Surf the menu at Feeling Swell
SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
John Ganfield and Vicki Adema invite you to come
in and sample from their extensive menu.
Does this sound familiar; seven miles of beach, quaint cottages surrounded by sand, tropical colors on all of the buildings and hip little bistros. Well, of course, it's Anna Maria, but this description also fits any number of islands in the Bahamas or the Caribbean with one difference, you don't need a passport to come here.
John Ganfield was surfing the internet from his home in Michigan in March of 2010 and found a small restaurant for sale on Anna Maria Island. The recently retired banker never visited Anna Maria, but was sufficiently intrigued by what he read to make him get in his convertible and start driving south.
What he found when he arrived was an island he describes as the closest thing to Grand Cayman he ever saw, and just to make things even more perfect was the cutest little restaurant this side of, well Grand Cayman.
Ganfield reset his professional life in May of 2010 when he became the new owner of Feeling Swell in the city of Anna Maria. He also reset his personal life when he met Vicki Adema who has lived on Anna Maria for six years. She became his creative and social director a perfect fit since her career has been in the entertainment field. Since then he has made menu changes and has focused on adding entertainment six days a week, including a karaoke night.
Felling Swell's menu has something for every appetite and price range. You can have an appetizer ranging from Buffalo shrimp and gator bites to mac and cheese bites and wings. Based on customer requests, the menu now has more grilled and less fried food and more salads like a Black n' Bleu and Feeling Swell Ceasar with chicken, steak, fish or crab cake.
The burgers are the largest on the Island at affordable prices in addition to sandwiches, hot dogs and grouper fingers. Feeling Swell's newest additions are shrimp po boys and beer batter fish and chips at $10.95. There is also a Lil' Surfers menu for the little folks.
A variety of wine including house wines are available, four different beers are on tap and there is an assortment of other beers including dark, malt beverage drinks and soft drinks. Happy hour is Monday through Friday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. where you can get $1.50 domestic drafts.
But the shinning glory of Feeling Swell has to be its original Key Lime Dream Bars imported from Key West. Think key lime pie dipped in chocolate and frozen on a stick.
Feeling Swell has a pet friendly deck with cooling misters for the summer and soon to be added heaters in the winter. The deck is the perfect complement to the funky blue and orange building with the gecko logo and interior walls of orange and green, a sunset mural and mermaid wall hanging. The TVs are always on over the bar especially in soccer season.
Ganfield is grateful to Adema and the friendliest staff on the Island for helping him achieve his goal of creating a casual bistro for both locals and visitors.
Ganfield took a leap of faith the day he climbed into his convertible. All you have to do is take a short drive to Feeling Swell Beach Patio Grub & Pub to feel swell. Besides, key lime pie on a stick without a passport sounds pretty darn good.
Feeling Swell Beach Patio Grub & Pub
9903 Gulf Drive
Sunday – Thursday
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday
11 a.m. – 12 midnight