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County renovating Coquina cafe

By Lisa Neff, Islander Reporter

The cafe at Coquina Beach is undergoing extensive renovation. During the construction activity, a restaurant and beach concession service is being operated from a nearby trailer. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

Renovations are under way at the cafe at Manatee County’s Coquina Beach.

The project, estimated to cost $162,000, should be completed by late-December, according to Darin Cushing, the county project manager also involved in the construction of the $1.2 million marine rescue headquarters at Coquina Bayside.

While the renovation of the cafe takes place, the concession is being operated from a nearby trailer.

Time and salt air had taken its toll on the cafe building. “County and city building department personnel pointed out numerous code violations that were in need of rectification,” Cushing said.

Deficiencies listed in a structural analysis filed with the building department at Bradenton Beach City Hall included deteriorated exterior door frames and doors, rusted plumbing and pipes, a floor elevation 10 inches below grade, exposed rebar around the roof area, rusted electrical components, mildewed walls, leaks, a sagging drop ceiling and rusted roof rafters.

Now, with construction, the building has no roof.

In addition to correcting problems, the county is reconfiguring “the interior to make it more efficient for operating the snack bar portion, as well as allowing the opportunity to operate a small portion as a gift shop,” Cushing said. The concession vendor, which also operates the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe at the Manatee Public Beach, will be responsible for interior items, including the kitchen equipment.

Outside, when the renovation is complete, the cafe will look different, more in line with the design scheme of the marine rescue building across Gulf Drive.

“It will actually be getting a face lift, new railings and stucco finish,” said Cushing. “It will also have a pitched metal roof rather than the flat deck that it had. The color will be changing to the new scheme we are incorporating into all of Coquina.”

The building will retain its current footprint and exterior walls, though they will be strengthened.

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