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NEW BUSINESS: Cafe Destin is open to serve

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
The Destin Log

With a heart to serve, Cafe Destin, located in the heart of Destin, is ready to serve – breakfast and lunch seven days a week.

Cafe Destin, located in the old Just Love Cafe spot near Winn Dixie at 985 U.S. Highway 98 in Destin, opened it’s doors Wednesday after a soft opening last weekend.

“My heart is to serve Destin, the locals and the tourist, the best food in the cleanest, most family friendly environment that we have,” said owner/manager Dee Chernicky Wednesday morning.

Chernicky, former owner of Shake’s Frozen Custard in Destin, opened Just Love last year after seeing a need for larger coffee shops in the area for meetings and small gatherings. However, they closed the doors on Just Love in April.

“I dropped the franchise ... it wasn’t a good fit for me,” Chernicky said.

But she’s more than excited about the new adventure with Cafe Destin.

“We want to keep the heart and integrity of Destin and I believe the heart of Destin is a good heart,” Chernicky said. “We just want to love people.”

And they hope to do that by serving up the “best food” possible and making it a “memorable experience” for all that enter the cafe.

Although Cafe Destin is in the same building where Just Love was previously located, they do have a “whole new menu,” Chernicky said.

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“I have a whole new kitchen to accommodate that menu and some great chefs and cooks,” she said.

And the cafe serves up breakfast all day long, according to assistant manager Dawn Coursey. Plus they have a lunch menu with hamburgers and sandwiches.

“We also have an assortment of danishes and coffee,” Coursey said. “Our Aloha chicken is amazing and our burgers are delicious.”

The Aloha Chicken Sandwich is a flame broiled Hawaiian glazed chicken breast, grilled pineapple, and Canadian bacon served on a toasted brioche bun.

As for the burgers, there is a list that includes a Destin Classic Burger which is a 1/2 pound patty served up with all the fixings to a Morning Glory Burger topped with a fried egg, Canadian bacon and cheddar cheese.

A popular item on the breakfast menu is their pancakes with a choice of toppings from coconut, pecan, strawberry, pineapple, banana to chocolate chip. They also offer up Belgium waffles as well as eggs, bacon, roasted breakfast potatoes or grits.

Cafe Destin also has a few signature items on their breakfast menu such as the Island Scrambler, which is a combination of scrambled eggs, green peppers, onions, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and Canadian bacon, served with roasted breakfast potatoes.

Another signature item is the Charm City Chip Beef served over toast or a biscuit with two scrambled eggs and potatoes.

At Cafe Destin, patrons order at the counter, then servers bring the food out, Coursey said.

Cafe Destin also has a “very family oriented” atmosphere, Coursey said, noting they play Christian music.

There is also a little stage area where music can be performed. And seating is available inside and out of the cafe.

“We have outdoor seating in the front ... and a nice patio on the side that offers outdoor seating,” Coursey said.

As for concerns about the coronavirus, Coursey said they are “doing their best to follow all of the COVID rules.”

However, she said the staff does not wear mask and they do not require customers to wear them either.

All staff wears gloves and are screened in the morning to make sure everybody is healthy, Coursey said.

“We try to make sanitation a priority whether we are in a crisis or not,” she said.

But she did say they are more aware of things that customers touch and are making sure they are getting wiped down regularly, as well as checking the bathrooms more frequently and clearing off tables as soon as someone moves.

“We’ve got more staff on the floor to handle those type of things,” she said.

Cafe Destin is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to being here for many years in the Destin community,” Chernicky said.