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A Local Solution to a Global Problem: Chiles Restaurant Group Leads the Charge on Gulf Coast Oyster Recycle & Restoration Project in Manatee County

The Chiles Restaurant Group has partnered with an incredible group of non-profit, commercial, and governmental public-private partners who are leading the charge in a new Gulf Coast Oyster Recycle & Restoration Project (GCORR) aimed at collecting and reusing cast off oyster and clam shells to help restore the environment.

“Facets of this project include collection through businesses, bagging and placement through Manatee County educational and volunteer efforts and marine ecology research.” Chiles Restaurant Group Chief Operating Officer Robert Baugh said. “Ultimately, we will take what is normally discarded and use it in a manner that is most conducive to growth and development of new oyster grounds in the surrounding local waters.”P1130306

GCORR is funded with a $5,000 grant awarded by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program to initiate a 1-year, oyster shell pilot program for Manatee County. One of the goals is to increase oyster shell recycling county-wide and then have it expand to nearby counties. The implementation team includes: the Chiles Restaurant Group, Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START), several departments of Manatee County government, University of Florida IFAS/Extension and the Gulf Shellfish Institute.

The Chiles Restaurant Group is a family of three waterfront restaurants – Mar Vista Dockside, The Sandbar and The Beach House Restaurant – located on Florida’s West Coast where the taste of Old Florida comes to life. Since their inceptions, IMG_2635each restaurant has served traditional gulf seafood dishes and the finest local Florida fare. But in more recent years, the restaurants have become a pioneer in the sustainable tourism industry, setting the bar with their constellation of sustainable practices, products and projects.

Starting this month, the group began facilitating the collection, cleaning, and transportation of used clam and oyster shells from its three seafood restaurants to the local Manatee County Preserve to aid in restoration of oyster/clam habitat. The Gulf Coast Oyster Recycle & Restoration Project specifically involves oyster restoration, but it’s execution will positively impact many other aspects of daily lives by means of providing a hatchery for new oysters, reducing shoreline erosion, improving water quality, and revitalizing P1130380the oyster and other marine habitat to increase the local food supply. One oyster can filter 9.6 gallons of salt or estuarine water in one day, creating cleaner environments for swimming and recreational uses

“We’ll reduce our footprint in landfills and provide the opportunity to educate our community, promote growth of this seafood commodity and most importantly support the increase in our local water quality,” Baugh said. “Not only will this eventually evolve into the potential to harvest real local oysters and clams but will also provide jobs and promote additional Aquaculture opportunities while eliminating tons of shell waste from landfills.”

The Gulf Coast Oyster Recycle & Restoration Project is only the most recent of sustainable initiatives that the Chiles Restaurant Group has been a leader. In addition, they have made made significant strides in its efforts to be “plastic-free” by facilitating the County’s implementation of Single Stream Recycling, and a dramatic decrease in the use of plastic straws, foam containers, saltine cracker wrappers and other non-biodegradable products normally associated with Food Service operations. Next steps include the introduction of a complete line of eco-friendly “to go” containers and reusable packing crates for produce and seafood.

For more information on the program and volunteer opportunities contact (941) 778-8705 or chodge@chilesgroup.com

doug sullivanThe Sandbar Welcomes Doug Sullivan as the new General Manager and the Mar Vista Welcomes Richard Demarse as the new Executive Chef.

The Sandbar is excited to announce the appointment of Doug Sullivan as their new General Manager. Doug is no stranger to the area. He attended Manatee High School and began his hospitality career in Bradenton at the Bradenton Country Club and The Seafood Shack before earning a Bachelor of Science degree from FSU. His extensive background includes senior leadership roles with Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse. He was also the founder, president and CEO of Stonewood LLC, the umbrella brand for Stonewood Grill and Tavern. After Stonewood, he was recruited by Morton’s Steakhouse board chairman as an operations executive to lead concept development for a Morton’s upscale casual grill.
Most recently Doug was head of Regional Development for the PDQ Restaurant Group in Texas and Arkansas. His parents have lived in the area for 40+ years, so he is excited to return “home” with his wife Jill and their three daughters.
Robert Baugh, Chiles Group Chief Operating Officer stated, “I am thrilled to have someone of his caliber join our team and am confident his leadership will position the Sandbar for continued growth and success.”
Ed Chiles, owner and CEO of the Chiles Restaurant Group said, “We are pleased that Doug has decided to join our company and we are looking forward to his leadership as we move forward to expand our local, sustainable offerings and continue to position the Sandbar as a leader in casual waterfront dining.”
Doug states, “The Sandbar is truly a legacy restaurant and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this great team of people and to build on the incredible Sandbar success story that Ed Chiles founded and nurtured for 37 years.”
Make sure you ask to meet Doug on your next visit to the Sandbar. He is eager to meet you.

 

richdemarseThe Mar Vista is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Demarse as their new executive chef. Rich is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has extensive experience in independent restaurant operations as well as in resort culinary settings. Rich excels in showcasing the fresh flavors of local seafood, produce and land fare with keen attention to sustainable practices and creative plating. His resume is highlighted by senior leadership roles at the Planter’s Inn in Charleston, the Club at Hammock Beach in Palm Coast, the Local in Naples and the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. Utilizing his accomplished culinary background of nearly x years, Rich will be focusing on creative menu design and development incorporating the fresh flavors of locally sourced foods and sustainable products to the already food forward Mar Vista menus. Rich’s immersion of new ideas and innovative menu items is in perfect timing with the overall initiative to improve Mar Vista through the renovations to the kitchen and inside dining room. “We are thrilled to welcome Chef Rich Demarse to the Mar Vista,” said owner Ed Chiles. “Rich is an extraordinary culinary talent who’s focus on quality, originality and sustainability is in alignment with the goals of our culinary team and company culture.”
General Manager, Anthony Cucci states, “Chef Rich has hit the ground running with new ideas, unique twists on fan favorites but he also recognizes and respects what our regulars like to see upon their return each year and what the locals love about our menus and special location. He really gets it!”
Come in and meet the newest edition to the Mar Vista, Executive Chef Rich Demarse and see how our renovations are coming along. New and exciting things are happening at the Mar Vista.

 

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IMG_1112History is an important part of our restaurants. The Sandbar and Mar Vista each actually date back to the early 1900’s. The Anna Maria Island Historical Society documents and displays the history of the entire island. Saturday, March 4th is their annual celebration of the island history. This family friendly event is the perfect way to learn about island history, have fun and enjoy music, games and food!

Mote Marine Party on the Pass!

February 28, 2017

2017PartyOnThePass_GraphicalElement_v1You’re invited to join the Beach House and Mar Vista for a hot night in Old Havana at Mote Marine Laboratory’s fabulous Party on the Pass! Enjoy a casual evening of good food, good fun and goodwill supporting Mote’s Dolphin, Whale & Sea Turtle Hospitals.

Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Aquarium Courtyard.
Tickets start at $100 per person.
Several restaurants from our area will be delighting attendees with delicious menu items.
Beer/wine provided. Cash bar available.

Get Tickets

 

Chef at the Market!

February 28, 2017

We will be back at the Downtown Bradenton Farmer’s Market on March 11th 9:00 am – 1:00 pm serving delicious and complimentary samples of our chef’s latest culinary creation. Chef Will Manson from the Beach House will be the featured chef. Come by our table, sign up for our monthly newsletter and get a copy […]

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Beach House Deck Almost Finished!

February 28, 2017

Some final touches still have to made but we are very close to being completely done with the new Beach House deck! For right now, seating in our north and south seaside pavilions is available just not the center deck quite yet. Come see our progress, sit outside and take in that beautiful view. 

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