This Doctor’s Office says island cocktails are the best medicine

The Doctor’s Office will take the place of Giving Back and Keller Williams On the Water in the building at 5312 Holmes Boulevard, Holmes Beach.
The Doctor’s Office will take the place of Giving Back and Keller Williams On the Water in the building at 5312 Holmes Boulevard, Holmes Beach.

Fresh fruit juice, vermouth and plenty of tropical flavor are what Sean Murphy will keep in the “medicine cabinet” at the Doctor’s Office, a craft cocktail bar he plans to open within a few months at 5312 Holmes Blvd.

Murphy, 64, already owns and operates two nearby restaurants in Holmes Beach: Beach Bistro, 6600 Gulf Drive, and Eat Here, 5315 Gulf Drive. There is also an Eat Here with a full bar in Siesta Key, and some of Murphy’s creative cocktails are listed on the drink menu.

The new bar’s name is “not just schtick-y,” Murphy said.

“Originally, the French Laundry in Napa (California) got its name because it was historically the French laundry in town,” Murphy said. “This is similar.”

The building, built in 1953, used to house Dr. John Deam’s office. He bought the 11,670-square-foot parcel in 1931, according to Manatee County property records. Almost 60 years later, Deam sold the property and building to Richard Thomas, who still owns it under the name Schooner 16 LLC.

The Doctor’s Office has been years in the making.

“Craft cocktails are something the family has been interested in researching for some time now — probably for eight to 10 years,” Murphy said. “We saw something that would be interesting to create and we thought there would be a market for it.” A tropical Caribbean theme will connect to Anna Maria Island’s calm, soothing atmosphere.

“The doctor says the best medicine is to go to an island,” Murphy said. “The cocktails will be classically built with fresh juices, an emphasis on vermouth and full-rounded flavors.”

Guests at the Doctor’s Office will sip Murphy’s concoctions in an intimate setting with only 30 seats. The bar’s hours are limited to evening only, 5 p.m. to midnight, per the site plan. Murphy will not install a kitchen, but rather cook and carry food from Beach Bistro and Eat Here, both located within a mile of the Doctor’s Office.

The Doctor’s Office will occupy 1,100 square feet in the 4,000-square-foot building. Half of the building is occupied by the Anna Maria Island Art League, which will stay. The Doctor’s Office will take over two spaces in the building. One used to be a charity secondhand shop, Giving Back, and the other is a Keller Williams On the Water office.

Jen Bowman, broker for the Keller Williams office, says they’ve known about the Doctor’s Office for a long time and will move down the street to 5386 Gulf Drive.

A manager at another nearby restaurant, Hurricane Hank’s, said he appreciates the business relationship he and Murphy have. He isn’t concerned about the Doctor’s Office stealing his business.

“They’ve sent us business and we send them business,” manager Ben Conlon said of Murphy and his established restaurants. “We’re on two different levels with two totally different clienteles.”

According to the site plan, the future bar renovation plans include interior changes, updating the mechanical systems and construction of accessible restroom facilities. Outdoor seating and “amplified outdoor music” are prohibited. Murphy estimates he’ll have a small staff of about a half-dozen.

Save any permitting or equipment issues, Murphy hopes to open the Doctor’s Office in October.

Janelle O’Dea: 941-745-7095, @jayohday

Established restaurants owned by Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy has lived on Anna Maria Island for 35 years, where he’s built a loyal restaurant following and customer base.