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RSW Living Magazine

Estero Resident, 'The Voice' Contestant Opens Restaurant in Naples

Photo courtesy of Ben Allen's Backyard Grill & Pub on Facebook

Season 19 (2020) contestant of "The Voice," and Estero resident Ben Allen has taken his country music career to new heights as he takes a stab at owning a restaurant. Taking over the Brooks Burgers, Ben Allen's Backyard Grill & Pub is at 12655 Taimiami Trail E in Naples.

According to NBC's website, the 42-year-old Kingston, Tenn. native "was raised in church and first started singing in the choir. He continued singing in the school chorus but didn't seriously pursue music after high school. It wasn't until he was 31 that he performed at an open mic on a whim and loved every second of it. He formed a duo and later his own five-piece band, the Ben Allen Band, which is now one of the biggest bands in Southwest Florida. For the past 10 years, he has been a construction inspector by day and musician by night. Although Ben has had success in his band, he comes to 'The Voice' to see if he has a shot at being a solo artist."

Allen started Season 19 as a member of Team Black but was stolen by Gwen Stefani. He placed in the 6th - 9th place bracket during the competition.

The restaurant held its grand opening on Friday, June 25, 2021, with performances by the Ben Allen Band and JP Soars & The Red Hots. According to its website, the new spot is "not only a restaurant, but a venue where local musicians can find a home. It provides a stage where artists perform close to the audience, play shows, learn what people want to hear. Ben Allen's Backyard provides the best food and the best experience."

The cuisine is classified as comfort food and the menu includes a variety of pizza, pasta, and burgers, including some mainstays from the Brooks menu. The restaurant was, in fact, opened in conjunction with Todd Brooks, who is an experienced hospitality entrepreneur in the area.

So far, the community has been receptive to the new spot, rating it an average of 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp through 84 reviews. Most recently, one 5-star review stated, "Great casual food. Nice people. Happy atmosphere. I recommend trying this restaurant. I will go back again."