With generations of the Phillips family going into the restaurant business, this native Destin family knows their way around a kitchen, dining room and the docks. The Phillips family; with Allen and wife Dee Dee, at the helm, opened their first restaurant the Flamingo Café in the spring of 1986 along a very different Destin harbor.
The Flamingo Café drew a loyal following, becoming a place for locals and tourists to dock their boat, Jet Ski, kayak, car or whatever else they could find, to sip on a cold drink, shuck back a couple dozen oysters all while enjoying the rivaled beauty of a harbor sunset.
After being in business for 17 years, the Phillips retired, closing down the Flamingo Café, which was one of Destin’s few fine dining options.
But, in recent months the old building on the harbor has been undergoing a massive makeover as Allen and Dee Dee's children Ashley and Miller, who were pretty much born into the business, prepare to open their very own eatery in the same location — Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House.
"Miller and I grew up in the Flamingo Café," said Ashley. "Whether we were eating, bussing tables, seating customers or even sleeping here; we were here."
Construction has been humming along at Boshamps for close to a year now, and now the restaurant is ready for her Destin debut. Said to be a nod to "old Destin," Boshamps opened its doors — and its docks — to curious and hungry guests Monday, April 22.
Miller added docks to guide guests down to the water, with each one leading to a deck where diners can watch the waves roll in as they enjoy fresh, homegrown, and home-caught seafood from the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay.
While the drastically changing exterior of Boshamps was hard to miss, the interior was kept quiet until Monday's opening night. The interior includes mementoes from Destin's salty days gone by; wood paneling that resembles what one might find in the Primrose and other Destin vessels and pictures of anglers who hooked the big one during the area's numerous fishing tournaments.
Boshamps interior is also a throwback to the Phillips’ own family history living along the Emerald Coast and the Flamingo Café.
Including every member of the Phillips family in the reinvention of the family business was important to the brother-sister duo. Lending Boshamps its curious name are the furry family members of the Miller family — the family’s three Labradors.
"We wanted to keep it all in the family," Ashley said. "So, I combined parts of our dog’s names; BoBo, Otis and Shug, and added Miller's initials to the mix, and I came up with Boshamps."
Located at 414 Harbor Boulevard, this casual, family-friendly watering hole boasts panoramic views of Destin's harbor. Open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight, Boshamps serves lunch and dinner, fresh Apalachicola oysters and they also have a full bar.
The dockside dining-room will also offer live entertainment weekly. Every Saturday night at sunset, Dread Clampitt will rock the newly-built docks, while other live musical acts can be found by going to Boshamps Facebook page or website.
In addition to opening a new restaurant, Boshamps also kicked off their inaugural Destin Flathead Classic earlier this week as well. Running from April 22 until the 28, this cobia fishing tournament is a boat-based tournament. Tournament prizes will be based on boats rather than individual anglers, except in the ladies and junior divisions.
For more information on Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House, call them at 424-7406, visit them online at Boshamps.com or at Facebook.com/Boshamps.