Down on the Corner [THE CITIZEN]

APRIL 10th, 2016

Sit back and settle in. Breakfast may take all day at Blue Macaw Island Eats and Bar, where brunch can easily become happy hour as beer and blender drinks replace Bloody Marys sometime before sunset. 

The bright, new Blue Macaw has caught on quickly with locals and visitors at the formerly cast-aside corner of Whitehead and Petronia streets. 

“I think it had been vacant for 10, maybe 12 years,” said Fran Gonzon, the longtime local business owner who opened Blue Macaw with his wife, Nichol, last month and immediately transformed the troubled property. “It was the old Bahama Village Market and Bahama Mama’s restaurant, which didn’t last. And there was a hat shop here where our build-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar now is.” 

Nichol Gonzon, a local artist, painted the entire place, inside and out, expertly combining island colors that draw you in and dare you to look away — cobalt blue, golden yellow, fiery reds and soft turquoise. 

With indoor and outside table and bar seating, a rooftop lounge, intimate stage and live music all day every day, the Blue Macaw may be barely a month old, but already it belongs right where it is. 

The musical lineup features Clint Bullard, Tony Roberts and Nick Norman, who draw their own crowds wherever they play. Daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. includes $3 drinks, wine and domestic beers.  

And then there’s the food. 

“Everything’s fresh,” Gonzon said. “We don’t even have a walk-in freezer. The fish is bought every day. We just really wanted to do a local, island restaurant and I think we’ve succeeded. It was a matter of investing the time in this place and we’ve been so pleased with the response. 

The menu serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and features small plates and entrees such as shrimp pasta, seared tuna, fish tacos and fresh catches, along with steaks, sandwiches and salads.  

Oh, and the self-serve Bloody Mary bar is open all day and night. Because Bloody Marys aren’t just for breakfast at Blue Macaw Island Eats, 804 Whitehead St. 

The possibilities are endless, as an entire wall of hot sauces, seasonings, vegetables, and spices await their turn in the tomato juice and vodka. 

Find the Blue Macaw on Facebook for a musical schedule and menu, or just find a seat at the bar and stay awhile. 

mmiles@keysnews.com