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Riverfront restaurant, bar and marina for sale – but which one?

STORY BY RAY MCNULTY (Week of May 6, 2021)

Somewhere in this county – along the banks of the Indian River Lagoon – someone is selling what an online listing describes as a “well-established and profitable” restaurant, bar and marina in an “unbeatable location.”

Nobody, though, will say which waterfront establishment is for sale.

Not even the broker.

Sebastian-based Justin Lefebure of Transworld Business Brokers of Central Florida said last weekend the seller has allowed him to identify the property only to a qualified buyer who provides a personal financial statement and signs a non-disclosure agreement.

“It is highly confidential,” he said of the listing, which can be found on the and websites.

The listing does offer some hints, however:

• The asking price is $4.5 million and includes real estate valued at $2.8 million, $60,000 in inventory and $50,000 in furniture, fixtures and equipment.

• The business, which was established in 1988 and takes in more than $1.9 million in gross revenue annually with a cash flow of nearly $291,000, “really caught traction and received the attention it deserved in the last decade.”

• The establishment is a “hot spot where locals, visitors and tourists can mingle while enjoying breath-taking views of the river” and “live music complements the great food, drinks and friends” the place is “known for.”

The listing also states the property is “accessible by land or sea” and offers “plenty of room to expand,” and the business has 30 employees – four managers, three full-timers and 23 part-time workers.

Could it be the Riverside Café?

The listing claims there’s “not really any competition in the area for the style and setup of this unique property,” which is true of Riverside’s lagoon-front location in Vero Beach.

Reached via Facebook Messenger, however, owner David Lane responded that it wasn’t his listing and his business is “not for sale.” Also, the website lists the property under “Indian River County,” not “Vero Beach.”

That leaves the Sebastian-area, where several dining-and-cocktails establishments operate along the riverfront. Five of them are equipped with adjoining marinas, or at least boat docks: Capt. Hiram’s Resort, Capt’n Butcher’s Seafood Grill & Bar, Tiki Bar & Grill, Mulligan’s Beach House Bar & Grill, and Squid Lips Overwater Bar & Grill.

Two of those establishments, though, also offer lodging – Capt. Hiram’s has two hotels and Capt’n Butcher’s has on-premises studio apartments and townhouses – and there’s no mention of any such accommodations in the listing.

Moreover, the listing makes no reference to Capt. Hiram’s wildly popular, outdoor sandbar.

Two well-placed sources familiar with the establishment said it’s “highly unlikely” owner Will Collins was looking to sell. Even if he were, the business and property on which it sits would seem worth more than $4.5 million in today’s market.

Likewise, a manager at Capt’n Butcher’s said she was unaware of any plans the ownership might have to sell the business, adding, “I’m pretty sure I’d know about it if there were.”

Both George Hart, owner of the Mulligan’s Beach House chain, and a corporate spokesperson for the three Squid Lips locations said their Sebastian-area restaurants weren’t for sale.

Although the Tiki Bar & Grill seems to fit the description in the listing, a manager there said Sunday he knew of no plans to sell the place. However, messages left on the mobile phones of two of the establishment’s owners, Chris Pinson and Dawn Biehl, went unreturned.

It was in August 2011 that Pinson and Biehl teamed with another friend, John Campbell, to purchase the 2 ½-acre property and business, previously known as Suzy’s Tiki.

Over the past decade, they’ve turned their investment into a thriving business that competes with the other establishments on the Sebastian-area’s riverfront – just as the listing says.

Perhaps it’s also mere coincidence that the photograph attached to the listing has a tiki torch in the foreground.

No one is saying.

So the name of the “bar, grill and marina” in the listing remains a mystery as the buzz in the community about the potential sale of a popular, waterfront establishment grows louder.

As the listing states: “The possibilities are endless with this property and business.”