Vol 8 No. 19 - January 30, 2008

Find it fresh at Cortez Fish Market

AMISUN Business Story
John Banyas owner, Kim McVey, Alice Sistak and James "Wire" Lee.
SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

John Banyas describes Cortez Village as "a little piece of land lost in time." This Cortez native should know, his family has lived in and conducted business in the village for three generations. And he is certainly keeping up the family tradition with the establishment of the Cortez Fish Market, tucked away on the waterfront in the "kitchen" in the historic village of Cortez.

Coming from a long line of boat builders Banyas still owns N.E. Taylor Boatworks, established by his great grandfather then later owned by his grandfather, which is located adjacent to Cortez Fish Market. About a year ago he decided it was time to take advantage of his 12 years of fish market experience and expand the tiny fish market he ran as part of the Cortez Kitchen restaurant.

The new Cortez Fish Market has more space to display all the fresh catch that comes into the Cortez docks daily. Looking toward the future and the possibility of a small restaurant and take out business, Banyas also built a large outside deck with picnic tables where most days you’ll find Oscar, the market’s four legged mascot. James "Wire" Lee and Alice Sistak run the market seven days a week in season and Kim McVey manages the office. Lee’s dexterity with a fish knife is quite a show if you’re lucky enough to be there at the right time. They also carry a full line of frozen bait.

Banyas stands by his inventory and states that the Cortez Fish Market stocks high quality fresh fish and shellfish that are competitively priced. Its large display cases are chock full of pompano, grouper, snapper, gigantic shrimp, clams, tuna, salmon, scallops and stone crabs, stone crabs, stone crabs. In addition, there’s some imported flounder, alligator and smoked mullet. The market will also steam shrimp and clams, and smoke other kinds of fish. It can handle special orders for parties and ship anywhere.

These days, John Banyas stays pretty busy. In addition to overseeing the Bayside Banquet Hall managed by his mother Patty Banyas, raising his three children, and making sure the Cortez Fish Market has the freshest seafood on Florida’s west coast, he still finds time to get out on the water and fish three days a week.

John Banyas and his staff know their fish, so if you’re looking for a slice of old Florida and a slice of fresh fish, turn at Cortez Road West & 119th Street drive past the Cortez Maritime Museum and head for the water. The Cortez Fish Market in the historic village of Cortez where the fish are so fresh they practically jump off the boats. Like the sign by the front door says "Good To The Bone."

Cortez Fish Market
4528 119th St. W., Cortez
(941) 794-1547
Sunday and Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visa & MasterCard accepted

 

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