The Thirty-A Review July 2020

d i n i n g

Growing on the Gulf Bud & Alley’s Restaurant Set to Unveil its Expansion in Seaside b y Te s s F a r m e r

Bud & Alley’s Crab Cakes

Grilled Gulf Fish of the Day

Our goal is to bring more of the sweeping Gulf views and open-air dining that our guests love and appreciate. A fter 34 years in Seaside, Bud and Alley’s Water- front Restaurant and Bar is undergoing a major enhancement project and unveiling improve- ments, including an expansive rooftop deck this summer. Whether just coming off the beach for a crab cake at lunch, celebrating a milestone life event, or a toast with friends at sunset, generations of visitors and locals alike have been making memories at the iconic restaurant anchoring Seaside’s commercial district on the south side of Highway 30-A. “Our loyal customers keep returning year after year and we are always looking for ways to give back to them in the ways of atmosphere and fresh coastal cuisine,” says owner Dave Rauschkolb. Bud & Alley’s was one of the first and is now among the few beachfront fine dining options along Highway 30A. It’s a beloved institution that over the years has helped make Seaside what it is today. Improvements and expansion of the building include a bell tower with elevator, ten new restrooms, upgraded roof deck, and a road-side portion of the restaurant providing a new vantage point looking out and over the town center. Noted author and former town architect Dhiru Thadani of Seaside completed the design of the project with a focus on incorporating the old with the new. Rauschkolb has expanded his restaurant business as the town of Seaside has grown. He and business partner Scott Witcotski established Bud & Alley’s in the early days of the burgeoning coastal community’s development in the 80s. The restaurant opened in January of 1986 and was named for Seaside founder Robert Davis’s dachshund and Witcotski’s cat. The restaurant soon developed a loyal following that continues today, three decades later. “It’s been an incredible opportunity to be a part of the fabric of Seaside and our local community here,” says Rauschkolb. He adds that the restaurant’s expansion

Bud & Alley’s Baked Oysters

project, which includes addition- al dining space on the roof deck and the lookout bell tower, wasn’t necessarily to make room for more guests but to enhance the Bud & Alley’s experience and provide new vantage points to the Gulf and overlooking Central Square. “The customer experi- ence on the roof deck will be much improved because you’ll be able to sit at the bar and look out over the Gulf,” Rauschkolb says. “Our goal is to bring more of the sweeping Gulf views and open-air dining that our guests love and appreciate.” An additional 850 square feet has been added to the dining area upstairs, providing more room and views of central square to the north side of 30-A as well as the Gulf of Mexico. The road-side portion of the restaurant will offer a grab-and-go extension of Bud & Alley’s. Rauschkolb and his team’s devotion to farm- and sea-to-table dining extends to two other casual eateries overlooking the Gulf in Seaside. The Pizza Bar’s authentic stylings of wood-fired artisan pizza pies are direct from the cucina’s of Italy, while the Taco Bar’s fresh flavors and funky vibe are reminiscent of the authentic taquerias on the Mexican border. The Taco Bar has also expanded to include more kitchen space and a wrap- around roadside bar.

Photos by Alissa Aryn Photography

As much as things have grown and changed in Seaside and along 30-A, many things remain constant at Bud & Alley’s, including the fresh local seafood (the crab cakes being the gold standard), ice-cold cocktails, and friendly atmosphere. A longstanding tradition is the ringing of a cast-iron bell from an 1888 steam train each day at sunset; the bell will be housed in the new bell tower. “Our motto from day one has been good

Dave Rauschkolb Photo by Marla Carter Photography

food, good people, good times,” Rauschkolb says. “And it still rings true almost 35 years later. We’re looking forward to the next three decades.” The Bud & Alley’s team is also made up of Chief of Operations Michael Broadway and Executive Chef David Bishop. Rauschkolb credits their unwavering dedication and leadership for the continued success of the restaurant. Bud & Alley’s is open daily for lunch and dinner. It supports local farmers and fisherman, including GreenMan’s Garden, Covey Rise Farms, WaterStreet Seafood, Cool Fish Seafood, and Louisiana Lagniappe. For more information and to make reservations visit or call (850) 231-5900.

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