Siesta Key's Bob's Boathouse moves to the Detroit River in Wyandotte, Michigan
Thursday, July 31, 2008 Bob's Boathouse keeps summer party going strong
Liz Hill / Special to the Detroit News
This article from the Detroit News should be of interest to Siesta Key residents and vacationers who remember going to dinner and dancing at Bob's Boathouse on Old Stickney Point road on Siesta Key. If you wondered what happened to this new restaurant that was disassembled, removed and replaced with "another condominium project" just a few years after it was built, you will find the answer below. For those who do not remember Bob Boat's House, before they built the restaurant the developer of the land wanted to build condominiums. The neighborhood behind the property, which is along the Intercoastal, turned down the zoning so the prefabricated metal restaurant was asssesmbled on the site. After a few years of lots of car traffic and sounds from the entertainment lofting over the existing neighborhood, a comment was made to the owner of Bob's Boat House that if they knew he was going to build a restaurant of this proportion with the outside noisy music they would have preferred he built the condos. The owner of Bob's Boathouse said he still would if they were serious and a vote was held, Bob's Boathouse was disassebled and another ubiquitous condominium project became reality in the early 2000's on Siesta Key. The developer went on to build another similar condo project in the area after this was completed and his last hurrah was a third condominium project on Tamiami Trial on the way to Venice that now sits half finished, out of money and another victim of the overbuilt housing that is so prevalent in Sarasota. There were many rumors where Bob's Boathouse was going to be reassembled and now you know. "the rest of the story".
Bob's Boathouse isn't just a clever name.
The new waterfront bar and restaurant in Wyandotte actually does house boats -- lots of them. And though the bar just opened last month, the actual structure is 10 years old and was moved -- piece by piece -- from Siesta Key, Fla., then re-assembled here.
Owner Paula Cole, who used to run Jack's Waterfront restaurant in St. Clair Shores, says her new-again place is "the best thing around." And with an arcade, a cavernous indoor dining area, a dance floor big enough for a celebrity wedding, a giant outdoor bar, private riverside cabanas, plus a swim-up bar in the works -- it's hard not to share Cole's enthusiasm.
Live music rocks the tiki bar on weekends (and some nights during the week). Fun party bands, such as the Sun Messengers and Boomtown, keep the summer pool-party vibe going strong.
Kristen Raglund of Wyandotte and her big group of friends sure love the place.
"This is so cool," she says, while lounging in one of the cabanas overlooking the water. "You can chill on these couches, you can sit up at the bar, and we just ate some really amazing seafood."
Raglund's boyfriend, Jamie Hastings of Taylor, is looking forward to the pool. Even though it's currently just a dirt hole, the buzz is definitely building.
"You're going to be able to swim up to the bar," says Hastings. "How awesome is that?"
Just remember, before you take a dip, wait at least an hour after eating that amazing seafood -- or steak, or chicken, or onion rings, or any of the multitude of offerings at Bob's. The menu, which lists everything from potato skin "boats" to "Bouillabaise À la Bob," is almost as huge as the boathouse itself and makes it clear that owner Cole wants you to stick around for more than a quick Corona. On a nice day, Bob's is the kind of place you'd head up to for lunch, have a few drinks, listen to some live music, watch the boats go by, maybe take a swim -- and next thing you know, you're ordering dinner.
Liz Hill is a Metro Detroit freelance writer