The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 37 - June 27, 2012


Lovin' lobster at Lobstah's

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

louise bolger | sun
From left, Chef Bob Brodeur and owner Jeff Levey
welcome diners to Lobstah's.

Remember the classic lobster scene from Woody Allen’s 1977 movie, "Annie Hall," with Allen and Diane Keaton chasing lobsters around the floor of their beach house? If cooking lobster at home presents the same challenge to you as it did to Annie Hall, there’s a restaurant in Holmes Beach that makes it look easy.

In March the curtain went up on the second act of Jeff Levey’s life on Anna Maria. The first act was when he and his wife Bert Schaefer purchased the iconic Ginny’s & Jane E’s in Anna Maria once they relocated to the west coast of Florida. After talking to hundreds of residents and visitors who passed through Ginny’s, Levey decided the one thing the Island was missing was the availability of fresh cold water lobster and shellfish.

And the lobsters don’t get any fresher than at Lobstahs, where they contently thrive after their arrival from Maine in the only lobster tank on the Island. But lobsters aren’t the only thing on the menu at Lobstahs. There is a different lunch and dinner menu, both with plenty of variety, all created and prepared under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Bob Brodeur, who uses only the freshest food and even makes his own fresh mozzarella.

For lunch, you can choose lite bites like mozzarella sticks, calamari or oysters; a nice selection of salads like chicken and fruit salad; some pasta dishes; and, of course, fresh lobster and lobster dishes. Lobstahs also offers sandwiches including the catch of the day fish, crab cake and portabella mushroom, as well as fish and chips and, naturally, Maine Lobstah Roll.

The dinner menu has everything from the signature lobster in the size of your choice, steamed or broiled, to hand cut beef dishes with a little bit of Italy thrown in. The Lazy Garlic Lobstah Casserole and Lobstah Pot Pie are two of the outstanding lobster dishes, but there also is Groupah In A Bag, stuffed flounder, linguini and clams, filet of sole and more. Lobstahs has recently introduced smaller plates for both lunch and dinner called “Dinghy” portions for diners who would like to try a couple of different dishes or have a smaller appetite. Cannoli, tiramisu and other desserts are also available, and if you never ate a whole lobster you’ll find step by step instructions on the back of the menu.

Lobstahs has a full bar with an extensive wine list and six beers on tap in addition to Signatcha Cocktails including bloody Mary with a Gulf shrimp garnish, mint julep and pina colada. Happy hour is every day from 3 to 6 p.m.

Lobstahs has three dining areas – their fine dining indoor room with tropical décor and fabulous wrap around bar, an outside deck and the indoor Tiki Room and bar, which feels like you’re outdoors and where local bands play on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also try your luck at winning a live lobster for $2.

Lobstahs does take out for small and large gatherings and is happy to host parties for all occasions, and with its own parking lot, parking is never an issue.

If you’re wondering about some of Lobstahs creative spelling, Levey will tell you if you visit his home town in Long Island, N. Y., you’ll understand. He’ll also tell you that the best thing about owning a restaurant is that all his friends and neighbors eventually drop in, so he gets to see them all.

The next time you’re craving something from the sea, give Lobstahs a try. Just like Annie Hall, everyone at Lobstahs speaks shellfish, and they have the tank to prove it.


5337 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach

All major credit cards accepted
Open every day
Noon to 10 p.m.

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The 5 percent rule revisited

Investment Corner

OK. I'm taking some liberty with the rounding when I refer to the 5 percent rule. The father of the rule, California financial advisor William Bengen, began looking at the topic of safe withdrawal rates from diversified investment portfolios about 20 years ago. His early work revealed that for most retirees, the safe withdrawal rate, which references the portion of the beginning of year principal value they could withdraw and have their portfolio last for about 30 years or more, was 4.5 percent. The 4.5 percent rate also was calculated to increase each year for the prevailing inflation rate. After all, the ravages of inflation affect retirees as much or more than those still working.

I anticipate this being a two or three part article over the next few weeks here in The Sun as I attempt to share some updated thoughts from Bengen from a recent update to his study prompted by the relatively poor performance period we have been through for equities and other asset classes in the last 12 years. A primary source for this information is an article in Financial Advisor Magazine in May.

For background, Bengen analyzed 38 rolling 30 year periods in his original study in 1993 and 19 more in the recent update. The purpose of the study was to find the maximum safe withdrawal rate that a retiree could take from his/her portfolio and not run out of money for about 30 years. The use of the 30-year period means that the vast majority will not outlive their money if they retire in their 60s.

The portfolio examined was about half equities and half intermediate-term government bonds, a typical retirement allocation used for many years. Today, individual investors can include other asset classes, which may enhance performance and reduce risk. Access to these is now easier than ever through specialty funds and exchange traded funds.

Bengen found that the big loser in the entire period analyzed was the person who retired in 1969. The Dow peaked that year at a then record high and did not surpass that high again until the early 1980s. Obviously, the return achieved by the stock component in a portfolio is important to the overall rate rate of return generated on the traditional portfolio where somewhere between 40 to 60 percent of the portfolio is invested in this asset class.

The flat performance of equities during the first 14 years or so this retiree's golden days turned out to be the worst 30-year period since the one beginning in 1926, and which coincided with the Great Depression.

Sounds strange, but there are other important factors to consider when calculating safe withdrawal rates. We'll be exploring these other factors in the subsequent articles in this short series. Can you guess what they might be?

Ironically, the portfolio used in the study, while fluctuating in value dramatically in the 1970s, managed to get to 1989 with the value about the same as the beginning value at retirement in 1969. What would cause this portfolio to fail after only 28 years after holding it's own for the first 20? You have to read more in the Sun's June 20 edition.

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. Visit


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