Here is a story about the Shrimp Boat Restaurant in PC, FL.  I hope you enjoy the story and feel free to share your thoughts; I love hearing from you.  For those who have asked about my column and who contacted the Union Recorder, I send my thanks; hopefully my stories will again be published in the local newspaper.  Hugz.  Brenda

The Shrimp Boat Resteaurant

Brenda S. Brown

The reminiscences of my childhood include relaxing in one of my favorite vacation destinations, the emerald coast of Panama City Beach, Florida.  Some of the establishments that I clearly remember are the Old Dutch, the Plaza Motel, the Long Beach Casino and Resort, the Georgian Terrace, and the Shrimp Boat Restaurant on St. Andrews Bay.  Our Saturday afternoon outings included Putt-putt Golf at the spotless facility in town, followed by a scrumptious dinner at the Shrimp Boat.   
The Shrimp Boat was surrounded by wooden slips where pleasure and working boats were docked, and if you arrived early enough you were treated to a window seat where you could watch crews unload the catch of the day.   In the beginning, the restaurant seated about forty customers, and was built almost entirely over the water, and subsequent additions added more tables, floor-space and customers. 
Over the years our family began going into town early, in order to avoid the long lines that formed outside the popular eatery.  While our seafood feast settled, we strolled about the docks and sometimes purchased items to pack in ice and enjoy back home. 
One memorable summer the sun was especially hot and by evening I was suffering with terrible sunburn; the dreadful kind that results in chills and fever.   The thoughtful waitress realized that I was uncomfortable so she wrapped me in a clean white table cloth so I could enjoy my favorite entrée, broiled scallops. 
As the years passed, the Shrimp Boat Restaurant succumbed to surrounding squalor and finally closed in the mid 1980s.  Now, sixty years after the original opening, a new and improved Shrimp Boat is scheduled to open in September, in the original location.  The contemporary version, which by the way is three stories high, is designed to resemble a vintage cigar-factory and can seat an astounding seven hundred diners. 
After all these years I’m thrilled to hear about the new Shrimp Boat and although I might not receive a formal invitation to attend the grand opening, I fully intend to one day revisit my past and dine again on St. Andrew’s Bay at one of my favorite seafood restaurants.  Who knows, perhaps I will be invited to tour the facility and share my memories with the franchise owner; who I understand is the son of the original proprietor.  


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