Archive for November, 2012

Weekend wrap up

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Last Thursday we stayed home but on Friday we got out and about. We headed to Okaloosa Island and stopped at Anglers. We had not been in there in a while. Clinton was the manager on duty and Ryan was working behind the bar. They were glad to see us as it has been a while since we have been in there. They had a party upstairs. Ryan said it was roller derby girls having a party. Note to self that night, don’t piss off any of the ladies at Anglers. LOL 

Julie came out and joined us. From Anglers we headed to Swizzle Stick. Another place we had not been to in a while. Charlie was there and we all chatted for a while. Chris Hayes was playing music and the place was pretty crowded. Of course with only about 19 seats it does not take too many folks to fill it up. When we left we stopped in at Rotten Apple. This place was pretty full too with Rose behind the bar. Julie called it a night but Sunshine Cindy and I headed to Sago Sports Bar. We sat at the bar and talked to David. He recently moved here from NYC. Not long after he got here he had a heart attack. Welcome to Destin. But he is doing well now. There was a group of about 8 young women having what looked like a bachelorette party. They were sucking down the shots and having a great time.

Saturday Sunshine Cindy and Julie went to a service for a Parrothead friend who passed away earlier this week. Wild Bill was a great guy who will be missed. He had a heart attack but was not as lucky as David. Sail on Bill.

After the service I met the girls at Johnny O’s for some dinner. This is a sports bar with about a million TV’s all around. Okay, maybe not a million but they have so many you get sports overload trying to watch them all. The food was good and we enjoyed the atmosphere. It had been a while since we had been in there. About the time we finished we got a text from Jan and Loujean asking us to go watch the sunset somewhere. We decided to head to Harry T’s as they have the best view in town.

On the drive over I had a guy in a yellow Benz sports car pass by. I decided to mess with him a bit so I pulled up alongside and revved the engine then pull ahead and dropped back. He got alongside me, rolled his window down and laughing said I was wasting gas. Then he told us about a 66 Mustang he has. We were driving down Hwy. 98 carrying on a conversation with this guy. It was pretty funny.

At Harry T’s Jan and Loujean had just got there. They had Scott with them. Julie made it and then Wayne came in too. The party was on. The sunset was beautiful. Dolphins were jumping in the pass. It was a perfect night. Wayne had his Key West PD hat on. A guy at a table next to us had a Key West jacket he was wearing so we had to talk to him. Turns out he was there with his wife, his daughter from Boston and another couple. They are heading to Key West in a few weeks for the winter. We are jealous. They are bikers and loved to party. We all had a good time.

Cherie come in. She didn’t know we were there but ended up partying with us. Jan and Scott were feeling no pain. They were so funny. The band Flash Flood played and sounded great. We talked to Binkie the drummer and ended up buying him some shots of Jager. The band sounded great. Wayne, Cherie, Sunshine Cindy and I all stayed till they finished playing at midnight. We were not expecting it to be a late night but we had so much fun we couldn’t leave. So much for an early evening!

And on Sunday we rested! Actually I watched some football. My Browns game against the Cowboys was on TV and I made the mistake of watching it. The Browns are great at finding a way to lose. I should have just stuck a sharp stick in my eye. It would have felt the same.

A quick mention that on Friday Jan Patton will be playing at Landshark Pizza from 1-5 pm. Come join us after shopping. Happy Turkey day. See ya Thursday!

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Raising the Bar in New Orleans

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Raising the Bar:
Neal Bodenheimer & Kirk Estopinal
Contributed by Wayne Curtis
Turn images on to get the full picture.A new rum-focused craft-cocktail bar will open in New Orleans in a few months, but don’t expect to be notified by blaring trumpets or a glitzy party. NOLA natives Neal Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal, two principals behind the acclaimed Cure and Bellocq, prefer a simpler approach: They quietly let business grow on its own.

“The big splash is never the way to go,” says Bodenheimer. “Well, maybe not never, but it doesn’t seem to last.”

Slow and steady defines how Bodenheimer launched Cure in 2009 (Estopinal came on as a partner afterward), and how the pair gently started the much-praised Bellocq in early 2012. And it’s how their latest bar in the French Quarter—on lower Decatur Street—will gather steam.

The Cure Collective—the group that oversees the three watering holes and also consults with other bars—recently acquired Pravda, a Soviet-themed vodka and absinthe joint. For now, the new place is called Perestroika at Pravda, but the plan is to transform it into a rum bar, with the switch managed by former Cure manager and tiki-phile Nick Dietrich.

