Food & Drink

Fight red tide at a beach restaurant. They are offering deals for October

Restaurateurs are coming together to say they are open despite red tide

Waterfront restaurants are spreading the message that there may be red tide, but they are open for business.
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Waterfront restaurants are spreading the message that there may be red tide, but they are open for business.

Red tide has hit island restaurants and other businesses hard.

In response, many restaurants in October are offering diners specials to get diners to come back, as part of Restaurant Month, Oct. 1-31, an effort organized by the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Pitchers of beer for $5, burgers and all-you-can-eat pancakes are a few of the offerings announced so far at restaurants on Anna Maria Island and elsewhere in the area.

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The event is “part of a concerted effort to drive business to the coastal restaurants that were hit hardest by the economic downturn resulting from the recent red tide bloom off of the Gulf,” according to a press release.

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Current deals can be viewed at

More offers will be added throughout the month of October.

“We truly believe that you can now enjoy our unique coastal restaurants, shops and attractions without experiencing the effects of red tide,” said BACVB Executive Director Elliott Falcione. “We hope our community takes advantage of these special deals.”

Red tide has caused businesses on the island to suffer cancellations and loss of revenue; but business owners have hopes for Labor Day weekend despite that.

Here are some of the deals announced so far:

Anna Maria Oyster Bar is offering different deals at different locations, including two fish tacos and a maragarita for $5, all-you-can-eat pancakes for $5 and $5 pitchers of beer. Details: Times and locations vary. Visit

Gecko’s Grill and Pub is offering $5 half-pound burgers all day on Mondays. Details: Every Monday in October. SR 64, SR 70, Fruitville, Hillview, Stickney Point and 41, and Clark Road locations.

The following restaurants are all offering $10 off of a purchase of $30 or more with a printable coupon:

The Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria.

The Beach House Waterfront Restaurant, 200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach.

Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub, 760 Broadway St., Longboat Key.

Check back at the event website for upcoming offers from Gulf Drive Café, Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen and more restaurants.

Local business owner Sherman Baldwin attended a red tide town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Joe Gruters and Rep. Margaret Good. He said he wanted to know what he could do for his vulnerable employees depending on the income he provides.