The Bistro turned 29 on November 1st. Sedately, as befitting a fine dining lady of twenty-nine, and quietly, because raucous birthdays are for kids.
Twenty-nine years of preparing the very best food creations that we can, every day, one plate at a time.
It is gratifying that those twenty-nine years of effort have been recognized by ZAGAT voters with a food excellence score of 29 out of a possible 30. Our 29 is the highest food excellence score in the state of Florida and is one of very few awarded in the entire country.
We celebrated with a Bistro family picture taken on the beach, the family of restaurant professionals that now carry the Beach Bistro banner in what has been a long tradition of great Bistro professionals. Some of the Bistro extended family are now running Eat Here kitchens or their own restaurants. Many of the team have been with us for fifteen, twenty or twenty-five years.
The family of people in our team picture are really only a part of the Bistro story. The other families in the Bistro story are your families, the great people who have shared your birthdays and anniversaries and special celebrations with us.
From our family to yours...Thank You... for twenty nine years of shared memories.
Bistro Beginnings, the Beginning of "Fine Dining" on Anna Maria Island
Twenty Nine years ago the Beach Bistro was off to a wet start.
Two months previously the space that had been a popular breakfast stop was hammered by hurricane Elena and filled with water and sand. Sean was on the spot when the former owner, Dick Turner, was shoveling that sand out the door.
Mr. Turner was determined to get someone to lease it away from him. Sean was that guy.
Sean and his wife Susan borrowed $18,000 from their families and two months later had exhausted themselves and all of their resources to get the Beach Bistro ready to open.
Susan sewed all the table cloths and napkins and prepped dessert recipes and the bookkeeping. Sean painted and hammered and screw-gunned a restaurant into readiness.
Two days before the announced opening date of Friday, November first, the hurricanes came back. The infant Bistro was assaulted by hurricane Juan.
They boarded up the windows and spent forty-eight excruciating hours bailing and shoveling sand and battling Juan. When the wind and waves subsided the roads were still so flooded and they could not get home.
They had to seek shelter with their good friends Sheleagh and Steve Pelham. The Pelhams and their other friends did not understand Sean's insistence on opening that day, that first Friday, despite their exhaustion. They wanted Sean and Susan to rest for a day.
What no one knew was that they were broke. They had borrowed everything they could and had spent it all ...and they were $800 overdrawn. That first Friday night they were going to open because they had to.
On the day of the 1st, storm-battered and weary, they water-vacuumed the last of the water, swept out the last of the sand, wiped the salt off the windows, and opened for business.
That night they made $848.
They were up $48.
At the end of the evening they sipped a little port and toasted that $48 - two twenties, a five and three ones.
This season give a Bistro gift certificate and treat yourself to a Beach Bistro Bar and Beach experience. For every Bistro gift certificate over $150 the Bistro will award you with a fifteen dollar credit towards your Beach Bistro bar bill.
In celebration of our new "Bar and Beach" menu offered in the bar and at beach tables the gift team will be keeping a file of gift tab certificates at the bar.
Smart shopping....Leave your car in the driveway....send that special someone a memorable and thoughtful gift and meet them for a complimentary glass at the bar or on the beach for sunset before dinner.
"Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
About the Beach Bistro: For nearly three decades, the Beach Bistro has consistently been awarded the highest ZAGAT scores in the state of Florida for “best food” and has been honored with inclusion in ZAGAT’s “Top Restaurants in America.” The Bistro also boasts a long-standing Wine Spectator Award and is enthroned in Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame. Beach Bistro is located at 6600 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, 941-778-6444, beachbistro.com.