Find a classic, fun pub at Solo’s Pizza
SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Shawn Waters, owner of Solo’s Pizza, offers something for everyone.
Finding that great little place for a late night burger or pizza is sometimes a challenge, especially on a small island. Finding that great little place where you can also watch your favorite sports team on seven TVs and bring the kids is just plain lucky. Welcome to Solo’s Pizza in Holmes Beach – homey enough for visiting Aunt Maude and entertaining enough for the grandkids.
Shawn Waters moved to Anna Maria 10 years ago as a manager for Shells restaurant after having worked in the restaurant and private club business since college. Now he’s his own boss and the envy of all his college and Air Force friends. And why not, he owns the classic fun pub with beer on tap and good reasonably priced food on an island in paradise.
Solo’s Pizza has something for everyone. Lots of TVs and one big screen for sports fans, video games, pool table, darts and all kinds of annual events to keep things fun and interesting. Super Bowl is always a big party, in June it sponsors a bar olympics, August is the golf tournament, there are frequent dart tournaments and Tuesdays are movie nights with classic flicks on the big screen.
But Solo’s big annual event is its Chili Cook-Off in March which this year falls on its 5th anniversary, Sunday, March 9. Starting at 2 p.m., the chili pots start showing up. The event is open to anyone who wants to enter as long as he/she calls ahead since space is limited. The grand prize is $25 toward your tab and the bragging rights to have your plate added to the official Solo’s Chili Cook-Off Trophy that is displayed behind the bar.
Solo’s menu includes handmade pizza, wings, garlic cheese bread, nachos and other finger foods, a variety of subs and burgers and salads. It has draft beer, imported beer and domestic bottled beer, as well as wine by the glass or bottle. It also serves food later than any other restaurant on the island.
Waters’ business has grown by word of mouth and he’s happy to see the same faces every year when they come back to the Island to visit. He and his staff know most of them by name, and the best compliment he receives is from his customers who come to his place the first day they arrive on the Island and the day they’re leaving.
He points out that his cooks have been with him for two years keeping the food dependable and consistent. In a business where only 1 percent of small restaurants are still in business after five years, Waters has reached his goal.
Once Waters found Anna Maria Island he never wanted to leave. Once you find Solo’s Pizza you won’t want to leave either. It’s the Cheers of Anna Maria – a great little place where everyone knows your name.
Sunday thru Saturday