Windjammers now serving on Navarre Beach Pier
By Jamie Gentry
From ice cold local brews to beach-inspired eats, Windjammers opened for business Monday on the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier.
The bar portion of the pier had a soft opening Jan. 13 in conjunction with the Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade, but now the bar and restaurant are fully open and serving up various eats and sips said pier management partner Ken Fountain.
Fountain is a member of the current, county appointed pier vendor company Growing Santa Rosa Enterprises. While he said they are excited about the opening, there are still improvements underway.
Opening of the location had been delayed due to electrical hazards currently being rectified as well as less than optimal weather conditions he said.
In the next week Fountain said several additional projects are expected to be completed including:
• A new wine bar
• Exterior painting
• Cleaning and repainting of downstairs bar areas
Improvements to the security camera system, beach cam and Wi-Fi system are also underway.
Fountain said final design and install of sun-sail shading systems will also be forthcoming.
For sea turtles that can be impacted by the pier, new turtle friendly lighting will be installed and the pier staff will be trained under the “Responsible Pier Initiative” by members of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Patrol on how to respond when a sea turtle is hooked or caught in fishing line.
The pier shop has been renamed Sand Dollars, and the area has been largely renovated. Visitors continue to be able to shop while work continues.
“We repainted the interior of the beach store, removed the large Coca-Cola coolers and replaced it with a deli-style food service area offering to-go salads, sandwiches, Coca-Cola products and community coffee. Offerings are to be expanded and varied,” Fountain said.
As Sand Dollars nears completion the store will feature items with the pier and Windjammers branding. There will also be nautically themed gifts, local art and locally made pottery available for purchase. Other additions nearing completion would include displays featuring fishing merchandise and rentals as well as beach gear for purchase.
Renovations of the bathrooms on the pier have already been completed.
“We are working with the county to identify, select and design mobile serviceable restrooms to be stationed on the pier,” as well Fountain said.
Beach gear rentals are also expected to be coming soon as well as additional assistance for disabled individuals to access the pier and its 16 handicap fishing stations.
All in all, the progress was well received by patrons of Windjammers Tuesday afternoon. Butch Freeman said he was impressed. He has been visiting Navarre Beach from Springhill, Ohio, for 27 years.
“Windjammers is doing great. I think it has a good atmosphere and the hostess was great. I have enjoyed,” he said. “When you have that beach atmosphere what more could you ask for?”