Shrimp Boat Welcomes New Owners
PANAMA CITY — An iconic St. Andrews culinary fixture has a new owner.
Panama City Beach-based hotel and resort provider By the Sea Resorts announced Thursday it had purchased the Shrimp Boat Restaurant from Ameris Bank. “We are extremely pleased to be joining the community of St. Andrews,” By the Sea President Jose Gallego stated in a news release. “We look forward to updating the Shrimp Boat and offering additional dining options for the community.”
The company owns six hotels in Panama City Beach and operates Barefoot Restaurants Group; the Shrimp Boat and corresponding restaurants housed in the complex will be the company’s first Panama City businesses.
“We are a hospitality and food service company that has been in business for the last 25 years in the Panama City Beach community,” said Casey Suggs, Shrimp Boat catering sales manager. “The Shrimp Boat Restaurant has been a staple in Panama City’s rich history, and we are going to bring it back to life, so that it is once again able to deliver our community and clientele with the legendary food quality and service that they came to expect.”
The Shrimp Boat will have new lunch, dinner and tapas menus featuring Gulf Coast fare and steaks under Executive Chef Larry Eppler, Suggs said.
On the back half of the restaurant, Gracie Rae Bar & Grill and the Salty Hawg oyster bar will be combined into Barefoot on the Bay and will continue to provide staple menu items like oysters and wings.
Nightly live entertainment and dockside parking for boats for dine-in and carry-out still will be offered at the complex, and private banquet and catering options soon will be available through the St. Andrews Room on the second floor.
The restaurants all will be closed Monday through Wednesday, reopening Thursday, July 13, under their new names and menus. Suggs said By The Seas had introduced some new managers but would be retaining the entire staff.
“We’ve always been proud to be part of the Panama City Beach community and are extremely excited to be joining Historic St. Andrews,” Gallego said. “Providing a quality and enjoyable restaurant experience is what we strive for with the Barefoot Restaurant chain.”