'Tentative plans in place' for former Club Overboard/Twisted Palm site

Matt Algarin
Local restaurateur Anthony Tusa and a partner have the former Club Overboard/Twisted Palm building under contract and plan to transform the property into "something real nice."

For the second time in less than a year, an "under contract" sign has been placed on the former Club Overboard/Twisted Palm building on U.S. Hwy. 98.

Plans for the project, according to Okaloosa County Planner Marissa Martinez, were filed under the name Tumulo Enterprises, Inc., which lists local restaurateur Anthony "AJ" Tusa as its officer, according to records from the Florida Department of State's Division of Corporations.

When contacted by The Log, Tusa confirmed that he and a partner had the property under contract, but they were not yet ready to disclose the end use of the roughly 19,933-square feet of leasable area.

"We plan on doing something real nice with it," he said, adding that the concept would appeal to both locals and tourists.

Tusa, a New Orleans native, is no stranger to the restaurant biz as he is proud to boast restaurants in both Destin and New Orleans. He is the name behind Hammerhead's Bar and Grille and Roberto's Pizzeria in Sandestin; The Crazy Lobster in HarborWalk Village; Time Out Sports Bar and Grill in Destin Commons; and The Crazy Lobster and Time Out Sports Bar and Grill in New Orleans.

County officials said a development order hadn't been applied for, so it was very unlikely that the current space would be anything other than a restaurant of some sort.

Club Overboard/Twisted Palms has sat vacant since it closed in December 2010. Over the years, the restaurant space has seen multiple tenants.

The building’s most recent incarnation was mired by controversy after a rash of incidents led military brass to ban service members from attending the club. Prior to that, the building was the PunchLine Comedy Club, LaRocco’s Italian restaurant and bocce bar, and Nigel Manley’s World Grill and Microbrewery.

Local developer Damon Becnel had planned to breathe new life into the vacant building at the end of last year with a project that was called Family Hunt Club. The project would have been a combination of high-end motorcycle sales, rentals and repairs, a motorcycle customization shop, and an authentic pizza kitchen.

Ultimately the project fell through at the last minute, Becnel told The Log.

With the building again under contract, Tusa told The Log he would be more than happy to discuss the project in detail in the coming weeks.

"There are tentative plans in place," he said.


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