Greetings from the Gulf: February

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Signing off on some good things, some bad things; and someone signing on as a Michigan menace

By John Morton

Sure, I’ll admit I once threatened Bobby Schneck’s life when he stopped a sizzling set at the stroke of 10 p.m. Hell, I was just about to break out my windmill air guitar/ moonwalk combo!
However, I can’t imagine what kind of music-requesting condition I’d be in come 2 a.m. if establishments were allowed to rock-it-out that late. I mean, for how many hours can a guy scream “Free Bird!” before he wakes up the neighbors?
Worse yet, the poor fella never even asked “What song is it you want to hear?”
Indeed, it just has to be the best for all concerned that Gilligan’s was denied its request for music until its closing time — backed recently by a special magistrate’s recommendation. (See story on page 5.)
And, yes, it’s unfair that some other nearby venues have been granted permission to host live music later than the county-mandated 10 p.m. shutdown time. The fact it has happened is yet another example of uneven, and probably incompetent, and possibly corrupt government being applied to Siesta Key from a building downtown.
Meanwhile, I always chuckled that the late-night request was coming from a place officially doing business as Nocturnal Properties. Had it been approved, the Terrace condos would have had to share that same name.


Rumor has it that another pizza parlor is going in where Pizza N’ Brew flamed out, at the entrance to Crescent Plaza.
The fact that Pizza N’ Brew’s torn banner sign is finally gone certainly is an indicator. The new business could be tossing the dough by the end of February, I’m told.
And thank goodness. The south end of the Key needs chow-down outlets and I can’t imagine how a decent establishment can’t flourish there. No pie-in-the-sky dreams required.
As for the place that was for decades called City Pizza, I recall countless visits in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s when, I’m pretty sure, it was the only pizza that delivered late and quite possibly at times the only traditional pizza provider on the Key.
I’ll go as far as to suggest a second pizza joint will eventually be needed down there. And then a third.


Kudos to the citizens of Siesta Key, and those off the island who share a question or concern about its future, for tuning in for the two neighborhood workshops in January. (See our story on the front page of this issue.)
As for these give-and-takes having the option of being virtual, that’s just chicken-bleep and the county commissioners should be ashamed for supporting such a cop-out.
You may recall they were allowed to go online during COVID-19 and, when our own Mark Smith reminded his colleagues that they should go back to being held in-person, the others said no to that.
Our Siesta Key Association even invited the facilitators to hold it in conjunction with the civic group’s Jan. 4 meeting at St. Boniface. And, of course, it was a big ol’ nope.
The idea that one was first scheduled for Dec. 21, knowing holiday plans would limit interest, and then coming back with consecutive nights — likely in hopes of overkill and meeting burnout — was equally disingenuous.
Sure enough, because they could, the hosts left many questions unanswered when they pulled the plug at their own discretion. Had everyone been in a meeting hall … well, good luck with that kind of exit.
By the way, a tip of the hat to hopeful hotelier Dave Balot for conducting his workshops on site and with his face behind his message. He seems to understand that a workshop is more than just a procedural obligation.


Urban Meyer (left) with Crescent Club owner Gary Kompothecras. Below, Meyer’s handy work provided a banner moment for some lucky thief. (photos courtesy of Crescent Club)

The Crescent Club, known as a Michigan football bar whose patrons recently saw the Wolverines win it all, had a little rain-on-your-parade attempt come from none other than Urban Meyer — the former mega-nemesis Ohio State coach.
Next door there’s Captain Curt’s, of course, and it prides itself as Buckeye heaven. Meyer not only wandered on over to the Crescent Club, he had a laugh as he signed a Michigan banner with: “Urban Meyer was here … 7-0” — referring to his record as OSU coach against the Maize and Blue.
I’ve been told that Meyer’s family owns a place on the Key near the north bridge.
Anyway, I love the fact that side-bar-side bars share such a fun and intense rivalry. And what’s strange is the fact that the Captain Curt’s owners, the Stewarts, are from Michigan and the Crescent Club owner, Gary Kompothecras, is a New Yorker.
But smart businessmen, clearly.
The banner would be stolen shortly thereafter, Crescent Club manager Mary Pisano reports.
One of my favorite football moments recently is when my buddy Andy Vandecaveye, a devoted Michigan Man who lives in Midnight Cove, dressed up as Jim Harbaugh and, complete with binoculars, walked up to the Sniki Tiki crowd and zoomed on in.
Yes, he’s still alive and well — clam chowder shower notwithstanding.

(John Morton is managing editor of the Siesta Sand.)

John Morton
Author: John Morton

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