The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 39 - June 17, 2009


Ready to serve you at Rudy’s

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Julie Quinlivan and Sally Woodward offer breakfast and lunch at Rudy’s.

Remember when you would vacation in paradise before you moved to paradise and wondered why can’t we live in a place like this? Julie Quinlivan and Sally Woodward had those same thoughts all the years that they would vacation on islands with blue water and white sand, until one day they set out to make it happen.

They sold their restaurant business in Colorado, bought an RV and started driving the Gulf Coast, hitting every beach town along the way. They were about to give up without having found the perfect spot, when by dumb luck they drove over the Cortez Bridge and headed north right into the perfect beach town. That same day they signed a contract on a house in Holmes Beach, returning a month later on April 1, 2008, for good.

With a combined 60 plus years in the restaurant business Quinlivan and Woodward knew what their next venture would be, and it didn’t take them long. On Dec. 2, 2008, they opened the doors of Rudy’s Subs & More, offering breakfast and lunch and featuring homemade muffins and cookies. Rudy’s, named after one of their three dogs, Gus and Ellie being the other two, took off immediately and has been voted the #1 new restaurant by the readers of the Anna Maria Island Sun.

Breakfast at Rudy’s is served until 11 a.m. and includes the Early Bird, ham or sausage patty, egg and cheese on a toasted English muffin; and the Roo or the Veggie Roo, steak, egg and veggies on a sub roll. You can also choose from homemade muffins or cinnamon rolls, and of course, coffee and soft drinks.

Lunch features their signature famous Philly cheese steak, or subs with salami, ham, turkey, meatballs and other tasty stuff in different sizes. They also have roast beef and cheddar and French dip. All of this is served with Rudy’s special homemade pepper relish, and if you’re lucky, one of mom’s chocolate cupcakes will be on the menu that day.

All menu items can be ordered to eat in or go, but once you’re through the French doors, you’ll probably want to stay. Woodward and Quinlivan have transported the beach right into the restaurant with unique, beachy touches.

The beach mural on the wall, done by Quinlivan’s sister-in-law, artist Kathryn Dawson, is the first thing you spot. Dotted with names of important people in the women’s lives, it is a dynamic mural which Dawson updates whenever she visits.

Towards the back of the restaurant you’ll find surf boards painted on the wall, which serve as a record of kids’ heights, right next to the paw prints of the canine customers. And don’t forget to look up at the ceiling near the counter where they have turned the counter post into a palm tree that includes coconuts. The overall affect is so bright and old time beach town, you’ll stay for that second cup of coffee.

Woodward wears a bracelet with the motto "Live The Life You Love." There’s no doubt that both Woodward and Quinlivan are more than living the life they love. They’re living the life they dreamed about for years. Visit them at Rudy’s, a happy place run by two very happy women.

Rudy's Subs & More

9906 Gulf Drive • Anna Maria

Monday through Saturday
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (ish)

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story
Uncharted Territory?

Investment Corner

There has been a common theme in our conversations about the government and the economy recently, and it seems to cross party lines as well as income lines. The federal government is just spending too much money, we are mortgaging our future and our kids will not have it as good as we do today.

I happen to agree that spending is out of control, but I think the problem is not just the recent stimulus plan (more on why in a bit). The problem is the long-term growth of federal spending, which, surprisingly, grew more under Republican George Bush than his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton. Ultimately, this spending binge needs to be brought to a halt and then reduced.

Why am I not so worried about the recent stimulus spending which has taken place under Presidents Bush and Obama? Despite the consensus opinion that we are spending more than we ever have, I would respectfully point out that in relation to the size of the economy, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), we are not in uncharted territory. Since the ability to repay the debt is based on tax revenue, which is tied to the total of economic activity, the analysis of whether we have gone too far needs to be based on the total of economic activity, not the absolute level of dollars spent.

Presently, the level of the nation’s debt is about 80 percent of the GDP. This is a high level and is unsustainable at these levels for long periods of time. However, a review of history reveals that during another time of crisis, World War II, the level of government debt reached about 120 percent of GDP and was over 100 percent from about 1944 to 1949.

Obviously, there was no choice at that time. Fighting a major war on two fronts was costly, but absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of the United States and free nations around the globe. This time around, it’s a little more difficult. There’s no enemy physically knocking at the door, but this is a war of sorts nonetheless. It has been an economic battle to avoid slipping into a very serious recession, perhaps even a depression, with unemployment perhaps going much higher and the economic malaise lasting many years.

I have written previously that it is likely the treasury will end up making a profit on the various bailout programs put in place to support the financial services industry and the auto industry. But, let’s assume worse case that there is no profit and the loans and investments are just repaid at face value. That would be easier than the experience we survived in the decade after WW II. Remember that in WW II, the bulk of the money spent to fight the war was put into military equipment, much of which was blown up or scrapped after the war. Other than our freedom and some technology advancements, which eventually became used in industry and consumer goods, there was no economic return on the investment in the war.

This time around, if the firms repay the capital to the government, and many are getting ready to do that presently, that portion of the debt gets erased and does not need to be repaid from tax revenues.

Obviously, the overall plan will not prove to be perfect. Some things will succeed, and some will fail. But, I wouldn’t get too caught up in the level of spending without comparing it to the size of the economy, which determines our ability to repay it. After all, we used to get nervous about borrowing $5,000 or $10,000 to buy a new car. Now the average car loan is now well over $20,000, but our incomes are higher and we’re able to make larger payments than 20 or 30 years ago.

This crazy economic time will pass, and I suspect we will survive it. What we won’t survive is continued long-term debt levels if the governments don’t find fiscal restraint after the economy starts to improve. This is something to write your legislators about.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing..

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing.

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