Doc Ford’s begins hiring for St. Pete Pier restaurant, opening slated for summer 2020

Rendering of a waterfront rum bar opening on the St. Pete Pier

Time sure does fly, doesn’t it? After some controversy, a series of different designs, and speedy construction, the St. Pete Pier if finally taking shape, and thoroughly in the home stretch. The Pier initially planned to fully open in May, but the COVID-19 pandemic spurred City Officials to push back the debut until it was safe to host such an opening.

Doc Ford’s restaurant, a concept inspired by the Randy Wayne White’s seminal literary character, is currently hiring for all positions. The concept was supposed to begin serving the public in early spring, but has had to push back its opening timeline and now plans for a hopeful early summer debut.

“We are looking for driven people to join our team and grow with our company,” wrote the restaurant owners in a Facebook post. “We pride ourselves on providing exceptional food, service and hospitality to our guests, and are always looking for people who share our vision.”

There will be so much more to the new pier than just a building at the end. This is one of my favorite areas – the…

Posted by Rick Kriseman on Thursday, May 7, 2020

Join the St. Pete Pier team

Those interested in applying can inquire online. This will be Doc Ford’s 4th concept in the state of Florida. They’ve opened concepts on Captiva Island, Sanibel, and Ft. Meyers.

The menu is sprawling, and ripe with beach eats. Guests can order Caribbean Jerk tostados, shrimp scampi flatbreads, and Doc’s special beach bread — baked french bread topped with cheddar, Monterey Jack, bleu cheese crumbles, and diced tomatoes.

Entrees include seafood paella, island style shrimp and grits, Texas baby back ribs, panic fried shrimp, and banana leaf snapper.

I’ve never personally visited a Doc Ford’s, but the array of seafood options has me intrigued. The waterfront views don’t hurt either. You can view the full Doc Ford’s menu online.

Massive art installation arrives at the Pier

Janet Echelman’s massive sculpture has also just arrived on the waterfront. The city just recently released the list of local businesses that will be a part of the anticipated Pier Marketplace.

You can follow all the Pier Progress updates on the city’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

Doc Ford’s isn’t the only foodie hub opening at the St. Pete Pier. A multi-level restaurant experience, complete with a rooftop bar, is also joining the project.

The three concepts will be located at the Pier Head include an upscale restaurant (Teak) a rooftop bar (Teaki) and a café (Driftwood Café). Sample menus indicate a broad offering including lobster tails, fish tacos, a raw bar, local craft beers and much more. Plans for the restaurant include a comfortable and elegant setting with local art on display.


Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to