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|Photo by WKRG News|
In an interview with WKRG's Debbie Williams, Whit Spellman, the manager of the establishment, expressed strong optimism about the restaurant's future. He affirmed, "We are committed to making a comeback. Currently, we are in the process of evaluating the extent of the damage. However, as we gradually clean up the aftermath, the situation is progressively improving."
Tina Wesner, another manager at Bahama Bob's, acknowledged the restaurant's history of encountering adversity. She stated, "I've experienced challenges like [hurricanes] Ivan and Katrina, but, as my colleague mentioned, this is an unprecedented situation for us." According to both Spellman and Wesner, it is estimated that the fire caused significant damage to around 30 to 35 percent of the building.
The incident occurred on the evening of Sunday, July 16, during dinner service when patrons began to notice the emergence of smoke within the popular tourist destination. Beverly Cross, who was present at the time, recollected, "We were enjoying our meal when the scent of smoke reached us. Soon after, there were urgent shouts instructing everyone to evacuate. It's truly unfortunate. Thankfully, everyone managed to escape."
|Photo by Gulf Shores FD|
Firefighters managed to extinguish the flames within a span of 30 to 40 minutes after the evacuation.
In the aftermath of the disaster, the local restaurant community came together in a remarkable display of support, absorbing all 60 of Bahama Bob's employees into their establishments.
Tina Wesner expressed lightheartedly, "When we are ready to reopen, they'll need to return to us." However, the reopening date remains a distant goal. She added, "Although it might take some time, we are dedicating our efforts to expedite the process as much as possible."
LOCAL NOTE: Rumor around town is Bahama Bobs is likely to be closed until next tourist season (sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day).
Mikee's Seafood - located in Gulf Shores near the intersection of Gulf Shores Pkwy & West Beach Blvd, is a local family-owned establishment, offers an extensive menu featuring a wide selection of fresh catches from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. From succulent shrimp to fresh oysters and the catch-of-the-day, the seafood is sourced locally, ensuring freshness, and supporting the community's fishermen. This writer particularly loves grabbing a seat at the bar and enjoying a cold brew (or 3) with a plate of the best fried cheese sticks in the area (5 stars!).
Doc's Seafood Shack - located in Orange Beach, Doc's is a longtime local favorite that has been voted among the Top 10 seafood restaurants in America for its delicious fried local shrimp, fresh oysters, and its "Create Your Own" seafood platters. Like other restaurants, in peak season, the waits can be long, so this local advises you to skip lunch and hit Doc's with a starving belly at 4:30pm. You'll get in much faster and the food will taste all that much better.
Bahama Bob's - Unfortunately, Bahama Bob's suffered a fire in July, 2023 and has not re-opened yet. We'll update you on that as we learn more.
DON'T FORGET - You need to make reservations for all these restaurants well in advance.
Jesse's on the Bay - located out Fort Morgan Rd in Gulf Shores, Jesse's on the Bay offers an extensive menu that showcases a fusion of coastal and international flavors. This newly opened location offers the same quality and precision execution the original location in Magnolia Springs, AL became famous for. There is literally nothing bad on the menu, including the many fresh seafood dishes, but it is STEAK that Jesse’s is most prized for. They serve unique cuts of dry and wet-aged steaks and bone-in cuts, overseen by Executive Chef Laurence Agnew. While the steaks aren’t exactly underpriced, they certainly over-deliver. The mixologists behind the bar can make you anything you want, and they offer several signature cocktails that will delight any beach vacationer. All this is delivered to you by highly trained staff providing top-notch service.
Cosmo's - located on Canal Rd in Orange Beach, Cosmo's is a fantastic restaurant to take your family to for a delicious gourmet meal prepared under the supervision of highly trained chef. Offering a fusion of Southern and global fare in a quiet and intimate setting inside, and the same great food in a more open and casual setting outside, Cosmo's has long been a favorite for locals' special occasions. The bar offers the island's best selection of craft beers, wines and fine cocktails too. All this is provided by highly trained staff who bring you superior service.
