On April 24, 1994, a Longboat Key institution served its final meal.
That’s the day Shenkel’s restaurant closed after 35 years.
Original owners Rich Shenkel and his wife, Nell Jones, opened the restaurant in 1959, while Edith Barr Dunn ran their other restaurant, The Waffle Shop, in Sarasota, which would become her training ground. Barr Dunn went on to open her own restaurant, Barr’s Restaurant, in Sarasota, and sell it at a profit, before agreeing to buy the Longboat Key restaurant when Shenkel and Jones were ready to retire.
Barr Dunn became known for her support for just about every local organization (along with her signature Stetson hats). The restaurant was the breakfast spot for Kiwanians and served food to firefighters and police officers who were on duty during holidays.
She told the Longboat Observer four years ago that she missed the people of Shenkel’s — but not the 17- to 18-hour days that were the norm for her during season at the restaurant.
+ Classic Cops: An off-the-wall intruder
4/22/88 — 7:44 p.m. Trespasser pushed off seawall by property owner, 6300 block GMD. Two elderly ladies involved.
+ Where in the world is the Longboat Observer?
The Longboat Observer has definitely earned frequent-flier status.
Every week, we look forward to see where readers will take their newspaper: a safari in Africa? Antarctica? The top of the Eiffel Tower?
Those are just a few examples of “It’s Read Everywhere” submissions we’ve received.
But our journey of hundreds of thousands of miles began with a single step.
Virginia Sanders and her late husband, Jack, packed their Longboat Observer for an Amazon River adventure.
On April 27, 1989, the front page of the paper featured the Sanderses and Jack Frankel reading the Longboat Observer with two members of the Yagua tribe in Peru with the headline, “The Longboat Observer is Read Everywhere!”
It was the beginning of a tradition that continues today — so, don’t forget to pack your Longboat Observer for your next vacation.