Bunny & Pirates adds to their bounty

Bunny & Pirates adds to their bounty
Virginia Sportelli, Staci Wilkinson and Shannon Breanne were among the first locals to enjoy a cup of coffee when Skullywags Coffee Bar had its soft opening in late 2019. - Submitted | Staci Wilkinson

CORTEZ – The expanded business operations at Bunny & Pirates Bazaar now include the Skullywags Coffee Bar and Marketplace.

The coffee bar and marketplace recently joined the live music, beer and wine service, and gift and souvenir sales that have been the staples of the eclectic business that life partners and business partners Elizabeth Shore and Jeffrey O’Connell operate at 12404 Cortez Rd. W. in Cortez.

On Jan. 31, Bunny & Pirates Bazaar celebrated the grand opening of the coffee bar and marketplace named after a beloved family member.

“We lost my brother-in-law, Tim ‘Skully’ Quinlan, a couple years ago and this is our way of honoring him,” Shore said.

“Our coffee beans are 100% Arabica from Brazil freshly roasted to order in Ybor City and then delivered to my doorstep. There’s no warehousing, so it’s always fresh, smooth and delicious,” Shore said.

“We soft-opened the coffee bar a while back and we were working out how that would work with the pub. I’m doing keto breakfasts, we have ‘grab and go’ breakfast sandwiches, yogurt, parfaits and fresh bagels, muffins and croissants, depending on what’s available that day,” Shore said.

The marketplace was originally part of the business Shore and O’Connell opened in 2018, but Mother Nature had other plans.

“When the pub was a month and a half old, I was just starting to build up the convenience store and it was doing well. But when the red tide hit, business was dead. The capital I planned to use for growing the business was used instead to pay the lease and the electric bills,” Shore explained.

“The marketplace has Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, vegetables, crackers and snacks, salads and more. We also have eggs, milk, juice, flour, rice, cans of tuna, toilet paper and things like that. It’s just the basics, but the basics done right. It’s a great convenience for the neighborhood and we have great daytime offerings for people headed to and from the Island and the beaches,” Shore said.

And that’s not all…

“About two months ago, we started doing a one-item menu in the evenings called ‘What’s for Dinner?”. It’s like coming to our house for dinner and it’s really starting to get some momentum. We’ll serve one item and an appetizer with it. We’ve done a Hawaiian beef burrito with pineapple coleslaw, a BLT with tomato soup and we’ve done chicken tacos. Now we have people calling and saying ‘what’s for dinner tonight’?” Shore said.

Bunny & Pirates features live music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and an open mic night with Erin McCarthy on Mondays.

Skullywags opens daily at 8 a.m. and Bunny & Pirates remains open until 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 11 or 11:30 on weekends.

“If we have a crowd, we’ll stay later,” Shore said, noting the entire business is closed on Sundays.

And there’s the gift store.

“Our gift store has some of your traditional souvenirs, but there’s also the one-of-a-kind

finds because that’s where the pirating comes in. We’re always looking for something unique. It’s a great place to find last-minute gifts or something special you want for your house. And we’re really starting to build up the stuff we get from our local artists,” Shore said.

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