The Edge Seafood and SkyBar to open soon on Destin harbor
After sitting empty for about two years, the two-story building on Destin harbor next to the Boathouse Oyster Bar is coming to life with The Edge Seafood Restaurant and SkyBar.
“We’re excited to bring it to life,” said Heather Thomas, who is opening the restaurant along with her husband Chris.
Heather said they plan to open the restaurant in stages with the downstairs restaurant opening by the end of April and the SkyBar upstairs by the end of May.
“Hopefully by the Blessing of the Fleet,” she said for the upstairs area.
The Blessing of the Fleet, which is celebrating 65 years this year on May 26, takes place on Destin harbor with all the vessels, fishing fleet and tourists excursion boats, that make their living on the water parading through the harbor with several local clergy bestowing blessings on them for safe passage and bountiful catches.
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The Edge, which sits on top of the water, is open and spacious with great views of the harbor and beyond.
“You can see all the way to the Gulf, the harbor, pass,” Heather said as she walked around the upstairs area known as the SkyBar.
“And the sunsets from here are amazing,” she said, adding it will be a great spot to watch the fireworks over the harbor. “You can see the whole fishing fleet from here … watch them come in with the catches from the day.”
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Also upstairs is a firepit, which will be surrounded by patio seating and sectionals for a more “laidback” feel, Heather said. There will also be high-top tables and chairs, a bar, plus other tables and a dining area upstairs as well.
The downstairs restaurant will seat about 128 people and upstairs another 128 or more.
Downstairs, the bar is just to the left as you come through the doors.
“The bar opens to the boardwalk, so you can serve people walking down boardwalk as well,” Heather said.
Just to the right of the bar will be a “fast casual window” where people can order off the chalkboard.
Plus, there will be plenty of seating and a bar, again with a great harbor view.
“You can do some really good people watching here. You can watch all the boats go by and the dolphins,” Heather said from the dining area.
The dining area downstairs is open and spacious, but not to worry if the weather gets bad.
“We have mechanical shades that will come down and block out the weather,” said Felix Paulino, general manager at The Edge. The shades are clear at the top so patrons can still see out.
Plus, the mechanical shades will allow them to heat the dining area in the winter.
As for the food, “It’s Floridan style alfresco dining over the water,” Paulino said.
Heather said they will have a small menu but offer fresh local seafood and produce. Some of the specialty items on the menu will include ceviche, conch fritters, whole snapper and grouper in parchment paper.
“It will be upscale casual dining,” Heather said.
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Being located on the water, The Edge is boat accessible with 15 to 20 spots for folks to dock and come in for lunch or dinner.
The food is not the only thing local about the restaurant, but the name as well.
The Thomas’s tossed around several names for the restaurant, but The Edge won out.
“The Edge is a fishing spot in the Gulf. It’s where the continental shelf drops off on the 100-fathom curve,” Heather said.
“There’s not a better fit than that right there. We’re tying into our heritage, I think it’ll work,” Chris said.
They even incorporated a fishing hook into their logo.
In addition to the great view, “We have a lot of interesting things planned. We’re going to light up the water around the restaurant,” Heather said.
They also have plans to put fish feeders on the docks beside the restaurant so the children can go down and feed the fish while the parents are eating … “just make it a nice family atmosphere.”
Upstairs at the SkyBar it will be age 18 and up.
One thing that is unique to The Edge are their tables, bars and countertops. They are all made out of bowling alley lanes from Georgia.
“We were having a hard time finding tables with the supply shortages and everything. Then the contractor called and said, ‘What do you think about this. I just bought a bowling alley … we can make table tops,’” she said.
“I just stumbled on them,” said Carey Trotter of Trotter’s General Contractors Inc. of Destin. “One of my friends who lives up in Atlanta said there’s a bowling alley fixing to go out of business, are you interested in the lanes? I said yeah … absolutely.”
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So, he brought 10 bowling lanes to Destin, each lane 60 feet long, plus more.
“I got roughly 700 feet for next to nothing. They were tearing it down … it was going in the dumpster,” Trotter said.
But now, the lanes are being turned into bars, counter tops and dining tables.
“They’ll all be different … some will have the little dots and the little arrows on them,” Trotter said, like you see at the bowling alley.
Making the counters and tables is about a five-step process that includes a lot of sanding, staining and clear coating.
All the markings, dots and diamonds on the tables and counters, are from the original bowling lanes.
“It’s embedded into it. You’d think it would go away (with all the sanding), but they are each insert,” Trotter said.
The building that now houses The Edge was the vision of Claude Perry, of Marler Harbor Properties Inc.
Perry finished the building right before COVID-19 hit in 2020 then everything basically shut down, said his daughter Kim Perry. The building sat empty for two years.
“They developed a vision,” Kim said of the Thomases, “and we embrace their vision. They are hard workers. They are present and available … and they are hometown people.”
“It’s a beautiful building and a great opportunity. If we didn’t take it somebody else would,” Heather added.
“We like doing things a little different and a little better,” Chris said.