Villaggio Grille - located in The Wharf entertainment complex in Orange Beach, Villaggio Grille is a great fine dining establishment offering a fusion of Italian and local fresh seafood dishes, plus an excellent selection of fine wines to choose from. They offer fine seating indoors, and more casual seating on the outdoor patio. Like the other restaurants listed here, Villaggio does not disappoint with its gourmet chef prepared meals delivered by its attentive and well-trained staff.
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As an open air, casual restaurant, The Gulf offers a menu that, while limited, provides excellent flavor and satisfaction. You’ll find burgers, a Grouper Sandwich, a Chicken Sandwich, seafood tacos, peel-and-eat shrimp, a Lobster & Shrimp Roll, a daily “fresh catch” and more to choose from. There is a nice outdoor bar with friendly staff, locals, and other visitors to get to know on a big, grassy lawn with plenty of shady seating – all with the fantastic view.
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With an extensive menu that showcases a fusion of coastal and international flavors, Jesse’s on the Bay offers the same quality and precision execution the original location became famous for. There is literally nothing bad on the menu, including many fresh seafood dishes, but it is STEAK that Jesse’s is most prized for. They serve unique cuts of dry and wet-aged steaks and bone-in cuts, overseen by Executive Chef Laurence Agnew. While the steaks aren’t exactly underpriced, they certainly over-deliver. Diners can also savor fantastic appetizers such as crab cakes with a hint of Cajun spice or indulge in their famous seafood gumbo, bursting with Gulf Coast flavors.
The mixologists behind the bar can make you anything you want, and they offer several signature cocktails that will delight any beach vacationer. You can get full service for dinner at the bar as well.
The restaurant's prime location overlooking the serene waters of Mobile Bay creates an enchanting atmosphere and a prime spot for seeing the sunset. Guests can relish their meals while basking in panoramic views and enjoying gentle ocean breezes. Jesse's on the Bay offers both indoor and outdoor seating, providing ample opportunities to appreciate the stunning surroundings. Plus, there is a very cool open-air bar area downstairs where you can relax with a drink and play some games while waiting for your table.
The exceptional service at Jesse's on the Bay complements the outstanding culinary offerings. The friendly and attentive staff ensures that every diner feels welcomed and well-cared for, enhancing the overall dining experience.
Reservations are very much encouraged, unless you don’t mind spending up to 2 hours waiting at the downstairs bar enjoying the views, breeze, games, and dolphin watching.
LEARN MORE about Jesse’s on the Bay
VISIT OUR FOOD PAGE for more local favorite restaurants and bars
The Hangout Restaurant is a very popular destination restaurant for tourists, offering a delightful fusion good food, live music, a cool beachy vibe, and a casual atmosphere. It sits right at the Gulf Shores public beach, in the middle of all the action. Best of all, it has an open air feel and great views of the beach and boardwalk, making it a perfect spot to catch some shade, a cool drink (or 3) and people-watch.
|Hangout Music Festival|
Whether you're indulging in coastal delicacies at The Hangout Restaurant or dancing barefoot in your bikini to the beat of your favorite artists at the Hangout Music Festival, Gulf Shores promises an extraordinary experience that combines great food, live music, and the beauty of Alabama's Gulf Coast.
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VISIT OUR WHAT TO DO PAGE for more local favorite activities
Mikee’s, a local family-owned establishment, offers an extensive menu featuring a wide selection of fresh catches from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. From succulent shrimp to fresh oysters and the catch-of-the-day, the seafood is sourced locally, ensuring freshness, and supporting the community's fishermen. This writer particularly loves grabbing a seat at the bar and enjoying a cold brew (or 3) with a plate of the best fried cheese sticks in the area (5 stars!).
So, when you visit Gulf Shores, make sure to pay Mikee's a visit. Indulge in their fresh seafood delicacies, soak up the coastal atmosphere, and experience the warmth and hospitality that have made this restaurant a beloved local institution.
LEARN MORE about Mikee's Seafood
VISIT OUR FOOD PAGE for a list of additional local favorites