Florida Keys Business
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Tarpon Creek offers comfort food and a 'mini-marina'

Stephen Schroeder, general manager of the Tarpon Creek Bar and Grill, said he is proud of recent changes to the property behind the Holiday Inn at Mile Marker 53.5 in Marathon.

"It's what I like to call 'southern comfort food'," Schroeder said of the menu. The restaurant boasts a hardwood fire grill used exclusively to make their signature pizzas, which cook somewhere between 500 and 700 degrees, and are ready to serve in 10 minutes. "There's nothing like it," he told The Citizen.

Locally caught, fresh fish and hearty steaks are cooked to order on a separate charcoal grill, which burns mesquite and oak for the flavors those woods impart to menu items. Guests will find lobster pot pie and southern fried yellowtail as daily offerings, as well as gazpacho and shellfish Rockefeller.

Schroeder manages the restaurant as well as the property's marina, which holds six charter boats, kayaks for rent and a scuba/snorkel tour boat that also offers sunset cruises. "It's a mini resort," he said.

Inside the marina store, guests will find a complete coffee bar with espressos and cappuccinos, as well as homemade cookies. Everything one might need for a day on the water is for sale in the marina's well-appointed and welcoming store.

"We are local-centric," Schroeder said. "It's an upscale environment that caters to locals." All but one of the 42 employees he supervisors live in the Keys. "We haven't really advertised yet, because we want the locals to find us first. And we want to get to know them," he said.

Schroeder's most recent experience has been with larger properties. He came to Marathon in January 2013 from Lake Tahoe, where he worked at Harrah's Casino Resort for four years.

The Tarpon Creek Bar and Grill, which accommodates approximately 200 guests in a light and airy tiki hut, is open for lunch and dinner, with a daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m. The menu can be viewed at www.tarpon-creek.com/tcbg.

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