They began preparing early Saturday morning for the big "Grand Opening Customer Celebration" day.
"This is our way of saying thank you to our customers," Saltwater Smokehouse co-owner Mike Flinn said. "I expect at least a few hundred people today so we're starting as early as possible to be prepared."
Late last year Mike Flinn and his wife, Toni, with Randy Post decided to open a restaurant on Pine Island. They looked at several locations before deciding on the old Porky's BBQ on Stringfellow Road.
The staff at the Saltwater Smokehouse includes, from left, Randy Post, Toni Flinn, Lundy Valentine and Mike Flinn.
EAGLE File photo
Post is the chef at Saltwater Smokehouse.
"We had the smoker here so we decided to build the menu around that," Post said. "There are so many seafood places here we didn't want to do only seafood. Obviously we have some seafood but not entirely and the smoked foods enable us to build a more cost friendly menu for Pine Islanders."
The menu is extensive. Because the building came with a smoker, much of the food is smoked (not barbecue). At the top of the menu is the Zydeco Seafood Gumbo with house smoked sausage, chicken, shrimp and scallops served with rice. Smoked pulled pork, house smoked sausage, smoked brisket and the smokehouse burger are also featured. Lots of seafood is offered: shrimp, clam strips, and even smoked fish dip. Beverages include bottled beer.
"I came for the food," Mindy Cohen said. "My husband and I were here just after they opened and thought the food is great. So when I heard today was half off, we invited a few friends to come with us. I think all four of us ate lunch for about $30. One thing we didn't expect is the band - the music is outstanding."
"Everything is half-off today and bottled beer is $1," Flinn said. "We won't make any profit today but I have to say everyone is having a great time."
Saltwater Smokehouse is located on Stringfellow Road just north of the intersection.
10251 Stringfellow Road, St. James City
Hours are Monday Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Call 239-282-8811 for additional information.