There are a few changes in the Amelia Island restaurant scene coming upon us. The first is the closure of Halftime Sports Bar on 8th Street. John and Bretta (back of the picture, photobombing an otherwise brilliant group photo) made a good run of it and I will miss seeing them on a regular basis.
Two additions to the restaurants, coming soon, are a brewpub and a creperie. The brewpub, with the impressive façade. is taking the place of O’Kanes Irish Pub. The building was torn down due to structural issues and is being recreated as a brewery with exceptional food. Two local restauranteurs, both with great food on their existing menus, will be collaborating for a whole new experience on Amelia Island.
The other new restaurant, with the tree shaded courtyard, is a creperie. It is right across the street from Nana Theresa’s Bakery and will offer something completely different from anything else in town. They haven’t gotten to the point of printing a menu yet but what a delicious, light lunch that would be!
A big “Thank you!” to all of our guests who posted reviews on TripAdvisor.com in the last year. Those reviews resulted in another Certificate of Excellence for the Addison on Amelia from the world’s largest travel site. But wait there’s more…. Because the Addison has been awarded the TA Certificate of Excellence for 5 years in a row we are now in the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame.
In such a short time the travel industry has changed. It wasn’t that long ago that if you owned a B&B you HAD to be in the AAA Travel Guide, a short fat book with small print and smaller black and white photos that was published annually and was a must-have for travelers. Then came the internet and consumer content sites where anyone and everyone could voice their opinion of a restaurant, B&B or tourist attraction. I’m pretty sure nobody lugs around a AAA Travel Guide anymore.
I’m not sure what the TripAdvisor.com Hall of Fame is. Is there an induction ceremony in an actual building, maybe in Cleveland? Will food be served? Would I have to wear long pants? Black tie? So many questions.
Thanks again for the reviews. We enjoy what we do here at the Addison and I’m glad that you enjoy what we do as well
Guests at the Addison are SO lucky that Shannon creates the menu and that I don’t. There would be a lot more Spam on the menu if I was involved in that particular task. To get my Spam fix I have to go elsewhere.
I have a favorite local sports bar, Halftime, on 8th St, that makes a great Spam sandwich. It is always different and not offered on the menu. Today’s sandwich was grilled Spam, cheese, onions, tomato, lettuce and mayo on a toasted torta roll, fries on the side. Excellent!
Like I said, the Spam sandwich isn’t on the menu. You have to take your own can of Spam. Jon, the Halftime owner, gets half the can of Spam for himself and you get a hand crafted Spam sandwich.
Jon is also offering a tasty Buffalo Shrimp Dip all through Shrimp Festival. Shrimp, 3 cheeses, lump crab meat and Buffalo sauce served with warm pita slices. Very tasty and you don’t need to take your own shrimp!
I met up with my friend Jim tonight and he has been having the time of his life. Jim is a retired radio announcer who has got the acting bug. This is his first acting appearance and he is in the Amelia Community Theatre’s production of Inherit The Wind.
This is, according to insiders (Jim), a hard production because there is a cast of over 30 actors (including Jim). They have been rehearsing for months and have nailed the first few performances (April 9th through the 25th)…. If you ever get a chance to meet Jim you will know why this group of volunteers manages to execute brilliant stage performances.
Community theatres usually run productions with a smaller number of cast members but this group has been ambitious lately including a full production of Hair. Including the rather brief nude scene. Imagine that, people you know, your neighbors perhaps, nude in front of you. But not Jim. And for that Jim, the community thanks you.
Check out their whole season at www.AmeliaCommunityTheatre.org
They’re back! The Sounds on Centre Free Community Concert Series has posted the 2015 schedule and it looks really promising. These well attended free concerts offer great live music, dancing in the street and the Fernandina Beach Pirates Club. These free concerts take place on Centre Street between 6 and 8 PM with the band setting up right outside the Palace Saloon. This year’s schedule is:
3-April. The Decades Band, Amelia Island’s premier party band.
5-June. Beech Street Blues Band
3-July. Spice and the Po Boys playing R&B along with New Orleans style blues
7-August. Island Vibe with music through the ages.
4-September. Jimmy Beats with reggae and soulful Caribbean sounds
2-October. Crescendo Amelia featuring big band jazz and swing.
These concerts are a great time and are easy to fit in between the Addison’s Happy Hour and your dinner reservation!
We would like to welcome Fernandina Beach’s newest business venture, the Marlin and Barrel Distillery. We went to their soft opening last week and had a great time going through the distillery.
Roger is realizing the same kind of dream that Shannon and I had when we opened the Addison. Roger has a passion for craft distilling and ditched the corporate world for a business on Amelia Island, much like Shannon and I did.
The still isn’t much to look at right now. He has a… couple of operating stills with the maximum being 700 gallons if I can remember the tour correctly. There are a few barrels stacked up and a bunch of liquor bottles but plenty of room for more barrels. Aging the spirits in the right barrel for months or even years is apparently a pretty important part of distilling. An expansive tool kit for maintain the equipment isn’t as important. Theirs is attached to the wall.
They have some great craft rum and vodka currently available. It isn’t a bar so you can’t drink there but they do have some great cocktail ideas posted on the walls for cocktails that will really go with the unique spirits that they produce.
Besides the liquor, they have a nice sideline gift shop full of flasks, glasses, umbrellas and other trinkets that would make great souvenirs. Stop by, check out their wares and tell them where you are staying!
The Today Show did a lovely segment on southern getaways including a mention of the Addison on Amelia! Apparently there are a lot of people up north that are in desperate need of a winter break. The Today Show producers offered some excellent advice! Check it out….
This is a new tour that sounds like a fun time! Our friends at Hola Cuban Café have started a new series of downtown tours that focus on food and cocktails at local restaurants and bars. The Amelia Island Tasting Tours have two tours in place with more in the works.
On the 3-hour Downtown Tasting Tour you will stroll the beautiful Historic District while sampling wonderful food prepared by our favorite local chefs. The restaurant participation changes with each tour so every tour is different.
The Mixology Tour is an on-going cocktail party through the Historic District. On this 2-hour tour you will meet some of Fernandina Beach’s best bartenders while enjoying the unique character of our local bars.
Advance reservations are required! Check out their schedule at www.AmeliaIslandTastingTours.com or call 900-979-3370 for tickets. More tours are coming including a Chocolate Tour, Dessert Tour and Pub Crawl.
Here is a brilliant example of transitioning your Fall / Halloween decorations into a Christmas motif.
Just this morning all we had was three white pumpkins, all very harvesty and very Fallish. Add a carrot nose, two eyes made out of coal (BBQ briquettes) and a Frosty hat and voila! A Christmas decoration.
Christmas decorations come early to the Addison. Tomorrow, a week before Thanksgiving, we need to be fully decorated for Christmas as we will have 700 people coming through our house as part of the Amelia Island B&B Association Holiday Cookie Tour. The decorating is done, the lights are lit and all that is left is the baking of 700 cookies. I’ll fire up the oven at 5:30 tomorrow morning and we start baking!
Today at Happy Hour we served a duet of hummus. The hummus we usually serve was paired with a roasted red pepper hummus. The grilled nan bread makes an excellent delivery vehicle.
New and big things are coming, too! We have a new ice cream/gelato machine. My favorite dish from our cooking school in Italy was the home-made tomato soup, served with a crostini topped with a scoop of parmesan gelato. If I have my way, this dish is going to be the starter of the Addison’s Thanksgiving dinner!