MADEIRA BEACH — A popular waterfront seafood restaurant in John’s Pass is not only back, it’s better than ever. Sculley’s Waterfront Restaurant was recently purchased and renovated by St. Petersburg-based hospitality group Sun Pubs, which also owns the Caddy’s Waterfront brand.
Representatives of the Sun Pubs team said that when they saw Sculley’s and its adjoining property for sale, they jumped at the opportunity to make the purchase.
“Sculley’s is a well-known restaurant on the famous John’s Pass Boardwalk, and it’s a major part of John’s Pass. John’s Pass is a true destination for tourists, and we know the popularity of the area is just going to grow. It was an opportunity we couldn't turn down,” said David Culhane, executive director of Sun Pubs.
The group purchased the properties with two goals. First, to completely renovate Sculley’s while retaining the high standards the restaurant set. Second, to turn the connecting property, formerly The Hut, into a new Caddy’s location. The first part of the plan is now complete.
Sun Pubs completely renovated and updated Sculley’s while holding onto the rich history and nostalgia of the seafood establishment. Major renovations include an improved deck area as well as new flooring, seating, and bar area.
All renovations were eco-conscious. The group coordinated with a wildlife specialist to make sure features such as outdoor lighting and windows are friendly to nearby birds and sea creatures.
“Sculley’s has been a local staple for many years, and we are eager to have the opportunity to reinvigorate and uplift the brand. We will be offering scratch-made cuisine and hand-crafted cocktails to create a new guest experience in John’s Pass, proudly being the only restaurant on the boardwalk to serve custom seafood boils,” said Randy Esponda, Sun Pubs’ director of operations.
Joe Walsh, executive chef at Sub Pubs, updated the menu. It will will keep some favorites from Sculley’s old menu while featuring new additions such as a make-your-own-seafood combo where guests can choose their seafood, seasonings, and sides.
The fish will continue to come from local fishermen around John’s Pass. “Our menu will focus on fresh daily catches along with hand-selected seasonal produce that is locally sourced,” said Walsh. “Our culinary team is so excited to introduce to our customers a minimalist cooking technique that lets food like Florida red snapper and black grouper be the star of the plate.”
Sculley’s Waterfront Restaurant reopened to the public on Nov. 3. A larger grand opening is being planned for upcoming months. The new John’s Pass Caddy’s location is projected to open early next year.
“The Gulf Coast is a top travel destination for people looking for the best beaches, food, and entertainment in Florida. We see how John’s Pass is such a perfect location for tourists, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it,” said Culhane.