The Wharf in Orange Beach has welcomed several new eateries to its roster this month, but none have gotten as much attention as that announcement that Dick’s Last Resort will open June 8.
Dick’s Last Resort first opened in 1985 in Texas and has grown to 11 restaurants in big cities and tourist areas across the country, including Panama City Beach, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. The brand is known for their sarcastic waitstaff that gives customers a hard time. The menu for the Orange Beach location has not yet been posted to its website, but the restaurant typically features an extensive bar menu and food ranging from Macho Nachos and fish and chips to Dick’s Huge 12-inch Weiner.
Orange Beach City Councilman Jerry Johnson and Mayor Tony Kennon both expressed their concerns over the brand during a May 31 council meeting. The establishment’s liquor license was on the agenda, and council voted unanimously to approve it after Johnson and Kennon’s comments.
The city of Orange Beach promotes itself as a family friendly city with traditional values, and officials are very protective of their brand.
Two representatives from Dick’s Last Resort attended the meeting, and Johnson said he spoke with them before it.
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“The main thing you have told me is that you are not going to subject children to adult-oriented stuff. We are going to hold you to that statement,” Johnson said. “I can’t emphasize enough to you that we are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, and it is going to be up to you to bring it over to our side.”
Johnson went on to express his disappointment in the arrival of the establishment and pointed out that the website is adult-oriented and “filth.”
Kennon echoed Johnson’s comments and said that Orange Beach takes the protection of children’s innocence and the Orange Beach brand very seriously.
“Please help us integrate you into the community and make you a part of our community. Please don’t make it a tussle,” