Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille, a regional favorite, announced that it will soon be opening a second location in St. Pete, its first on the west side of the city. The new restaurant will be in the Jungle Terrace neighborhood at 8790 Bay Pines Boulevard. This new hotspot is set to open the second weekend of December, according to a recent Facebook post.
The Doc Ford’s waterfront restaurants are known for their Caribbean-inspired dishes, tropical drinks and, of course, rum collections. The menu, open for lunch and dinner, places an emphasis on fresh seafood, including a shellfish bar. The extensive offerings include a wide variety of appetizers, sandwiches and fish-driven entrees. Doc Ford’s new location will officially open the second week of December at 8790 Bay Pines Blvd.
While it’s the food and drinks that keep people coming back, Doc Ford’s is perhaps best known for its literary history. It’s not often that a rum-soaked restaurant has such ties, but thanks to local author Randy Wayne White and his series of novels starring a baseball-loving, tropical adventurer named Doc Ford, the bar and grille is a destination for shrimp lovers and book lovers alike.
Doc Ford’s combines island vibes with a sports bar atmosphere
As for the edible parts of Doc Ford’s success, the restaurant has been on the receiving end of several notable accolades recently. In 2021, Trip Advisor ranked the company’s four restaurants as the No. 1 place in the country for “everyday eats.” Just this year, Trip Advisor ranked their location on the pier as St. Pete’s No. 1 restaurant.
It is successes like those that have made growth possible for the company, which has now nearly doubled its number of locations in two years. In their announcement for this newest location, Doc Ford’s said they are immediately hiring experienced kitchen managers and will be soon hiring their full front and back of house staff.
The restaurant group’s other locations are on Sanibel Island, Captiva Island and Ft. Myers Beach. On their website, Doc Ford’s describes their approach: “We take pride in providing our customers with only the freshest seafood and ingredients available, and where all of our dishes are prepared fresh in house everyday. We proudly offer daily specials for lunch and dinner, full menu from open to close, signature cocktails, and an extensive Premium Rum Selection.”
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