Last year, Longbeach Village residents protested Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub owner Ed Chiles’ plans to redevelop the historic Rufus P. Jordan house to hold weddings and other events.
Now, the restaurant is about to say “I do” to a new plan: It will unite in culinary matrimony when it merges with next-door neighbor Moore’s Stonecrab Restaurant into a single restaurant called Moore Vista.
Chiles and Moore’s co-owner Alan Moore submitted a preliminary site plan last week to the Planning, Zoning and Building Department. The restaurateurs seek to combine their restaurants, parcels and parking lots with an open-air breezeway that is enclosed by a wall of steel bicycle racks that gives the new restaurant a combined 64 parking waiver credits.
The single restaurant will have 456 indoor and outdoor seats and at least 250 parking spaces for vehicles, boats and Jet Skis, plus parallel parking spaces on both sides of Broadway.
There will also be a combined 56 vehicle parking spaces created by merging the two parking lots and moving a portion of the former Mar Vista Dumpster area next to the town dock along Sarasota Bay.
Although Village residents are concerned about parking on Broadway, Chiles and Moore say it won’t be a problem, according to the site plan.
In fact, a town-hired consultant found that the plan will actually reduce traffic because owners will only be advertising a single restaurant.
Moore Vista will also have one staff bus boy on call in season who will leave the kitchen and move cars if he or she is alerted by Longboat Key Fire Rescue that fire trucks need to get through on Broadway for an emergency.
Chiles and Moore also have plans to create a new 179-foot wooden viewing center that will be built at the center of their combined docks in Sarasota Bay for bird watching and Gulf sunset picture-taking and wedding opportunities. A jukebox with speakers at the top of the viewing area will also play Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” for a quarter that is put into the machine during normal restaurant hours.
With the food-truck craze picking up on the mainland, Chiles and Moore also plan to put an Old Florida spin on the trend by placing used yachts with full kitchens in various places throughout the Longbeach Village in season to accommodate residents and other visitors who prefer to dine in a casual setting while peacocks serenade them.
The food boats will be called “Paradise Peacock Vessels.”
Because the Longboat Key Town Commission chose not to restrict boat and trailer parking Key-wide, Chiles and Moore felt it was a great opportunity to capitalize on such a venture.
A shuttle service will also transport Jewfish Key residents and visitors to and from the Key to gain access to the restaurant and food yachts.
Preliminary staff notes from town planners reveal that the site plan will be recommended to the Planning and Zoning Board because it does not request any departures from town code.
Notices for the application and future public hearing will be mailed to Village owners with even address numbers, Jewfish Key property owners and to all Village homes where yachts are expected to be placed in both front and side yards during season.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at firstname.lastname@example.org
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