The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 23 - March 20, 2013


Lobstahs: fine dining, funky fun

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Louise bolger | sun
Owner John Rocco and Chef Fabiola are r
eady to serve you at Paparazzi's.

People are complicated. Sometimes we want to kick back in our T-shirts and flip flops and grab a beer and burger, and sometimes we want to put on the Tommy Bahama silk shirt and order a martini. Either way, there’s a restaurant in Holmes Beach where you can be as complicated as you like.

Lobstahs in Holmes Beach has been opened for a year and during that year, owner Jeff Levey has spent a lot of time listening to his customers. What Levey’s patrons were telling him is that they wanted another fine dining choice on the Island as well as a very casual fun place. It didn’t take Levey long to bring Lobstahs to a whole new level of dining by revamping the restaurant’s menu, creating two distinctly different eating establishments.

If you want the casual, bring- the-kids-and-grandkids kind of a place, try Lobstahs’ Tiki Hut menu where lunch starts at $7. In the Tiki Hut you can order appetizers, jumbo hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches, fish and chips and of course lobster rolls. Dinner is served till 10 p.m., but there are early bird specials and happy hour cocktails starting at 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights the Tiki Hut is jumping with entertainment and dancing.

The Island fine dining room menu is defined as gourmet with a full selection of lobster dishes and appetizers like lobster escargot and seared tuna. Entrees include easy lobster, veal Oscar, grouper in a bag, ravioli with truffles and a large selection of Italian specialty dishes. Cold water lobsters are shipped in from Maine and stay fresh in the only lobster tank on the Island.

There are nightly specials, and on Friday and Saturday nights, prime rib is on the menu. And don’t worry, if you decide you would rather eat in the Tiki Hut. Daily specials and prime rib dinners are also available there. Lobstahs has two full bars, one in the main dining room and one in the Tiki Hut, both with an extensive wine list, beer on tap and speciality cocktails, and for $2 you can try to win a live lobster. Lobstahs is able to seat large parties and frequently hosts rehearsal dinners, birthdays and after wedding parties.

Jeff Levey says he has taken his first year in business to grow and establish the professional team he now has in place. The addition of Chef Patrick at the end of last year has finally given him the flexibility to split the restaurant’s menu, enabling him to offer both fine dining and casual dining under one roof.

Make a night of it at Lobstahs by having a gourmet meal in the fine dining room and then walking over to the Tiki Hut for after dinner drinks and dancing. And don’t forget to say hello to Jeff Levey and his wife Bert who are frequently guests in their own restaurant.

Just because we humans are complicated doesn’t mean our dining choices have to be. Lobstahs can accommodate whatever mood you’re in and whichever shirt you want to wear. The choice is easy and it’s all under one roof.


5337 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach

All major credit cards accepted

Open dvery day
Tiki Hut - noon to 10 p.m.
Island fine dining room
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The facts are the facts

Investment Corner

Recent interactions I've had with acquaintances, prospective clients and friends continue to show me that many are living in the past and may be stuck there until it ends up being too late, setting them up to make mistakes in their investment plan. It can be tough to separate the times when the financial markets are doing well from how our emotions tell us they should be doing.

I commonly hear arguments about how the economy won't be able to grow while President Obama is in office or questions about how the stock market can be going up when we are still in recession. The boom times aren't exactly back, but the facts are the facts. The recession caused by the financial crisis of 2008-2009 ended in the summer of 2009, and has been over for more than for 3 1/2 years.

I'm hardly the president's biggest fan, but the economy has grown in just about every quarter he's been in office, with the exception of the first one or two where, obviously, he was dealing with inherited problems. I would also not give the president very high marks for helping the economy recover. The recovery we've seen would have happened on its own, but at least he hasn't done anything to derail the recovery effort.

Since 2009, the economy has grown at an average annual rate in the range of 2 to 3 percent and inflation has remained moderate. In the '90s, we used to call these conditions a Goldilocks economy. So, despite the challenges we face, I don't think the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth is called for.

At some time in the future, we will experience economic weaknesses and as that time apporaches, I have no doubt we will see stock prices decline, perhaps substantially. But, rather than let our emotions or worries drive our decision process, perhaps relying on a process or factual data may help us overcome the frailties many humans exhibit when making investment decision.

One of these I've written about before is the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). This quantitative measurement of factual conditions has traditionally been a harbinger of improving or weakening economic conditions, and major stock prices trends are usually tied to the direction of the economy and corporate profits, which, of course, greatly influence stock prices over periods of months and years.

The old rule for the LEI is that recessions do not normally occur without a year-over-year decline in the index. At latest check, we have seen a flattening in the LEI over the last year, but a bit of renewed strength in the last couple months. This bears watching, but there has not been a pronounced decline that is raising red flags at the moment. Recent improvement in the labor market and the residential real estate sector are also signs that the lull in economic growth over the last year may be behind us, and hopefully, growth will start to accelerate upward again. Time will tell.

We know that ups and downs in investment trends will occur frequently in our future, as they have in the past. That's not the point. The takeaway is to accept the facts when making investment decisions and not tie ourselves into our subjective opinions which are greatly influenced by past, experience and may retard the timing of our decision making process. Good luck and good 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. Visit


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