A group of people sitting at a table - Event

The floors have been scrubbed, tables replaced and the walls painted with bright, Bahamian-inspired colors.

After 21 days of remodeling, cleaning and refurbishing, Cabana Breezes is once again serving lunch, dinner and drinks right on the shores of the Atlantic.

The menu, created by le Cordon Blue-trained Peruvian chef Enrique Costa features fresh seafood and fine steaks – and serves as a testament to motto of his new boss, Jack Glunz.

“I insist on 100 percent quality,” Glunz said. “I would rather take a beating than have something come out of that kitchen that is not good.”

The Glunz family patriarch was born in Chicago above his parent’s liquor store at Division and Wells Streets in 1935. He now commands one of the oldest beer distributors in the country and purchased the neighboring Ocean Beach Club three years ago before setting his sights on Breezes.

As for his chef, Glunz could not be happier.

“Everyone likes him,” he said. “And that is unusual for a chef.”

After his formal training in Peru, Costa honed his skills at several local establishments like the Key Colony Inn, Hideaway and Plaza Grill including a stint as the chef/owner of Little Italy.

Some of his new menu items include the Paradise Grouper – lightly battered grouper over fennel mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach, garnished with a mango salsa and roasted tomatoes ($24). The dish is the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy, salty, sweet and sour. The thick grouper filet has a crispy horseradish-dill crust and the mashed potatoes are smooth and silky.

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After a single bite, Costa whispers, “There is black truffle in the house.”

The whole concept from the new owners and chef at Cabana Breezes is to slightly “upscale” the iconic landmark.

Not the black-tie, white gloved affairs that took place there in the 60s when Guy Lombardo’s Band was playing, but just a little bit more elegance.

Recent additions include outdoor couches with a fire pit on the oceanfront deck and digital fish swimming from three 60-inch HDTVs in the dining room.

New dishes include seared scallops with pine nut salsa and crispy leeks, Duck Crostini and shrimp alfredo infused with pumpkin.

Even the burgers and sliders are taking on a refined twist. Costa is mixing ground chuck, brisket and sirloin and will soon be baking the buns, too.

With the addition of a high-capacity, industrial mixer and a five-foot-tall pizza oven, Breezes is now proudly serving thin crust pies that can be delivered anywhere on the island courtesy of Breezes stretch golf cart. (The cart will also be used to shuttle patrons anywhere on the island.)

Cabana Breezes is located at 401 E Ocean and open 7 days for lunch and dinner. For more info, please cabanabreezes.com. 

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Jason Koler
Jason Koler, born in Florida and raised in Ohio, is the “better looking and way smarter” Keys Weekly publisher. When not chasing his children or rubbing his wife’s feet, he enjoys folding laundry and performing experimental live publishing.