Remember the old, laid-back Dockside of yesteryear? It was a place to hang out with friends, listen to music, look out over the water and have some simple, quality Keys eats. Sometimes the band was imported, sometimes it was a bunch of your friends up there just jammin’.
“We want to bring back that vibe,” said Simone Mullis, adding that there are improvements of course. “We want the music to be organic, where everyone can come and play.”
There’s a better stage with better acoustics. And they’ve added underwater lights to highlight the neighbors — schools of tarpon and the occasional manatee. There’s a new garden section where guests can relax and so much shade — a combination of a pavilion and shade sails that are high enough not to impede the view.
The kitchen is all-new and the offerings are crowd-pleasers: pig wings (pork short ribs), street tacos, fish ‘n’ chips, steamed shrimp. Plus, there will be an assortment of burgers, wings, conch fritters available at the kitchen pick-up window. The entire place is self-serve.
“We’re going to make it easy with a cooler of canned drinks near the kitchen,” said Simone. “If guests want table-service, they can sit at the bar.” A section of the bar will be devoted to a special station for VERY good margaritas, daquiris and wine, Mullis said; the other half for cocktails, draft and craft beer.
Mullis and her partner Mike Payne, who also own and operate Marathon Grill and Ale House, are excited to open the fully restored landmark to the public. They leased and operated it in April of 2017 through Hurricane Irma. In December of 2018, they were able to buy the waterfront location outright. Mullis said she’s making an effort to make the property “green” — by offering beverages in recyclables, purchasing washable food baskets, and serving some meals on compostable paper plates.
Dockside will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight on weekends, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. the other nights. It is located at 35 Sombrero Boulevard (turn behind Publix).
Come to the party:
Friday, Nov. 15: Abstract Radio @ 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 16: Haywire @ 8 p.m.