St. Augustine Fish Camp Aims to Bring Established Restaurant Brand to the Ancient City – News – The St. Augustine Record

The company that modernized the concept of the southern fishing lodge with a chain of establishments in Northeast Florida is bringing its successful brand to St. Augustine.

The St. Augustine Fish Camp will be the seventh opening of the Southern Table Hospitality restaurant group created by chef-owner Ben Groshell and his wife, Liza, with Marker 32 in Jacksonville Beach.

There, the Groshells refined their vision for their fishing camp concept: fresh seafood in an upscale but not stuffy atmosphere with stunning views of the water. The Palm Valley Fish Camp was launched in 2009 and has since added two more locations, in North Beach and Julington Creek (Southern Table Hospitality’s portfolio also includes Valley Smoke BBQ, Safe Harbor Seafood Jacksonville, and Marker 32).

The St. Augustine location, just south of the St. Augustine Ice Factory and Distillery on Riberia Street, is expected to open in mid-January, according to Eric Williams, director of operations for Southern Table Hospitality.

Why was Saint-Augustin targeted for the expansion?

Well, for one it’s a coastal town, and for the other a lot of their current clients have requested it, Williams said.

“It was just a matter of finding a good waterhole,” said Williams.

The restaurant overlooks the San Sebastian River and includes a dock where patrons can step off and see shrimp fishing boats, a reminder of this region’s past and present maritime industry.

Of course, boaters can also dock and visit the restaurant, reminiscent of the traditional Florida fishing lodge where you can spend a day on the water, then grab a table in a rustic cabin serving platters of fried fish and exotic local specialties like the alligator and the frog.

The menus at each of Groshells’ fish camp locations are nearly identical, with favorites like spicy seafood linguine and grilled mahi over creamy oatmeal, plus earthy options like steak chops and chops. pork. One of the bestsellers, Williams said, is the Special Fish of the Day, which showcases the daily catch in a unique way.

“We like to keep it simple and fresh,” Williams said.

Southern classics like chili cheese spread, fried green tomatoes and pan-seared chicken are enhanced by clever preparation and presentation.

When fully constructed, the St. Augustine Fish Camp will accommodate nearly 200 people indoors and outdoors, along with two fully stocked bars. Williams said the majority of its staff and servers are from the region, and so will the St. Augustine restaurant. He plans to start hiring around 50 employees from mid-December.

With new and interesting food concepts popping up all the time in the ancient city, does Williams have any concerns about standing out on the local culinary scene?

“I think that the fact that we are already known and established here [in the area] help, ”Williams said. “And we don’t really see ourselves as competitors, but as partners. There are a lot of restaurants, but there is enough for everyone. “

Unsurprisingly, the company is looking to expand its brand even further and is currently researching other potential fishing lodge locations. Williams said he couldn’t reveal as of when they might be.

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