Clear Sky Beachside Café Serving Excellent Fare on the Beach
Photo/text by Renee Burrell
Dan Shouvlin manager and co-owner of the Clear Sky Beachside Cafe
CLEARWATER BEACH - A great new café is now located where The Waterfront restaurant used to be at 490 Mandalay. Dan Shouvlin, manager and co-owner of Clear Sky Beachside Café, helped create the café's relaxed and hip concept. "The name 'Clear Sky' was meant to evoke a beach theme and a sense of no pressure; as in 'clear skies, fair sailing'," says Shouvlin.
Like The Waterfront restaurant before it, Clear Sky Beachside Café serves breakfast, but with an upscale twist. "We decided to keep breakfast, but dress up the menu with some unique breakfast items including, five versions of eggs benedict, java and almond french toast, and breakfast burritos, to name just a few of our signature dishes. By the way, you can get great Mimosas and Bloody Marys with your breakfast. We have a full liquor license."
Breakfast is served seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekdays and longer on weekends and holidays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In addition to breakfast, the Cafe serves lunch and dinner. Shouvlin explains, "The lunch/dinner menu was designed to fit a niche that we felt wasn't being catered to on the beach. We have done extensive traveling and have taken ideas from restaurants in different regions of the country that we felt we should be available in Clearwater … 'Tapas' style appetizer menus are popular in most cities, and brick oven gourmet pizzas, flat breads, and brochettas are all the rage right now. We also have signature Panini, burgers, and other sandwiches like the 'Thanksgiving Sandwich' that is made with turkey fresh roasted almost daily. Our salads have an Asian and Caribbean flair. Our entrees run the gamut of fresh seafood done "en papillote" to traditional steak, chicken, and pasta entrees."
The restaurant has a full bar and boasts an impressive wine list. One of the best happy hours on the beach can be had there daily from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. An extra added bonus is that the café provides live musical entertainment four evenings a week with steel drums, acoustic guitars, or light jazz.
Shouvlin is originally from Springfield, Ohio and has had interests in the restaurant business for over 30 years. He said, "I used to manage and/or have some ownership of four restaurants in Pinellas County over the course of 14 years, but moved to Ohio after getting a great opportunity. I regularly visited the Clearwater area during the time I was gone. One of the people I saw on my visits was Michael Preston, a well known restaurateur in the Clearwater area. Over time we discussed opening a restaurant together. Last September Mr. Preston was approached by the owners of "The Waterfront" restaurant. They wanted to retire and asked him if he was interested in buying their restaurant. Mr. Preston called and asked if I would like to come back to Florida. There was obviously lots of potential in the location with the patio seats having a view of the water; and the location having its own FREE PARKING! After a little discussion, we decided to take the challenge of re-modeling. I was aware of the transition going on with regards to Clearwater Beach. North Clearwater Beach was finally close to being finished with the magnificent Sandpearl Resort being the icing on the cake. The city (and JMC) had done a great job landscaping the re-opened beach access that separates The Sandpearl from the Cafe. "
The timing is right and the Clear Sky Beachside Café is thriving.
When you go, phoning 727-442-3684 for reservations is recommended. Parking is free and plentiful with additional free street parking after 6 p.m.
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