1. Pinellas

Caddy's, residents settle dispute over restaurant noise. St. Pete Beach location to open soon.

This aerial view shows a St. Pete Beach inlet leading to the former Silas Dent’s restaurant (painted yellow), which is being renovated and will reopen soon as a Caddy’s restaurant and bar. After complaints by many nearby residents, and legal action by one of them, the owners of Caddy’s have revised their plans. The new Caddy’s is expected to open within four months. [Courtesy of Edward Stapor]
Published Jul. 17

ST. PETE BEACH — Residents near the proposed new Caddy's St. Pete Beach appear to have won their nearly year-long fight to prevent open-air dining they feared would cause excessive noise echoing over the Intracoastal Waterway.

A group of residents have reached a settlement with Caddy's owners following a city administrative hearing, which came after hundreds of nearby condominium residents and homeowners protested the city's decision to issue a permit to the restaurant.

The next step, expected soon, is for the city to modify its permit.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 'We will fight this.' Legal action stops work on new Caddy's restaurant in St. Pete Beach

The legal dispute began in March when Donald J. Schutz, a long-time resident and lawyer, filed an administrative appeal and a lawsuit in Pinellas County Circuit Court seeking to invalidate the permit.

The restaurant had tried to assuage residents' concerns, to no avail. City officials said the permit was lawful, but Schutz's legal actions prompted them to order that work be halted on renovations at the restaurant, the site of the former Silas Dent's Steakhouse at 5501 Gulf Blvd.

"A lot of hard work, dedication and efforts were expended on this project to protect our quality of life, safety and home values," said Ed Stapor, one of the residents who fought the restaurant's original plans. "Now we can go back to enjoying our neighborhood."

Wesley Wright, the city's community development director, said he received a new set of plans from Caddy's on Monday and expects to lift the stop-work order within days.

Marcus Winters, one of the Caddy's owners, said the restaurant should be able to open in three to four months.

"These residents are all my neighbors. We will be living next to each other for a long time," Winters said, adding that he is glad the dispute has been settled.

The lawsuit filed by Schutz has been dropped against Caddy's but continues against the shopping center owner, Bayside Shops LLC. Schutz wants an unpermitted dock at the rear of the restaurant to be removed to prevent patrons from arriving by boat.

"I really consider the settlement a win-win," Schutz said. "Caddy's was not the bad guy here. They were reasonable and cooperative and tried to be good corporate citizens who were just following city regulations in seeking their permit."

The original permit called for a single open-air window at the rear of the restaurant, as well as a door that would allow patrons to enter and exit the restaurant from boats tying up at the dock.

The settlement calls for the opening in the east wall at the rear of the restaurant to be replaced with fixed, non-opening windows. Overly large windows should be sound-absorbing and double-paned.

Originally, Caddy's owners envisioned patrons arriving by boat and entering the restaurant from the rear. Now, any doors at the rear of the building that would allow patrons to enter the restaurant from the dock may either be replaced with a fixed window or restricted so customers can only exit there, according to the settlement.

The only rear doors allowing people to enter the building are to be restricted to the kitchen area used by staff, and for deliveries and fire exits.

The restaurant will be the sixth Caddy's in the Tampa Bay area. The original is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Treasure Island and others are located in Gulfport, Indian Shores, downtown St. Petersburg and Bradenton. A seventh is planned for Madeira Beach.


  1. Celina Okpaleke conducts a choir singing traditional African songs during an African Mass at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in Tampa on Nov. 10. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    November is Black Catholic History Month, a time to learn and share stories about the intrepid and devout.
  2. Tech Data's CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with former CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky earlier this year. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
    A private equity firm has agreed to buy Tech Data.
  3. An opened capsule containing Kratom. The Clearwater City Council was confronted by dozens of concerned citizens at a recent meeting who urged them not to ban the herbal supplement. Tampa Bay Times
    “I think there was a misunderstanding."
  4. St. Petersburg's new 26-acre Pier District, with components that will include a coastal thicket walking path, marketplace, playground and pavilion, is nearing completion. Shown is the tilted lawn in front of the Pier head building that is being created  with Geofoam, soil and grass. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    St. Petersburg hopes to sell naming rights in the Pier District — available for annual payments of $50,000 to $1 million for 10-year terms — to help offset taxpayer subsidies.
  5. Tech Data chief executive officer Rich Hume talks to company employees about the pending acquisition of Tech Data for $5.4 billion at a global town hall meeting on Wednesday morning. David Kiester | Tech Data
    Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share of Tech Data stock. If shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County.
  6. The Pinellas County Commission moved closer Tuesday to granting a total of $20.6 million to three museums: the Salvidor Dali Museum (top), the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center (bottom left), and the St. Petersburg Museum of History. Photos courtesy of Pinellas County
    The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg Museum of History and Tampa Bay Watch are on track to receive bed tax dollars for expansions.
  7. Morton Myers, 40, is an entrepreneur, a lifelong Clearwater resident and now a candidate for mayor who comes from a family of Scientologists. He says he is not a practicing Scientologist and is running to bring change and representation to all residents. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Morton Myers says he’s not an active member. But with family on Scientology’s staff, he says he’s uniquely positioned to find middle ground with the church.
  8. Kasha, Squeeks, Baz and Marshall are up for adoption at Tampa Bay area shelters. Times
    Tampa Bay shelter pets available for adoption
  9. Joseph Erickson, 53, won a foreclosure auction for a condo at Happy Fiddler Condominiums in Indian Rocks Beach last year only to have a man claim he is the true owner of the property and should get the  $350,000 that Erickson has already paid for the condo. JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    A Land O’ Lakes man had already spent money on renovations when he got two shocks about his new condo.
  10. St. Petersburg police Assistant Chief Antonio Gilliam is one of three finalists for chief of the Tallahassee Police Department. Gilliam has spent his career in St. Pete but was born and raised in Tallahassee. [Courtesy of Antonio Gilliam] Courtesy of Antonio Gilliam
    Antonio Gilliam, who oversees the department’s investigative services bureau, said he couldn’t ignore an opportunity to lead his hometown police department.