INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — There is another restaurant on the way for this beachside town.

The City Commission voted unanimously at its Feb. 9 regular meeting to approve a beer and wine license for a new restaurant at 215 Gulf Blvd. The cafe, called Rick Daddy’s Eatin’ Fresh, is a second location for Eatin’ Fresh, which has an original site on Lakeview Road in Clearwater.

The restaurant’s owner, Richard E. Brumfield, opened the Clearwater café seven years ago. He will lease the former Lighthouse Donuts Coffee eatery from Aqua Prime Real Estate LLC. It is the second new restaurant in recent months to receive city permission to serve beer and wine.

The City Commission on Dec. 8 gave Nicholas Rapisardi, owner of the popular VIP Mexican American Cuisine in Treasure Island, permission to sell beer, wine and liquor at a second location he’s opening at 213 Gulf Blvd. Both applicants have also applied for state alcohol licenses. The Mexican restaurant will open in March; Brumfield did not give an opening date.

“We will open with a full menu soon,” Brumfield said. “Before hiring and training our staff we want to iron out the kitchen first. We’ve been doing menu tastings for the past four weekends.”

Indian Rocks Beach commissioners asked Brumfield what the community could expect.

“This will be very similar to our Clearwater cafe, except we will be expanding out to more seafood,” he said. “It will beer and wine only, and will not have a bar onsite. We don’t anticipate having any loud entertainment because it’s such a small venue.”

The ordinance allowing beer and wine service on the property contains this stipulation: “Repeated or intermittent nuisance activity and/or unlawful noise levels originating from the establishment or the parking area may result in the revocation of the alcoholic beverage designation.”

Mayor Joanne “Cookie” Kennedy was optimistic about the new businesses. “We have been very blessed with businesses opening during the pandemic,” she said. “That is just incredible.”

City raises approved in second reading

City workers got good news at the same meeting — they’re getting a raise.

After a unanimous vote, the commission approved the 3% salary hike, which had been withheld until COVID-19’s effect on the city budget was better understood. It was the second reading, meaning 23 non-contract employees could see bigger paychecks on Feb. 17.

According to a spreadsheet from City Finance Director Dan Carpenter, the $23,000 budget increase for non-contract workers raises the city’s annual payroll from $1.217 million to $1.249 million. The commission also approved 3% pay raises for City Clerk Deanne Bulino O'Reilly and City Manager Gregg Mims, who are contract employees.

The pay increase is not retroactive to October 2020, the beginning of the fiscal year.