Here is a story about the Shrimp Boat Restaurant in PC, FL. I hope you enjoy
the story and feel free to share your thoughts; I love hearing from you. For
those who have asked about my column and who contacted the Union Recorder, I
send my thanks; hopefully my stories will again be published in the local
newspaper. Hugz. Brenda
The Shrimp Boat Resteaurant
Brenda S. Brown
The reminiscences of my childhood include relaxing in one of my favorite
vacation destinations, the emerald coast of Panama City Beach, Florida. Some of
the establishments that I clearly remember are the Old Dutch, the Plaza Motel,
the Long Beach Casino and Resort, the Georgian Terrace, and the Shrimp Boat
Restaurant on St. Andrews Bay. Our Saturday afternoon outings included
Putt-putt Golf at the spotless facility in town, followed by a scrumptious
dinner at the Shrimp Boat.
The Shrimp Boat was surrounded by wooden slips where pleasure and working boats
were docked, and if you arrived early enough you were treated to a window seat
where you could watch crews unload the catch of the day. In the beginning, the
restaurant seated about forty customers, and was built almost entirely over the
water, and subsequent additions added more tables, floor-space and customers.
Over the years our family began going into town early, in order to avoid the
long lines that formed outside the popular eatery. While our seafood feast
settled, we strolled about the docks and sometimes purchased items to pack in
ice and enjoy back home.
One memorable summer the sun was especially hot and by evening I was suffering
with terrible sunburn; the dreadful kind that results in chills and fever. The
thoughtful waitress realized that I was uncomfortable so she wrapped me in a
clean white table cloth so I could enjoy my favorite entrée, broiled scallops.
As the years passed, the Shrimp Boat Restaurant succumbed to surrounding squalor
and finally closed in the mid 1980s. Now, sixty years after the original
opening, a new and improved Shrimp Boat is scheduled to open in September, in
the original location. The contemporary version, which by the way is three
stories high, is designed to resemble a vintage cigar-factory and can seat an
astounding seven hundred diners.
After all these years I’m thrilled to hear about the new Shrimp Boat and
although I might not receive a formal invitation to attend the grand opening, I
fully intend to one day revisit my past and dine again on St. Andrew’s Bay at
one of my favorite seafood restaurants. Who knows, perhaps I will be invited to
tour the facility and share my memories with the franchise owner; who I
understand is the son of the original proprietor.
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