Snug Harbor Waterfront Restaurant is celebrating it's one year anniversary next weekend on October 15, 16, and 17, with fresh seafood, raw bar & food specials, door prizes, and live entertainment! And with the good fortune of Stone Crab season starting on October 15th, their own fishing fleet will be out, bright and early to bring them in..... and with any luck and weather permitting, they hope to have the freshest stone crabs available for your eating pleasure at the celebration.
I had a chance to speak with two of the owners ......Nick and Peter (locals will remember Nick and his wife Mary as owners of the famous Fishmonger restaurant for over 20 years, that was located over the bridge, next to the Moose Lodge, after they sold that business, they then took over the Ragged Ass Saloon in St. James City with their partners Peter and John which they just sold) Nick told me "It's true this is our one year anniversary of opening up the 'New' Snug Harbor, but this restaurant was a staple on the beach when I was just starting out and as it turns out it is actually my 40th anniversary here , that's when I started working for Paul Rosen at the original Snug Harbor (founded 1979), who was the owner and my long time mentor and still a great friend, a few years later John Shields came on as a manager and that's how I met John."
" As a matter of fact, working here changed my life" Nick continued," who knows how it would have turned out otherwise, not only for the great mentoring I got from Paul, but I also met my wonderful wife Mary here all those years ago."
I asked Peter how he came to know Nick, " I met Nick in 1992 when I leased the Backwaters Restaurant, just past the old Fishmonger, where the Sea Trek Boat sits now" he said. "I love this place, we have the freshest seafood and a great view,............. and now the family business continues as both of Nick and Mary's daughters Madison and Hanna are working here with us."
Peter has also owned the Beef O’Brady’s franchise in Estero for almost 20 years!
Taking in account the owners Nick & Mary, Peter and John and then adding in the GM's Ray and Leslie Donovan who have been each managing restaurants on the beach for over 20 years, ...there is a lot of quality restaurant experience here, adding it up, it comes to some 200 years! "And to top all that off, we have Chef Jeff Rizzo in the kitchen who has been part of Nick and Mary's Family forever!" Peter added.
The co-owners of Snug Harbor, Nick & Mary Ruland, Peter Ennis and John Shields got together and started working on this project back in September of 2019 at the suggestion of previous owner/friend Paul Rosen, the idea.... to build another Snug Harbor on the same location as the previous one which was torn down years ago when the docks that supported it, needed to be rebuilt.
They finally opened up last October to much success even though the pandemic still had the rest of the country on lock down.
The new restaurant has quickly become a beach favorite with locals and visitors alike, with their great 'on the dock' waterfront location, their friendly staff and amazing food and service, and Nick wanted to send a special mention out to Paul Rosen..."He started this ball rolling, If it wasn't for him, none of this would have happened!"
For the celebration, they will be raffling off over $500 in Gift Certificates to the restaurant, there will be 21 winners of a $25 gift certificates, when attending you will enter your name at the door and they will have 7 winners each day of the weekend celebration.
On Friday live music will be provided by Hallie and Rome from 2pm-5pm and Beach Talk. Radio will be on hand to help kick off the weekend with their show ---from 6pm to 7pm
Saturday, Johnny will be entertaining from 2pm-5pm and the Reggae Sounds of Ragady Lapsey will be playing live from 5pm-8pm. Sunday Mary Winner will be on hand to entertain from 2pm-5pm.
This will be a great celebration all weekend long with .... hopefully.... the best Stone Crab Claws picked fresh from sparkling gulf waters... right to your table.
Snug Harbor Waterfront Restaurant is located at 645 Old San Carlos Blvd and is open from 11am until 10pm.
Happy Anniversary Guys!
Oh, one more thing! If you haven’t stopped in and had some of Mary’s incredible home made and fresh baked desserts......you’re really missing out!