For Sharky’s on the Pier, both the second and third times are a charm.
It’s the 2019 Best Florida Beach Bar, winner of a competition put on by FloridaBeachBar.com and sponsored by LandShark Lager.
The honor is Sharky’s second victory in a row and third overall.
Co-owner Justin Pachota said this one was special, after the lingering red tide that hammered Sharky’s and Fins last year.
“Coming out of last summer I was just glad to have customers,” he said.
But people are back enjoying the food, beverages and entertainment Sharky’s is known for, he said.
Sharky’s was also the top bar in 2013 and it placed in the top 10 in the years in between victories, taking fourth in 2017 and third in 2016.
It claimed the top spot last year from Jimmy B’s Beach Bar on St. Pete Beach, a six-time winner on a four-win streak. Jimmy B’s got third this year as Lemon Bar, on Neptune Beach, moved into second.
Only Sharky’s and Jimmy B’s have ever won the top award.
According to the website, more than 200 beach bars received votes. No other beach bar in Manatee, Sarasota or Charlotte counties made the top 10 this year.
Sharky’s challenge this year is the renovation of the pier, which began this week. It’s expected to take about 90 days.
The city has done a great job with communication about the project, Pachota said, and the work has been scheduled for their slowest four months — though the Fourth of July is a busy time.
“I’ll consider this the sacrifice to the ocean gods,” he said. “A closed pier is better than red tide.”