Advertising Networks of Florida

Rod & Reel returns to service

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Servers and staff at the Rod & Reel Pier, 875 N. Shore Drive, Anna Maria, are all smiles at 8 a.m. Feb. 7, as the long-standing pier and restaurant reopened after being closed more than four months due to repairs after an electrical fire. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

It took a bit more than four months of repairs, but the historical Rod & Reel Pier at 875 N. Shore Drive in Anna Maria reopened for business the morning of Feb. 7.

The pier and its restaurant had been closed since Sept. 30 due to an electrical fire, and the repairs had to meet the new Florida Building Code requirements, said manager Dave Cochran.

“Meeting those new requirements made it take longer than we thought. Every time we’d tear down a wall, we’d find more damage that had to be rebuilt to the new code,” Cochran said.

He congratulated Bimini Bay Construction for its help in getting the facility reopened, and all the staff members who pitched in the final week to get the restaurant ready.

Built in 1949, the repairs now make the Rod & Reel Pier look almost new, Cochran said.

“But we’ve still got the same home-town, laid back atmosphere and flavor, and most of the old employees are back,” he said.

During the four-month closure, All Island Denominations assisted out-of-work staff with bills, food, clothing and other living essentials. AID is composed of island churches and does not charge for its services. Additionally, the food pantry at Roser Memorial Community Church was available for the staff.

“It took a lot of work and effort, and many weeks working seven days, but it’s done and we’re back,” Cochran said.

  •         The pier was purchased in 1998 by Mario Schoenfelder, who also leases the Anna Maria City Pier.

10 Responses to Rod & Reel returns to service

  1. yvonne and vera says:

    Hooray! Look forward to coming again next October all the way from the UK. Just hope it hasn’t lost it’s rustic charm and some of the chairs and tables are still wobbly!!

  2. Rene Tant says:

    Congrats on getting back so soon, missed you all when we were there last November, but glad to know we will be able to visit again this year. Good Luck

    Rene U.K

  3. Tom and Rose Speary family says:

    WE WERE DOWN THE DAY OF THE FIRE AND WERE SO WORRIED FOR ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES. WE MISSED YOU BEING OPEN AND ARE SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU REOPENED MEETING SAFETY CODES. HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SOON ON OUR NEXT TRIP. GLAD YOU ARE ALL SAFE. SEE YOU SOON.

  4. Gary Benson says:

    GREAT NEWS!! Watched it happen from Connecticut. Will be retiring soon and moving to Bradenton. So looking forward to meeting my un-named Deputy Sheriff brother-in-law at the Rod & Reel for breakfast. One of my favorite places on the island.

  5. Betty Steinacher says:

    I love the way the community came together for your employees. I think that’s great. Glad you made it open. I will be there in April.

  6. Rick Yonke says:

    R & R is my favorite place on AMI. So happy to see it open again! I hope it hasn’t changed much. Looking forward to seeing the shark photos and sit on a stool at the bar and drink a cold beer on tap! And the great fish and chips in the restaurant!

  7. phil says:

    so glad the pier is open. Have waited all year for our vacation in March and have been following the work on earth cam. I spend most of my vacation fishing and eating on the pier with friends from north america. I’m from Yorkshire in England and we are having terrible storms so can’t wait to get a bit on sun.
    Well done to everyone.
    Phil

  8. The Bergeson Family says:

    We are so happy the R&R is back open. We’ll be heading to AMI next month for spring break, and couldn’t imagine our trip to be complete without lunch at the R&R after fishing off their pier, watching the manatees and rays swim underneath. That would be like not making it to Mr. Bones for some BBQ… just couldn’t imagine a trip without it. Congratulations to you for getting things back after the fire. See you soon!

  9. Ann Schmidt says:

    Glad everything turn out OK. Can’t wait to see you in 2 weeks time and enjoy the Fish & Chips.

  10. Steve Moyse says:

    Great news about R&R my favourite place in the world have been holidaying on AMI for the past 20 years and can’t wait for our return and enjoy all that the R&R has to offer all the very best from the UK

Leave a Reply

Join Our Mailing List


Sign up for breaking news notices and weekly news and classified reminders via your e-mail.

To advertise here, please
visit our rates page
or contact us at:
sales@islander.org
Phone: (941) 778-7978
Fax: (941) 778-9392

 Newspapers  Newspapers  Newspapers  Newspapers  Newspapers