29 May Bronze statue celebrates Patronis brothers of Panama City Beach
Bronze statue celebrates Patronis brothers of Panama City Beach
When Johnny Patronis and his brother Jimmy purchased a restaurant in a lagoon on St. Andrew Bay in Panama City Beach, FL., in 1967, they likely could not have imagined the changes that have come to the town and the restaurant in the five decades since. To celebrate the 50 years in service, a life-sized bronze statue of the Patronis brothers was erected at the entrance to the restaurant in 2017.
Much has happened in the intervening 50 years. In 1967, the restaurant was located in a small resort area in the panhandle of Florida catering to families throughout the Southeast. The restaurant seated fewer than 100 patrons, many of whom came by boat to the fresh fish market.
Panama City Beach grew in popularity but was still a low-budget option for families. If you wanted a high-rise condo on the beach, you needed to head east to Destin. Eventually, planned communities like Seaside sprung up between Panama City Beach and Destin. Those communities were tiny compared to Panama City Beach, which remained dotted with mom-and-pop hotels and dining options that rarely strayed from an oyster bar.
While the area began to change somewhat, the Patronis brothers trudged on, slowly adding on to one of the few fine dining establishments in the area. While it has always been a family destination, Panama City Beach became known for its embrace of spring break and the accompanying college kids looking to party. Club La Vela, billed as the world’s largest nightclub, sprang up not far from Capt. Anderson’s in 1984. The spring breakers still come but nothing like in the heydays of the 1990s. Captain Anderson’s persevered and continued to grow as one of the premier restaurants in Panama City Beach.
Another shift came as the small hotels and motels gave way to large condominium towers, much like nearby Destin. A large amusement park is gone but Pier Park, a new shopping, dining and entertainment complex has been added.
The Patronis brothers and Capt. Anderson’s continued to grow and burnished its reputation as a community leader by working with locals to preserve the natural bounties of the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The adjacent marina is an attraction to itself and visitors head to the area to watch the fleet unload its daily catch.
Since the turn of the century, a new bridge spans the bay between Panama City and Panama City Beach and an international airport has been added to Bay County. With all the changes, Capt. Anderson’s has remained a fixture in the community. Many repeat visitors do not consider their vacation complete without a visit to the landmark restaurant.
Now with 725 seats, the restaurant says it serves more than 250,000 people per year, despite taking four months off during the winter. Unlike South Florida, winter is the off-season in the Panhandle.
Little wonder that the owners of Captain Anderson’s restaurant & waterfront market were honored with the statue. If you are in need of a bronze statue, consider commissioning Matt Glenn of Big Statues. Glenn has been creating bronze statues for 15 years. You can get a quote for your statue free by clicking here.
captain andersons restaurant panama city
captain anderson’s restaurant
capt. anderson’s restaurant
captain anderson’s panama city beach florida
capt anderson’s restaurant & waterfront market