There is another round of big changes happening to the restaurant scene in downtown Fernandina Beach Once in a while, a business will fold and people will move on. I love it when the new business opens up!
Luigi’s Trattoria was just a couple of blocks from the Addison and provided a great Italian meal served in their tiny dining room, the front porch or in the big open-air piazza in the back of the restaurant. Giovanna no longer operates the Trattoria in this location and the building was looking a little rundown.
Enter Mark and Teresa of Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop. They bake, they make cookies and cakes and they are moving into the old Trattoria. This might just be the next bright spot in our vibrant downtown where you can enjoy fresh baked goods in the shady piazza on a sunny afternoon.
The other movers and shakers in the restaurant world? Bonito Grill and Sushi closed last year and is soon to be re-opened as Palate. Raw bar up front with a full menu in the back. I know these people, they make great food.
O’Kane’s Irish Bar closed last year as well but new life is coming. A couple of local restaurant owners have decided to expand their workload and will soon open a brew pub in the old O’Kane’s location. Crazy people but they make great food and hopefully great beer.
With all the changes going on downtown you just have to hope, that when the music stops, everyone has a storefront through which to do business.
May is a great month on Amelia Island. Besides fantastic weather we have so much happening on the island. We start off with the Pirate’s parade on the first, followed by the Annual Shrimp Festival. The three-day event attracts 150,000 to 250,000 visitors to Amelia Island. We at the Addison are lucky enough to host the same roster of great guests that come back for the festival each year.
Right after the Shrimp Festival is Cinco de Mayo. If you are staying at the Addison you had best brush up on your history because, along with festive snacks, there will be a quiz at Happy Hour.
Besides the Shrimp Festival, we have the Chamber Music Festival and the Wild Amelia Nature Festival in May. Fort Clinch is hosting two major events in the month as well.
Wrapping up the end of the month, and kicking off the summer season, is the Memorial Day weekend. Even on this busy weekend there is plenty of beach to enjoy. If Main Beach is crowded there is 14 miles of sand with lots of access points each with free parking. Borrow the Addison’s beach gear and head off for a day in the sand. Don’t forget to take a towel!
This year’s musical performers for the popular Sounds on Center Free Community Concert Series has been announced and it looks like a great season ahead of us. For those of you not familiar with the concert series, the town blocks off Center Street to traffic and sets up a stage on Center Street right near the Palace Saloon doors. The concerts start at 6PM (right after the Addison’s Happy Hour!) and run through to about 8PM. The pirates are usually in attendance and people are dancing in the streets all while the sun sets over the marina. The concerts are well attended by locals and tourists and it has always been a fun evening.
This year’s line up:
April 4th. The Honey Badgers, an all Beatles music tribute
June 6th. Mike Hendrix plays top tunes
July 4th. Island Vibes playing music through the ages with a patriotic salute
August 1st. Jimmy Beats playing soulful Caribbean sounds
September 5th. The Decade Band, Amelia Island’s premier party band
October 3rd. A surprise musical guest!
Sounds on Center sounds great. See you there!
Save the date, March 29th, for the first big music festival of the Spring! On the 29th Main Beach Park will be filled with fun, food, craft beer and live music as the Slide Into Spring Music and Craft Beer Festival kicks off. The festival is brought to you by the same folks who put together the Goin’ Coastal concert series last year and if you liked those concerts you’re going to love this one.
Live music will be featured all day long with Keller Williams, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, the Fritz, Vagabond Swing and Herd of Watts. Sweetwater Brewing Company is a sponsor and there will be other craft brewers as well. If that isn’t enough beer for you there is a Homebrew Competition too! Lots of other activities are scheduled with a craft bazaar, art walk and cornhole tournament. Food trucks will also be on site throughout the day.
Tickets ($20) are available at www.eventbrite.com
www.BedAndBreakfast.com, the leading B&B only on-line referral site has awarded the Addison with another distinction, Top Ten Romantic Inns Winner.
We won Best of the South a couple of years and were awarded Best Top Ten Overall in 2010 but then they changed their format (one was Top Ten Inns With Treehouses / Llamas). They have changed back to a more mainstream (as in what most people want to see) format and there we are again, right at the top of the list.
These awards are important to us because they are based on guest feedback. When you post positive reviews on on-line sites like BedAndBreakfast.com and TripAdvisor.com you not only let us know how we are doing but you contribute to the voting pool for these awards.
To those of you who posted reviews on BedAndBreakfast.com last year, we thank you! You made this award possible.
Amelia Island is host to three festivals throughout the month of February that highlight a wide platform of artistic endeavors.
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival has concerts on February 9th, 11th and 15th as part of their WinterFest program. This are advance presentations with the main concert series running in May. These concerts are followed by the Amelia Island Book Festival on the 21st and 22nd. The Book Festival hosts writers , workshops, a readers workshop and the opportunity to meet authors like David Baldacci.
Our third festival in February is the popular Amelia Island Film Festival featuring six award winning feature films, a documentary series, international film series and an Oscar night party. The Film Festival runs from February 27th through March 2nd with films being shown in venues all over the island. Check out their website and order your tickets early.
The festivals offer something for everyone, all month long!
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival has expanded well beyond the main concert series in May. The festival is now offering concerts throughout January and February as part of their Winterfest concert series.
Besides offering a great series of concerts the Festival also offers some great savings on tickets. When you buy concert tickets just give them your confirmation number from your Addison reservation and you will get half off of the ticket prices.
The WinterFest concerts include:
- Natasha Paremski – Chopin and Franck on January 27th
- the Vega String Quartet – Beer and G-Strings on February 9th
- Trumpet Invasion – Chamber Pops I on February 11th
- Chee-Yun, Andres Diaz and Wendy Chen – Romantic Virtuosi on February 15th
Don’t forget to reserve your room at the Addison before buying your concert tickets so that you can save 50% off of the ticket price!
Well, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Now they are under the sofa and there is torn wrapping paper, bits of ribbon and glitter everywhere. Christmas day is over which brings us to the next big holiday….
Happy Boxing Day! The day after Christmas, in England and some of their many colonies, is another holiday. In old timey England, the servants had to work all Christmas day looking after the lords of the manors. The day after Christmas became a day of appreciation for those workers and they would receive boxes of gifts (leftovers) from their employers. Boxing Day is still a day off with pay in many of the ex-colonies including Canada and Australia.
In another week we have the Addison’s traditional and popular New Year’s Eve Champagne Tasting Happy Hour. Our guests will enjoy a selection of sparkling wines and champagne from around the world as a great start to a festive New Year’s Eve. After which, the holidays will be through for another season.
Time to start getting ready for Groundhog’s Day!
A New Year’s celebration just isn’t a celebration without champagne! We are looking forward to treating our guests to our New Year’s champagne tasting again this year. We pour a selection of sparkling wines and champagne during our Happy Hour on New Year’s eve. This is a fun (and educational!) introduction to a variety of bubbles from Italy, the US and, of course, France. This is our guests’ favorite Happy Hour, one that everyone looks forward to and a great start to an evening of celebrating another new year.