Pensacola Beach Gulf Breeze restaurants that have closed their doors, but have not been forgotten
When Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola in 2004, many eating places in Pensacola Seaside and the Gulf Breeze space had been put to the check, some even closing their doorways completely. Except for hurricanes, the challenges of sustaining companies on the seaside are rising due to excessive rental costs and a lower within the variety of prospects through the vacationer season.
For those who’ve lived in Pensacola lengthy sufficient, you in all probability nonetheless bear in mind grabbing a juicy Surf Burger after a day on the seaside, or getting totally dressed and having fun with a glass of high quality wine and Filet Roland upstairs. Jubilee.
The Information Journal polled Pensacola’s largest on-line meals dialogue platform final month, Pensacola Foodies with greater than 66,000 members, about what Pensacola eating places have closed that they want had been nonetheless round immediately. With over 900 responses, we created an inventory of six of the eating places individuals missed probably the most based mostly on the outcomes. Nonetheless, there may be nonetheless a lot to recollect.
Listed below are 5 Pensacola Seaside/Gulf Breeze eating places that seemingly stay native favorites immediately.
Boy on a Dolphin Restaurant and Lounge, 400 Pensacola Seaside Street
Boy on a Dolphin was an important getaway on the Pensacola Seaside Sound, serving Gulf seafood, steaks, USDA-selected prime rib, European delicacies, their well-known Greek salads, and charcoal-grilled steaks and fish.
The title of the Greek restaurant, owned and operated by the Anthanasios household, is derived from a Greek delusion and impressed by the pods of dolphins swimming within the close by sound.
Boy on a Dolphin was described as “surprisingly inexpensive” in a 1997 article by PNJ reporter Kimberly Blair, noting that the menu presents greater than 100 menu objects with a wide range of wines, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pastas and desserts.
“I describe it as a little bit bar with character,” proprietor Dimitri Anthanasios advised Blair in a 1997 interview. “We’re a European restaurant. We wish to convey a few of that tradition right here.”
The restaurant is embellished with Artwork Deco designs, resembling shell candelabra, massive palm bushes, and tables with floor-length white tablecloths lined in white butcher paper. The chandelier hanging within the constructing was a present introduced by Maria Athanasius’ father from a church in Athens as a christening reward.
Some standout recipes embody king mussels – served with contemporary shrimp, scallops and blue crab sticks, and huge mussels sautéed in garlic and olive oil, tossed with Mediterranean herbs, with artichoke hearts and asparagus and served over pasta – or Greek-style grouper, grilled in olive oil. Recent lemon, parsley, dill, inexperienced onions, feta cheese and toasted almonds.
Spero Anthanasios opened Boy On A Dolphin in 1985 and created recipes for dishes impressed by his native Greek island of Samos. Two of his youngsters, Stella and Spyros Jr. Athanasios, continued serving the genuine Greek delicacies for which the restaurant was recognized even because the restaurant was being reinvented.
Even with the 2000 renovations, the ambiance has been described as “undoubtedly Pensacola Seaside; it is Pensacola Seaside.” Informal with a contact of class.”
The restaurant was bought and have become Coconut by the Sea in 2003, nevertheless it was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan, and the house owners determined to not rebuild.
Aegean Breeze, 911-A Gulf Breeze Parkway
For those who like Boy on a Dolphin, you are in all probability a fan of Aegean Breeze, which chef Stavros Varvouris and his spouse Tina Marie delivered to Gulf Breeze in 1997 resulting from an absence of Greek meals within the Gulf Breeze space, in response to a 2011 Information Journal report.
The 2 additionally launched the favored The Angus restaurant. Aegean Breeze is targeted on bringing the flavors of the Greek Islands to Pensacola via a restaurant, world-class market and deli. The sandwiches and wraps are so massive that it was tough to slot in and landed within the $5 vary.
Among the many most memorable sandwiches was the Hercules, which was crammed with smoked turkey, mortadella ham, Greek peppers, and Casseri cheese positioned on sesame Greek bread seasoned with oregano, olive oil, and crimson wine vinegar. It was additionally the place to search out specialty items, resembling Greek bread, olives, and feta cheese.
The neighborhood retailer is modeled on these in Varvoris’ hometown of Glossa on Skopelos Island.
“In Greece, once they see you coming, they act like they’ve recognized you endlessly,” he advised Information Journal reporter Kimberly Blair in a 1998 interview. “With the stress of life, nobody wants one other unhappy face.”
Varvouris took this stage of customer support upon himself, all the time ensuring to greet prospects personally. He died in 2015, and the restaurant closed a couple of years later.
Billy Bob’s Seaside BBQ, 911 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Billy Bob’s Barbecue has been a staple in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, beginning with the unique location that opened in 1992 on Ninth Avenue on the “Automotive Wash.” After attaining success there, the following step was a seaside model, referred to as Billy Bob’s Seaside Barbecue which got here to Gulf Breeze in 1996 subsequent to the beforehand talked about Aegean Breeze.
