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Weather interferes with Rod & Reel repairs

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Rod & Reel Pier and Restaurant manager Dave Cochran, with back to camera, talks with a worker from Bimini Bay Construction about repairs to the restaurant that has been closed since a Sept. 30 fire. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

High winds and cold temperatures recently delayed not just beach renourishment efforts, but repairs to the Rod & Reel Pier, 875 N. Shore Drive, Anna Maria, said manager Dave Cochran.

The Rod & Reel has been closed since a Sept. 30 electrical fire and repairs have had to follow new building code requirements, Cochran said. Meeting the new code has meant more repairs that slow down other work, as has the cold weather, he said.

“It’s hard to work when the wind chill is like it’s been lately. It’s like it’s freezing,” he said.

“We still don’t have a date when we’ll reopen. We’re just working every day possible. I can’t even predict when we might open,” he said.

Repairs to the restaurant are being done by Bimini Bay Construction Co.

The privately-owned landmark pier was opened in 1947, and was purchased in 1999 by Mario Schoenfelder, who also operates the Anna Maria City Pier and Restaurant, about 500 yards south of the Rod & Reel on the shore of Tampa Bay on a lease agreement with the city.

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