Red tide is taking a toll on beach businesses around Bradenton, keeping away locals and tourists alike.
With odor receding the past few days, many restaurants are offering special deals and events to get people back out on the beach.
“We’re trying to stimulate business,” said Denese Love, bar manager at Star Fish Company Market and Restaurant.
Star Fish Company is offering 30 percent off of dine-in bills all day Wednesday and Thursday.
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Love says that a lot of the tourists who visit the Bradenton area annually decided to vacation a little farther north when they found out about red tide.
The event is adding to an already slow time of year for beach restaurants and businesses.
“There’s always a slump when kids go back to school,” Love said.
Since Saturday, Love says conditions at the restaurant have been beautiful, and there is no odor.
Liza Kubik is a member of the Anna Maria Island Chamber Board of Commerce. Kubik and a group of other community members and business owners are working to create an online calendar where businesses can list red tide relief events. It should be ready shortly after Labor Day, Kubik says.
Until then, here are a few upcoming deals at restaurants in Cortez and on Anna Maria Island:
Anna Maria Oyster Bar is offering $5 off appetizers all week when you donate a new children’s book to their Book Nook program. Purchase of an entree is required to get the deal. Details: Through Sept. 2. Anna Maria Oyster Bar, 200 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach and 6696 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton.
Beach House Waterfront Restaurant has an extended happy hour from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday. Details: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. beach House Waterfront Restaurant, 200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach.
Mr. and Mrs. Crab Juicy Seafood and Bar offers half-off appetizers and $1 beers every Tuesday. Details: Every Tuesday. Mr. and Mrs. Crab Juicy Seafood and Bar, 497 Cortez Road, Bradenton.
The Sandbar Restaurant is hosting a fireworks show in honor of Labor Day. The show is free to the public. Details: 8:30 p.m. Monday. The Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria.
The Seafood Shack offers extended happy hour specials Monday through Friday, with half off wine and mixed drinks, cheap beer and $1 oysters (offers available only at the bar). Details: 2-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Seafood Shack, 4110 127th St. W., Cortez.
Star Fish Company Market and Restaurant is offering 30 percent off of diners’ total bills all day Wednesday and Thursday. Details: Aug. 29-30. Star Fish Company and Market Restaurant, 12306 46th Ave. W., Cortez.
Swordfish Grill and Tiki Bar is hosting a snow crab boil on Sunday. It’s $24 for a platter or $34 for all-you-can-eat. Details: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 2. Swordfish Grill and Tiki Bar, 4628 119th St. W., Cortez.
Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina is offering buy-one-get-one free taco meals until they reopen outdoor seating. Details: Tide Tables Restaurant is at 12507 Cortez Road W., Cortez.
The Waterfront Restaurant of Anna Maria is offering 25 percent of diners’ total bills when they mention the word “rainbow.” Details: Aug. 29. The Waterfront Restaurant of Anna Maria, 111 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria.
Find an extensive list of Cortez and Anna Maria Island businesses at annamariaislandchamber.org.