news-journalonline.com Monday, May 26, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014 http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/2014140529657?p=1&tc=pg
Daytona sports pub set to open in former Tailgaters space
Sports pub set to open in June in former Tailgaters space
Jim Brittain, right, and Tom Smith, left, hold a poster for the new Neptune’s Sports Pub that’s set to open in mid-June in the former Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill space at the corner of International Speedway Boulevard and A1A in Daytona Beach. Brittain and Smith are co-owners of the new restaurant, along with Smith’s wife Jody.
By Jeffrey Cassady
jeffrey.cassady @ news-jrnl.com
Published: Monday, May 26, 2014 at 5:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 10:45 p.m.
DAYTONA BEACH — A new restaurant is opening at one of the beachside’s main gateways.
A group of business partners have leased the former Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill spot in the Daytona Inn Beach Resort condo-hotel at the northeast corner of State Road A1A and International Speedway Boulevard.
They plan to open a new restaurant in that space called Neptune’s Sports Pub.
One of the partners, Jim Brittain, also operates the Mango Sun Cafe restaurant in the Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort hotel in Daytona Beach Shores.
The other two partners, Wilbur-by-the-Sea residents Tom and Jody Smith, run a construction company.
They plan to open the restaurant in mid-June.
The new Neptune’s at 219 S. Atlantic Ave. will employ about 30 people and will have about 3,800 square feet of dining space, Brittain said. It will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, and its operators will also run the hotel’s tiki bar.
Brittain said the restaurant’s menu will feature hamburgers, chicken wings, seafood and other sports-bar fare.
Tailgaters, which closed in January, had operated in the Daytona Inn for about six years, said Carol Collett, general manager of the 152-unit hotel. Neptune’s will provide catering services for the hotel’s approximately 3,500-square-foot meeting space, Collett said.
She added she hopes Neptune’s will make the hotel more attractive to groups looking to hold banquets and other gatherings at the Daytona Inn because the restaurant will sell breakfast, which Tailgaters did not offer.
The tiki bar, which will be separate from the restaurant, will be called Capt. Jack’s Drunken Parrot, named in honor of Brittain’s pet parrot, Capt. Jack. Brittain has another parrot named Mango. Brittain said he keeps both parrots at Mango Sun now, but they will make appearances at the Daytona Inn when the restaurant and bar open.
Brittain also co-owned the Mango Sun Cafe & Grill in Ormond Beach from 2009 until he sold his stake in that business in September.
The new Neptune’s restaurant should add life to the intersection of A1A and International Speedway Boulevard, which, for many visitors, serves as the gateway to the beach, said Libby Gallant, general manager of Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort and a board member of the Halifax Area Advertising Authority, which promotes the area to tourists.
“I think right now it’s not the best impression we could be making,” Gallant said of the intersection. “We need open businesses and business owners that care about the look of their (property).”
Gallant added, “Our tourists come here, and if they see the closed buildings and the run-down street corners, are they going to want to come back? I don’t think so.”
The hotel-restaurant business is a tough one, said Evelyn Fine, president of Mid-Florida Marketing & Research Inc., a Daytona Beach firm that conducts market research for the tourism ad authority.
Guests often eat breakfast at their hotels, Fine said. In fact, many travelers actually gravitate toward hotels that offer breakfast, especially if it’s included with the room.
On the other hand, they tend to get lunch and dinner at standalone restaurants, she said.
“(Tourists) care whether the hotel offers breakfast, but they’re not fussy about who it is or what is offered,” Fine said.
A grand opening event for Neptune’s is planned for early July, Brittain said.