New Orleans has deep roots in cocktail culture, but Cure brought a fresh take on classics, thanks in part to its owners’ out-of-town experience. Bodenheimer worked in New York before heading back to New Orleans; Estopinal evacuated for Katrina and ended up in Chicago, where he tended bar atViolet Hour.

Like Cure, Bellocq is a decidedly contemporary bar with strong ties to the past—in this case, 19th century Cobblers, plus more modern adaptations. Both establishments have gotten rave notices far beyond the levees.

The new bar should complete its metamorphosis by next summer, and the early 19th century French Quarter building (with a lovely courtyard) will have a Prohibition-era Cuban vibe. (After all, New Orleans and Havana used to be linked by ferry service.) Until then, stop by and see the progress.

“We’re looking to have places that stay open for years and years,” says Bodenheimer. “My main goal for Cure is for it to be here long after I’m gone.”

Get the recipe for Neal Bodenheimer’s Clockwork Orangeon

Wayne Curtis writes about drinks for The Atlantic and is the author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails. He is also host of the site

(Photo courtesy Melanie Estopinal)
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Loren Davidson – Back from Key West

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Well, I had a magnificent time in Key West. You’re shocked and surprised, right? The header picture on this email was taken on our catamaran cruise on Halloween morning. Well worth being up at Oh Gods O’Clock. 🙂 I played four shows plus a couple of guest appearances, and it was all wonderful. Got a little bit “overserved” on Thursday, for which I did penance on Friday. But it’s all good, and I even wrote the first drafts of *two* new songs while on the island.
First Reviews In on “Of All the Rum Joints”


Sales have been brisk on the new album, and a lot of people are listening who’ve never had their hands on one of my CDs before. Not only are people loving it, they’re listening two, three, or more times. Dianne says, “You have leapt forward as a songwriter! I really love this CD.” Tony says, “What a great way to start the day!”


This tells me it’s time to spread the word further. So I’m running a sale, because the holidays are here and, well, you’ve got people you want to give presents to, right? When you go to my online store and enter the code HOLIDAY2012, you’ll get 30% off on all orders from now through Christmas.


Click here to get to my store and save money on your holiday shopping!


2013 – Coming Soon!


Well, unless you’re a pessimistic Mayan, you know we’re about to get into a brand new year. I’m starting to book next year’s shows – looking to spend more weekends on the road, playing house concerts and Parrothead club events, as well as doing more special and fun stuff here in the Bay Area. If you’d like to have me come and play in your home, for your charity, or other group event, call or email and we’ll work it out. House concerts are a fantastic way of getting up close and personal with songwriters, hearing the stories behind the songs, and making you the social king of your town. It’s easier than it sounds, and I’m ready to help you make the event a success.


Bonus Drink Recipe


Root Beer Float with a Kick: In a tall glass with ice, pour in one jigger (1.5 oz) Pinnacle Whipped Vodka. Fill with root beer. Stir. Tastes just like a root beer float, but with alcohol.


If you’d like to suggest a better name for this, let me know. Free swag to the best name suggestion.


Thanks for listening,



“Every Loren Davidson album should come with the warning “Prepare to Set Sail”. While some artists “grab” your attention, Davidson captures your very imagination and takes you to distant shores as you listen to his well crafted songs.” — Island Radio .Net

“Every song on the new CD immediately transports you to…happy tropical places, with your favorite boat drink…a virtual vacation where you can “dress down” for that island vacation you never seem to get around to taking.” — Vicki Shivers, Jimmy Buffett Examiner

“Your songs are Trop Rock exemplified, and the writing and production are both superb.” — Dick Williams, Southernmost Radio


The Perfect Thanksgiving Drink

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Cranberry (Cocktail) Season
Turn images on to get the full picture.This time of year, it’s pretty hard to avoid cranberries: From baked goods and, of course, sauce to, yes, even cocktails, the tart fruit is everywhere.Though the Cosmopolitan made the simple berry a year-round favorite, guilty pleasures like the Cape Codder, the Sea Breeze and the Sex on the Beach long ago established it as a bar staple.

And the ingredient is now featured in plenty of inventive autumnal drinks on menus across the country. While most recipes call for store-bought juice, Allen Katz, a advisory board member and co-founder of the New York Distilling Company, makes a delicious and easy cranberry syrup from scratch that he uses in seasonal tipples.

So next Wednesday night, fix a batch, and then on Thanksgiving, while the turkey and stuffing are in the oven, you can serve his tasty Here We Are, which includes the syrup, as well as ginbourbon, lemon juice and grenadine.

To honor America’s first spirit, rum, during your meal (what could be more appropriate?), try his Colony Records (pictured above). In addition to the liquor and the special syrup, it contains grapefruit juice and bitters. It’s so good, you may want to stock up on cranberries. Cheers!

