COMMENTS

The Bar Tab: Summer sips, despite the drips, at Lido Beach Restaurant

/
Call in an advance order right from your lawn chair or brave the winding line to the counter.

Call in an advance order right from your lawn chair or brave the winding line to the counter.

July’s thunderclouds have yet to dry up the deluge of patrons at Lido Beach Restaurant, and on a recent Sunday, it became clear why.

Though the often misnamed locale (it has also been called the Lido Beach Pavilion and the Seabreeze Concession) is technically outdoors, there is just enough shelter for huddling and an abundance of inexpensive drinks for mid-storm reveling.

Daily food and beer specials greet regulars as they flip flop up from the Lido Beach shoreline to the parking-lot-adjacent eatery. Sandy toes, damp swimsuit and all, I was one of them last weekend, and as soon as the downpour broke loose, I was ready to throw in the beach towel and leave. However, nobody else budged. It reminded me of college, when students, even in the midst of a hurricane, would simply toast to Thor and continue partying.

Drizzles happen under the pavilion’s palm trees and blue Corona Light umbrellas, but bad moods do not. Why should they? There is a postcard view of the Gulf and the permission to sip beer and wine (just do not bring your containers onto the beach. Locals, you should be well aware of the rules by now). Call in an advance order right from your lawn chair or brave the winding line to the counter. This has been the ritual since the Lido Beach Restaurant opened five years ago, says Gabriel Davila, who co-owns and runs the place with his mother-in-law, Darlene Ruth.

“We have really high-quality food, great prices, live music and the weather doesn’t seem to bother people,” Davila says.

The selection of $2 and $3 beers varies by day, and canned items include Shipyard ales, Mike’s Harder Lemonade, Corona, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Heineken, Shock Top, Laughing Skull, Rolling Rock, Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale and Cayman Jack Margarita. There are single-serving Copa Di Vino cups of red, white and blush wine, as well as alternating taps for Corona Light, Yuengling and Presidente beers.

Popular eats are the famed Lido Lobster Roll (with Swiss cheese, avocado and tomato), mozzarella sticks, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, Philly cheese steaks, sea scallops, and fish and chips, all ranging from $3 to $10. For weekly specials, try chicken fajitas on Thursday, fish tacos (with pico de gallo and guacamole) on Friday, blackened fish wraps on Saturday and lobster rolls on Sunday.

Live music is from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Sunday, usually featuring Jeff Hughes’ Short One-Man Band with its bongo and maraca beats. Regular hours are from 9 to 5 p.m. during the week, and until 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Disregard the weather and visit this beachfront pavilion where nothing can rain on your parade.

Lido Beach Restaurant
400 Ben Franklin Dr., Sarasota
388-0400; facebook.com/lidobeachrestaurant.
Last modified: September 13, 2013
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.
COMMENTS