Windjammers more than a restaurant on the pier

Windjammers on the Navarre Beach Pier is striving to be more than just a restaurant.


Michael Rayborn said things have moved nicely in that direction since he took over as the general manager in September.


“We want this to be the best location Navarre has ever seen,” Rayborn said. “We want it to be the Navarre Beach Pier Complex, to be multifaceted and have something for everyone.”


With a menu featuring a creole, Caribbean combination and a chef  who ensures every item on the menu is of the highest quality, it’s no surprise sales are up in terms of food.


“We’ve changed our menu around and have really upped our game with the selections we offer,” Rayborn said.


There is even more seating now thanks to the addition of the covered outside deck.


Seating has risen from 40-60 to close to 200, and the covered seating area ensures that rain won’t put a damper on your meal.


Speaking of food, more items are on the way. Patrons will soon be able to order oysters off the menu as well as boiled shrimp and crawfish.


Windjammers is planning to obtain its liquor license as well.


Beyond the restaurant, though, are plans to turn Windjammers into a prime hot spot for both locals and the tourists.


Live music is now being played every Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the deck, typically from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. and people will can still come out this summer and watch movies on the beach.


Regulation beach volleyball courts will soon be set up and tournaments are on the horizon for the sport as well.


A children’s play area is set to be added at some point soon, and there are plans to construct a sand bar downstairs that includes games such as darts, ring toss and cornhole. A snoball stand is expected to be added as well at some point.


The bathrooms have been remodeled and the gift shop is getting a makeover as well.


“We’re going to be carrying a lot more beach apparel items such as umbrellas, chairs and floaties, as well as fishing gear, tackle and lures,”Rayborn said.


There are also plans in motion to have an approved bathroom on the pier itself, and food and drink will be available at some point as well.


“There are a lot of good things happening right now,” Rayborn said. “We are working hard to complete all the tasks and agreements made with the county in the current contract.”


Rayborn brings plenty of management experience to Windjammers, having more than 30 years in the restaurant business. He also has experience as a financial adviser.


Rayborn is pleased with how everything has gone up to this point and looks forward to continuing to make Windjammers a destination.


“Mardi Gras was a huge success and we’re looking forward to spring break and the summer seasons,” Rayborn said. “We have a vision to make this a great place for the whole family to come to.”



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