Slow time of the year in Destin

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This time of the year is when Destin is at its slowest. The fishing rodeo is over. Snowbirds have not descended on us yet. There are few tourist to clog our roadways. Some restaurants shut down for the season although fewer do that. When I first moved to Destin over 13 years ago most places would shut down for the season. Not anymore. Plus the weather is getting colder. I actually had to break out my jacket Wednesday morning as the temp was in the upper 40’s. I was not happy about that!

Most of this week was spent working on the Crab Island Mambo Mullet Wrapper for November. It is a day-by-day account of our trip to Key West. I published it yesterday. Check it out here:

We did get out on Wednesday to Landshark Pizza. The place was packed. Good for them. We had wings and beer. We left there and went to Rotten Apple. We got a chance to talk to Rose about advertising on our web site. We had a few beers and some popcorn and saw some Parrothead friends.

I talk a lot how places come and go in Destin. This week we heard the Tipsy Turtle might not be back next year. Those faithful readers of this blog know we spend a lot of time there and love hanging out at this cool place by the water. It still looks like the property is being sold so that puts everything up in the air. We will probably get more information this weekend but it does not look good. Oh well, there are plenty of other places in town.

Speaking of other places and changes. KC’s Sandbar Grill in Ft. Walton Beach is now doing a late night breakfast on Friday and Saturday nights. (Actually Saturday and Sunday early morning) They are serving from 2am to noon those days. We have not checked it out yet but will soon.

I got to thinking the other day about the places that were here when I first got to Destin and which ones are still here. There are still a lot of the old local spots that have endured. Some have moved to new locations like Hooters and Harry T’s. But you still have Hogs Breath, Harbor Docks, Gilligan’s, AJ’s, The Boathouse, Dewey Destin’s on the Bay, The Lighthouse, Louisiana Lagniappe, The Back Porch, Fisherman’s Wharf, TGI Friday’s all still going strong. I am sure I am missing a few but you get the point. Destin endures and continues to grow and our places to have fun are growing right along with the town.

Get out and enjoy this pre-Thanksgiving weekend. See ya Monday!

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Work begins on Margaritaville Atlantic City complex

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From “Work starts on $35M Margaritaville at AC’s Resorts

Atlantic City’s casinos came through Superstorm Sandy just fine, even if few people realize it.

With the industry reeling from the aftermath of the storm, which wrecked thousands of homes and businesses in New Jersey and New York, the resort town got a psychological boost and a financial vote of confidence Wednesday as work began on a new $35 million Jimmy Buffet-themed entertainment complex on the beach.

Construction crews started work on the Margaritaville project at Resorts Casino Hotel, in what casino president Gary Van Hettinga called a vote of confidence in the seaside resort’s long-term viability.

“It shows we are extremely confident that the future of Atlantic City is bright and that non-gaming amenities are an essential aspect of it,” he said as he watched crews with blow torches dismantle a large billboard across from the casino where the 16,000-square foot Landshark Bar Grill will rise.

As is the case with other Margaritaville properties owned by entertainer Jimmy Buffett, plans call for island-themed landscaping, including palm trees, more than a dozen cabanas, two beach volleyball courts, a bocce ball court, two horseshoe pits and a fire pit. An adjacent surf shop also is planned.

The complex is expected to be open by Memorial Day weekend.

written by admin

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Cool in Destin

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The weather is turning chilly in Destin. We have not had to turn the heat on in the house yet but the top is up on Badass most of the time now. On Thursday I stopped in at Rotten Apple. Still didn’t get a chance to talk to Rose. I left and went down to the harbor and the Turtle. Matt is now in charge of the Turtle and he is trying to make it through the winter. Tony was there. It was a clear cool evening. There was no wind but the temp was dropping. I had shorts on too and that didn’t help. After two beers I decided to find some heat. I stopped into Sago and watched some football there. A good crowd was in there.

Sago is doing well. I heard that the night of the AlabamaLSU football game they sold over 1800 chicken wings alone. Wow, that is a lot of chicken! Tommy is doing a good job with the place.

Friday was a Parrothead meeting. It was held at The Veranda above Crab Island Cantina. Sunshine Cindy and I stopped at the Cantina first. We had a few drinks and even did a shot to get in the mood for the meeting! LOL  We talked to Carlos for a bit. He said they had a good first season at the Cantina. Good for them. It is a great location and the staff always takes good care of us. We went up to the Veranda. There was a good crowd. The view from the balcony was great. It was fun. From there a bunch of us went to the Turtle. Matt had a fire going. It was chilly but the fire was nice. Sunshine Cindy and I ended the evening stopping at Waffle House for some food. Can’t beat the Waffle House for a late night stop!

