The Seafood Shack Restaurant in Cortez has closed re-opened.
The waterfront restaurant has been in business for 38 years serving grouper sandwiches, clam chowder and burgers but succumbed to the combination of high taxes, high insurance, economic downturn, and an upcoming bridge repair.
The humpback bridge on 127th Street is closing for repairs and Seafood Shack owner, Ham Jones, said he faced bankruptcy trying to stay open with low patronage, or close and lay off staff. He kept open the possibility of reopening in November if the bridge repairs are completed by then, and if the Anna Maria Island bridge repair closures reroutes traffic to Cortez bridge as scheduled for October – November.
A beautiful day on Tampa Bay last weekend brought out sailors and boaties taking advantage of the breeze and perfect temperature to enjoy a day on the water.
Sailing out of northern Anna Maria Island presents no barriers or bridges into Tampa Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway, and to the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa Bay is one of few Florida deep water bodies of water, along with Charlotte Harbor, where keeled sailboats can enjoy unencumbered cruising without too much fear of running aground on shoals and dredged spoil banks.
Sailing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a treat and navigation is little constrained up to St Petersburg.
Florida Department of Transportation announced that the start of the Anna Maria Bridge renovations has been delayed until Feb 4. A new contract with Quinn Construction Co of Palmetto calls for the bridge on Manatee Avenue, or State Road 64, connecting Anna Maria Island to the mainland and Bradenton, to be closed completely to vehicles for 45 days.
Originally announced last year to begin April 1, the closure was to be 75 days, but