Ale House owners take over bar

Simone Mullis holds a special place in her heart for Dockside, the bar on Sombrero Boulevard overlooking Boot Key Harbor. Not only was it her first job when she moved to the Keys five years ago, but it is also where she met her boyfriend. She and boyfriend Michael Payne co-own Marathon Ale House and are now taking on a new project with Dockside Boot Key Harbor.

“I couldn’t find a place to live and work when I moved down, and while looking for Italian food one night, random I know, my GPS brought me to Dockside,” she said. “I fell in love with the bar and Marathon.”

She says the bar brought her to her best friends like Randy Barnett from Fiddle Rock, her girlfriends, her boat buddies, and eventually a guy who ordered prime rib while wearing a baseball cap who asked for her number. “The people I’ve met here have always been good people,” she said. “Honest, friendly, real people.”

Elaine Yaquinto, a Marathon resident who used to frequent Dockside, said she can’t wait for the doors to reopen. “When, when, when?” she asked Mullis on Facebook.

The answer is mid-April, preferably on April 20, said Mullis. She said Dockside will offer a full bar rounded out with great frozen drinks and will keep up to its previous name with some of the best entertainment around. She’s already booking entertainment.

The two are revamping the kitchen and hope to bring food to the bar in the next few months, but for now will focus on great drinks and music. “I’ve been thinking about this place subconsciously for years,” she said. “Season came and I was worried we wouldn’t have enough time for it, but Michael knew we could do it, and we couldn’t pass up on the waterfront location.”

She said the off-the-beaten-path place will continue to cater to locals by keeping prices low, like they do at the Ale House. She is also looking for reliable help, which she chalks up as one of the successes from Ale House, “We are a family, and we look out for each other and have each other’s backs. It’s nice to work with people who care for the business as if it’s their own.”

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Michael Payne and Simone Mullis, co-owners of Marathon Ale House and new co-owners of Dockside Boot Key Harbor, make some upgrades to the waterfront bar.

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