Saturday I spent most of the day working on Crab Island Mambo stuff. I did get to watch Texas AM beat Alabama. I suppose that will quiet the Bama folks at work for a while. In the evening we went to Julie’s house for a dinner. Julie wanted to try out her new smoker. Russ, Loujean and Jan also joined us. Sunshine Cindy made 10 pounds (yes 10 lbs.) of mashed potatoes. We will be eating them for a while this week. Everything was great. We had a fun time. Julie had turkey and pork. Russ brought a green bean casserole. Loujean had Rum cake and of course the mound of mashed potatoes we brought. Everyone went home stuffed.

Sunday was warm but windy. I rode my bike and felt like I was climbing a mountain when I was heading into the wind. It was a good workout. In the afternoon Matt was having a type of tailgate party at the Turtle. Julie brought chili and Loujean brought bean dip. We should have brought the potatoes. There was a good crowd watching football and the NASCAR race. A loud roar erupted when Jeff Gordon got into the fight with the pit crew from Clint Boyer. It was windy but warm.

It looks like it will be cooling off this week. Oh well, it is getting closer to the holidays. Pretty soon the snowbirds will be showing up too. There goes the sweet and low from the restaurants! Have a great week. See ya Thursday!

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Back in the Saddle!

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Now that we are back from our trip down south, things are getting back to a normal pace. We had a blast on our vacation meeting a lot of old friends and making new ones. But it is now back to reality and the real world. I took Tuesday off from work to recover after the almost 13 hour drive on Monday. I did get to Landshark Pizza and got to talk to Brian and James. Sunshine Cindy and I also went to the Rotten Apple to talk to Rose but she was off that night. The rest of the day was spent getting caught up on our paperwork and such from the trip.

Wednesday we met with Matt from the Tipsy Turtle. Matt is now running the bar and quizzed us on what he can do to get people to come down to the harbor during the winter. Matt has some good ideas starting with beer at $2 a bottle! He plans to be open on Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s for the time being. He is setting up some heat and hopes to get some type of enclosure. Depending on what happens with the lease we might make the Tipsy Turtle the official home of Crab Island Mambo. That would be cool.

We met Matt at Landshark and saw a bunch of friends there. Paige was working the tables and they sold a bunch of wings. They sell them for 49 cents each on Wednesday. A great deal. When we got home, Julie stopped by to exchange vehicles. She let us drive her SUV on vacation as it was bigger than Sunshine Cindy’s SUV and allowed us to get all of our merchandise down to Key West. We really appreciated her letting us do that.

The changes continue to come in Destin. While we were gone, the old McDonald’s on Hwy. 98 was sold and is already being remodeled. It will become a Shrimp Basket restaurant. This is a family owned chain that we have eaten at in Gulf Shores. They have good food and it will be a good addition to Destin. The old Hampton Inn across from the Track is being demolished. It is almost gone. I had not heard anything about this so I don’t know if they are rebuilding or what is going to happen there. Gilligan’s has closed for the season. They will reopen in February.

Get out and enjoy the weekend. See ya Monday!

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Back to your regular program…

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Sorry for the lack of updates. Key West and MOTM kept me so busy I didn’t have time to try and get a posting out. I will have a full report on Thursday about all the fun we had in the Keys. But for now, I am bushed after driving 12 and 1/2 hours today getting back home.

See ya Thursday!

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2012 Trop Rock Music Awards Winners

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2012 Trop Rock Music Awards Winners

Radio Station of the Year Small Market- Island Dreamz Radio

Radio Station of the Year Mid Market – Beachfront Radio

Radio Show of the Year – Amish Beach PartyLive Music Venue of the Year – Smokin’ Tuna Saloon

Event of the Year – Pardi Gras – New Orleans

Musician of the Year – James ‘Sunny Jim’

Horizon Award – Jimi Pappas

Duo/Trio of the Year – Latitude

Band of the Year – Jerry Diaz & Hanna’s Reef

Female Vocalist of the Year – Michelle Becker

Male Vocalist of the Year – James “Sunny Jim” White

CD/Album of the Year -“Don’t Come Knockin’, If the Tiki Hut’s Rockin'” – Brent Burns

Song of The Year – “Don’t Come Knockin’, If the Tiki Hut’s Rockin'” – Brent Burns

Songwriter of the Year – Kelly McGuire

Fan of the Year – Tami Tower

“I Can” Wave Award – Mark Mulligan

Entertainer of the Year – JIMMY & THE PARROTS

Courtesy of TRMA