Levi John at Rumrunners July 10

Rumrunners in Cape Coral welcomes Levi John for a special performance on July 10 at 1 p.m.


Levi John is a singer and entertainer who has performed all over the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and in Europe to a solid fan base.
During his former years at the world famous Sanibel Harbor Resort and Spa, he wrote and produced the song, “Sanibel Harbor Sunset.” A popular recording artist, Levi has had many hit songs to his credit. He is also a prolific songwriter. Levi’s music is a fusion of many rhythms and cultures. He calls his own brand of music Caribbean pop. Levi is a romantic crooner, and has been dubbed as the “Silky Voice” by adoring fans.

This singer/songwriter likes to give back and has supported many charitable causes. Among the recipients of his generosity are Menninger Foundation, Charlee Program, Special Olympics of Nevada and Florida, and Charity Club of Canada. Levi wrote and produced the song “If You Can Feel What I Feel,” as well as “Children of Today People of Tomorrow” for Ronald McDonald House. A signature song, “People Helping People,” sums up his philosophy. This song is a testament to what this artist is all about; his favorite saying is “It is what you give, not what you take that keeps this world as one.” Alarmed by the high prevalence of diabetes in the Caribbean, he is working on finding a solution to the prevention of this insidious disease.

For over six years he has performed in the British Virgin Islands over the winter season and return to Europe for the summer. Just before the pandemic, he did the world tour on the MS Europa, one of the most luxurious ships in the world.

“I perform a wide range of songs, popular classic year to year reggae Calypso R&B blues and jazz I’m looking for a place where I can sing and bring your very wonderful experience to the visitors and customers,” he says.

“My Music, My Life, My Song” with Levi John Live will be from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 10. Rumrunners is located at 5848 Cape Harbour Drive in Cape Coral. For more details, call 239-790-5786 or visit online at 

Rumrunners’ namesake making a splash

Custom-made vessel harkens back to glory days of rum-running

By CJ HADDAD - | Feb 18, 2022

"Welcome Aboard”

That phrase is the first thing patrons at Rumrunners see when they walk in the doors — and a phrase that the owners embrace.

The newly renovated and revamped waterfront dining spot at Cape Harbour has been going strong since its relaunch. Now, owners Dennis Bessey and Will Stout have brought the theme of the establishment to life.

Rumrunners is the proud home of a 1941 Fort Deluxe Coupe — the moonshine distillers’ favorite rum-running car during the 1940s and through the mid ’50s. The flathead V-8 could be “souped up,” or replaced with a newer, more powerful engine–maybe from a Cadillac ambulance.

Out back, restaurant-goers can catch a glimpse of the vessel that started it all for Rumrunners, and, if they’re lucky, get to head out on the water with Stout for a little history lesson.

A 1941 Fort Deluxe Coupe -- the moonshine distillers’ favorite rum-running car during the 1940s and through the mid ‘50s is on display at Rumrunners restaurant in Cape Harbour.

“I think it’s magic,” Stout said of having the Rumrunner docked out back. “The Rumrunner is a piece of art that floats that was built right here in the Cape.”

The new interior and overall concept of the restaurant is an ode to the Rumrunner boat, a 1949 design by John Hacker. While the original plans were for a triple-cockpit runabout, the boat’s design was modified by Naval architect Charlie Jannuce to that of a commuter. The Rumrunner was built by Hugh Saint, Inc. Custom Boats in Cape Coral for Stout. The vessel was cold molded using west system epoxy and Honduras mahogany. The Rumrunner is a 37-foot commuter powered by twin Crusader 8-cylinder engines packing 425-HP each. Stout said the boat took five years to build, and was out giving free rides to Rumrunners guests that got a one-of-a-kind-experience.

“It feels good for us when people look at you and say, ‘thank you,’ and you can tell that they mean it,” Stout said. “You can’t buy a ride on a boat like (the Rumrunner) and we don’t charge for a ride. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for those that have a little bit of knowledge or history, or had a relative with an old wooden boat.”

Andrew Robel and his group of friends were grabbing a bite to eat before their departing flight from Florida and happened upon Rumrunners. They never would have imagined an opportunity to head out on the water with Stout and experience the ride the Rumrunner provides.

“You feel like you’re stepping back in time,” Robel said of the vessel. “Everything from the mirror finish down to the deck, you wonder how people did this day in and day out. And the power on this thing is incredible.”

The custom Rumrunner boat at Rummrunners at Cape Harbour.

While the Rumrunner often has duties elsewhere at boat shows and the like, a permanent fixture at the restaurant is the 1941 Ford. Moonshine runners were never flashy vehicles–no chrome pipes, no loud mufflers, no distinctive paint jobs–plain and dark colored cars were the norm. The 1940 Ford Coupe was favored by most for its huge trunk and its familiarity on the road, but many different cars (and trucks) were used.

Transporting the finished product was the most challenging part of the business, and in post-World War I Appalachia the solution was to be the best driver in the fastest vehicle.

A load of ‘shine typically weighed about 800 to 1,000 pounds, so the runner’s suspension had to be stiffened. Extra leafs in the rear springs, “helper springs” in trucks, and double shocks on each front wheel were typical add-ons. The police and government revenue agents often drove stock V-8 powered Fords which could catch most passenger cars of that time, but not a moonshine runner.

“It’s all tied into the theme,” Bessey said. “The opportunity became available to obtain this original vehicle. With our theme being prohibition and running liquor, it was a perfect fit. We want people to come and enjoy it.”

These additions are sure to continue to draw patrons to Rumrunners — a familiar venue to area residents but now with a whole new feel, including a revamped menu.

“It’s been amazing,” General Manager Joe Henning said of the first six weeks since the reopening. “The feedback from the customers and new menu items have gone over really well. We’re seeing repeat faces and our live music on Sundays have been a big hit.”

Robel, along with his group, couldn’t have enjoyed their first experience at Rumrunners more.

“It’s been incredible,” he said. “The food is great, the service is great, and a great atmosphere that makes you feel welcome.”

Rumrunners now features brand new outdoor dining and seating that has been lauded by those who have experienced it, with spots to enjoy a meal or drink under the shade of umbrellas and even right on the dock. Waterside seating is all made out of quartz. There’s even a kid’s area with games for children, along with a new children’s menu. Other additions include a “boat-ique’ gift shop, super-chiller tap system, and their own brand of rum.

Rumrunners is open every day starting at 11 a.m. and is open most major holidays. Live music at their new “Rumrunners Beach” area takes place on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Call Rumrunner’s new phone number at 239-790-5RUM (5786).

Rumrunners is at 5848 Cape Harbour Drive and is currently hiring. Visit www.rumrunners.cc.