Proprietor Artwork Stebbins described it as “gourmand barbecue” in a 1998 interview with Information Journal reporter Gene Hauprich.
Ben Rogers took over as proprietor of the restaurant in 2002 together with his spouse, Sherri Rogers, and later opened a 3rd location in Tempo.
Looking on the Information Journal’s “Better of the Bay” awards in 2008, Billy Bob’s confirmed up in virtually each barbecue-related class. Billy Bob’s is listed as among the best locations total and an “space favourite” with a wide range of sauces and a wide range of sides like fried okra, corn, and baked candy potatoes.
Carolina-style pork and beef are sluggish cooked for 15 hours or extra, adopted by trimming the fats by hand. The processes had been time consuming, however the menu was easy. Sandwiches and platters ready with barbecue, smoked pork, hen, beef, ribs, sausage, turkey and beef.
A neighborhood favourite was Brunswick, a 23-ingredient dish that could possibly be served in a bread bowl.
The restaurant has abruptly gone out of enterprise after 16 years serving the Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Seaside areas, the Pensacola Information Journal reviews.
Ben Rogers died a few yr earlier than the restaurant closed in 2011.
“It was a favourite in our household, and I am unhappy when long-time workers see one thing they’ve labored so exhausting to succeed has to shut. It is undoubtedly a landmark that everybody loved,” proprietor Chris Inexperienced stated on the time.
Jubilee Oyster Bar & Grill, 400 Coitwater Seaside Street
Jubilee Restaurant & Oyster Bar opened on Pensacola Seaside’s Quietwater Seaside Boardwalk on July 4, 1986, distinguishing itself as the primary Pensacola Seaside restaurant open year-round.
Each upstairs and downstairs had their very own distinct ambiance and menus, catering to any crowd.
“It may be elegantly quiet for an intimate, romantic dinner, or loud for rabble-rousing seaside crowds,” Information Journal reporter Jennifer McCoy wrote in 1989.
The decrease deck was for fast, informal eating for these wandering away from the seaside sand, whereas the higher deck was for extra intentionally elegant eating. The menu downstairs caters to the informal lunch crowd, together with salads, sandwiches and seafood choices. Some objects embody marinated and smoked prime rib, uncooked oysters, fried crab claws, and huge salads.
Upstairs was appropriate for extra upscale eating with contemporary fish served twice each day, the signature California artichokes served over a lobster tail butter sauce, a grilled mesquite swordfish appetizer, a lobster bisque and crab bisque appetizer, or one among… Most memorable appetizer: Roland’s filet mignon with sautéed artichokes, lump crab meat, and white wine.
“Wearing béarnaise sauce, it makes an ideal meal,” McCoy wrote of the filet mignon.
Though the restaurant remained packed on each flooring, Hurricane Ivan modified all the pieces when it hit in 2004 and “worn out Jubilee.” The restaurant remained closed for 11 years till it was revived in 2015 by co-owners Tom Carmichael and Ryan Kovalt.
“After we introduced it again, I didn’t wish to go as far as to offer a cool vibe,” Carmichael advised the Information Journal in 2015. “I wished to have a extra informal, coastal model of it, as a result of I wished individuals to be comfy.”
The brand new restaurant provided the identical high-quality service in an informal atmosphere, however didn’t benefit from the longevity of the unique restaurant.
Surf Burger, 500 Quietwater Seaside Street
Surf Burger was a neighborhood favourite burger joint after a day within the salty surf. David Bohannon and Michael Foley opened Surf Burger in 2004 simply months earlier than Hurricane Ivan hit. Even when their stairs had been torn, making it tough to enter the restaurant, the house owners bought an occasion grill and served out greater than 2,000 free hamburgers, scorching canines, chips and drinks within the On line casino Seaside car parking zone, in response to 2004 Information Journal reviews.
Even through the catastrophe, the restaurant maintained the pleasant, enjoyable popularity for which it was beloved.
PNJ reporter Ashley Wright wrote in 2006: “As you stroll in, you are feeling as in the event you’ve stepped again right into a Fifties seaside get together film. You count on a waitress or prepare dinner to spontaneously burst into track and dance your method to your desk.”
The relaxed seaside vibe prolonged to the restaurant, which was embellished with an eclectic vibe and a view of the water.
The menu’s signature function was the Surf Burger, a juicy, one-third-pound burger made with 100% freshly floor chuck ready on a Kaiser wrap loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese and served with a facet of golden fries. Nonetheless, the restaurant has additionally ventured into seafood, with objects like Surf Catch, which is grilled fish served on a kaiser bun loaded with peppers and onions.
The restaurant finally closed in 2014 because the proprietor seemed for an inexpensive location after by no means totally recovering from the monetary hit attributable to the BP oil spill.