction.

Keith is married to NBC 2 News Anchor Stacey Deffenbaugh and they reside in Estero, Florida.








Christopher r. evans


Chris began his work in the hospitality field in 2001 as a manager in the family restaurant business.

Chris believes in bringing a team of like-minded individuals together. Building a culture of folks who are passionate, hard working, and genuine in their execution of “gracious hospitality.”

Chris now operates three restaurants: F.M. Don’s and The Turtle Club in Punta Gorda, as well as The Glass Tavern, in Schenectady, NY.

Chris and his wife Ashley live in Punta Gorda with their 3 daughters.

nate mckelvy


Nate worked for more than seven years at the historic Gasparilla Inn & Club on Boca Grande. Nate has been responsible for planning dining, private events and weddings for many celebrities and politicians, including the Bush family.

Nate truly enjoys developing personal relationships and exceeding guests’ expectations. Nate previously managed  Del Frisco’s Steakhouse in Orlando and The Captain’s Table in Punta Gorda.  He holds a Level 1 certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Nate and his wife Lindsey, live in Punta Gorda with their young son, Ben and dog, Stella.

Sharing Our History

Sharing Our History


Everybody who comes to this community loves the history, the harbor, the story of Punta Gorda.

We want to create a space dedicated to telling that story, where you can come with your whole family & friends, enjoy delectable food, and see the history of Punta Gorda.

We want to create a space dedicated to telling that story, where you can come with your whole family & friends, enjoy delectable food, and see the history of Punta Gorda.

F.M. ‘Don’ Donelson was part of that history. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War, he married Jean and settled in Columbus, Ohio, where he was a prominent builder and Realtor. He became a pioneer in the field of resort developments in the country and received many awards and recognitions. President Lyndon Johnson called upon him to build a prototype low-income home in Austin, Texas, and Women’s Day magazine asked him to help design and build its 1974 Vacation Home of the Year in Duchess County, N.Y.

He moved to Punta Gorda in 1974 and developed Emerald Pointe and Fishermen’s Village among many other projects. He was very active in community affairs serving in leadership roles in many community organizations. He was very involved in The Royal Order of Ponce de Leon Conquistadors, the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Harbor Rotary Club, Charlotte County Economic Development Council, Charlotte County Builders Association, and he worked to establish one of the first Charlotte Harbor Fishing Tournaments for kids.

In recognition of a Punta Gorda classic, Chris Evans built his grandfather’s name and legacy into F.M. Don’s. The space has become a classic black-and-white canvas designed to display Donelson’s era. Never-before-shared photographs of a youthful Punta Gorda —capturing Donelson himself aboard his craft Emerald Pointe and shrimpers docked at the 1970s Fishermen’s Village — have been restored as historic artifacts by Patti Presseller of Punta Gorda’s Sunart Gallery & Framing.

“Working with Gene Murtha of the Punta Gorda Historical Society, we want to showcase my grandfather’s historic contribution and other pieces in the restaurant named in his honor.”

– Christopher R. Evans



F.M. ‘Don’ Donelson & his wife Jean

Punta Gorda Pioneers


Emerald Pointe

Punta Gorda, Florida