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Date of Issue: October 04, 2007

Bradenton Beach pier fishing kiosk going out to bid

With the Historic Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach two-fifths open, the next step in the process of opening the facility has gone to bid.

City commissioner have approved advertising for the fishing kiosk concession stand at the pier, at the east end of Bridge Street. The kiosk is about 200 square feet in size.

Use is to be family friendly, according to the bid package, and include sale of “bait, live and frozen, tackle, rod-and-reel concession rental service that meets all federal, state and local regulations.” The facility is also to distribute environmental information and may sell T-shirts, hats, clothing and sun screen.

However, no food or beverages are to be sold.

Also, no fishing fees will be charged at the pier, commissioner agreed last week.

Bid packages are available at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive. Cost of the bid package information is $30.

The minimum bid to operate the fishing kiosk by prospective bidders is $200 per month, plus $50 for financial aid in maintenance of the common area of the pier.

In other pier business, Rotten Ralph’s On the Pier opened to the public Saturday, Sept. 29. The restaurant had been conducting a “soft” opening for much of last week.

“We invited the Pines Trailer Park residents to join us,” said Doreen Russell of the earlier opening, “so we could work the bugs out, and there were some.”

She added that the original Rotten Ralph’s, in Anna Maria, will remain open “at least through season.”

The Bradenton Beach restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Still to come on the pier is the opening of the harbor master office and the bath house/rest room facility. Open now is the pier itself to fishers and visitors and, of course, the restaurant, with its indoor and outdoor dining facilities.

The pier was damaged by storms in 2004, the restaurant closed, and the fishing structure - the entire pier - later closed to fishers and visitors.

Work on the pier cost about $2.2 million, one of the city’s most ambitious capital improvements.

On the horizon for the area is the establishment of a city-managed mooring field, to be located just to the south of the structure.