Great Eats On The Water


For a waterfront restaurant to be successful it must have a good vibe with food and drinks that keep customers coming back.

The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar in Bradenton, Fla., and
Cabana Blue Lakefront Sports Bar and Grill in Clay Township, Mich., fit the bill.
Both restaurants offer spectacular views and a casual sports bar vibe.

Each restaurant has plentiful dock space, so get the center console out and give the restaurants a taste.

Folder1image004 scaledwBridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar 

The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar in Bradenton, Fla., is a beloved local sports bar where residents and tourists gather to watch Green Bay Packers games. When fans aren’t watching The Pack, they are enjoying live music and the Southwest Florida hospitality.

With its rustic wooden exterior and relaxed vibe, the waterfront restaurant on Anna Maria Island has been a fixture in the community for 35 years. One of the best ways to get there is by boat. The restaurant has two docks, but getting a spot on the weekend can be challengingBtifoodcwjpg

If you’re lucky enough to get a slip or raft off, visitors are greeted by a colorful restaurant and bar that has 18 televisions showing college and professional sports. In addition, the Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar offers live music seven days a week. The bar even offers daytime bingo, trivia and poker events.  

When it comes to food and drink, it’s standard waterfront fare. The locals rave about the shrimpcargot appetizer, which features large shrimp baked on a bed of creamed spinach and artichokes served on bread. For meals, Jo’s short ribs and the roasted duck come highly recommended. It’s worth finishing it off with Key Lime pie, a Florida tradition.

After having a drink or meal at the Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar, the historic Bridge Street on Anna Maria Island is nearby. Enjoy the white-sand beaches and water views from the bridge.

Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar, 135 Bridge St Marker 49, Bradenton Beach, FL www.bridgetenderinn.rocksTikibarw

Cabana Blue Lakefront Sports Bar and GrillPatio smallw

Entrepreneur Joe Henninger transformed an island in Clay Township, Mich., that had abandoned commercial equipment and was overgrown with invasive plants to create the Cabana Blue Lakefront Sports Bar & Grill.

Opened in October 2021, the restaurant has stunning views of Lake St. Clair. During the spring and summer, Cabana Blue rolls up its eleven 10-foot garage doors to let in lake breezes

Located about 40 miles from Detroit, the restaurant is accessible by car and boat. Cabana Blue has 160 poles for people to dock, so even finding a spot on a busy holiday weekend shouldn’t be a problem. 

The restaurant features 2,000 square feet of covered patio for outdoor dining and has a beach for guests to get into the water when the temperatures warm up.Cabanaw

Food smallwThe menu features high-end bar food and some of the favorite appetizers, according to Yelp, are the truffle fries and the hush puppies. When it comes to meals, Cabana Blue offers a wide selection of burgers, sandwiches and flatbread pizza. The restaurant’s signature dinners include a ribeye, mile-high meatloaf and fried walleye. Libations include margaritas, mixed drinks and martinis.

Whether bar hoping or checking out the sunset, Cabana Blue is worth a visit. 


Cabana Blue Lakefront Sports Bar & Grill, 7317 Dyke Road, Clay Township, MI