DADE CITY — Anclote River Park in Holiday may soon be a venue for more than just sunning on the beach, bird-watching and boat launching.
A themed restaurant could be in the future for the 31-acre waterfront park, as could paddle board and wave runner rentals and boat tours. The Pasco County Commission this week accepted the sole bid submitted in response to a request for proposals.
Keith Overton is a Tampa Bay businessman with a long history in the restaurant and hospitality business. That includes 24 years as president of the Tradewinds Island Resort and the RumFish Grill in St. Pete Beach, plus four spinoff locations, as well as OCC Roadhouse & Museum in Clearwater, a motorcycle-themed business with an entertainment venue.
Overton’s was the only one of 37 companies that searched the county’s request for proposals and responded. He must now pursue required land-use change applications. If the project comes together, it would be the first Pasco County park with a restaurant, although food trucks are in place at parks periodically.
“The restaurant will be 22,000 square feet with indoor/outdoor seating. There will be floating docks, a water sports concession and space for live entertainment,” said county spokesperson Sarah Andeara. “All of this will be incorporated into the redesign of Anclote River Park and attempted to be done concurrently with improvements to the park.”
The restaurant will either be themed like RumFish Grill or like OCC Roadhouse, according to Overton’s pitch to the county, which states, “the vision for the restaurant is an American fare full-service restaurant which will include seafood, smoked meats, flatbreads, and a variety of other popular dishes.”
Overton and his business partner, Eduard Mayer, are also developing the nearby Anclote River Resort.
According to the proposal presented to the county, the resort will be of similar style to the restaurant and will tie together with the park. “Eventual guests of the Anclote River Resort will be able to reach the proposed restaurant with just a 15-minute walk or a five-minute golf cart ride,” according to the proposal.
Overton also has big plans for the docks. “The fixed and floating docks will accommodate a watersports rental operation for paddle boards, kayaks, ferry boats for hire and parasailing boats, wave-runner rentals and group tours, dolphin and sunset cruises, snorkeling excursions, chartered fishing and scalloping trips, beach chair rentals, and a ferry service to Anclote Key,” according to the proposal.
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The agreement commissioners approved on Tuesday sets the base rent at $10,000 per month during the first five years, with increases beginning in year six based on the consumer price index plus 3% of the monthly taxable revenue.
The facilities could also be a big boon for tourism and when county officials scored Overton’s proposal, Adam Thomas, director of tourism for the county, gave him the highest score. Future plans for the site could include regularly scheduled events such as fishing tournaments, educational and research opportunities, art shows, culinary events and group tours.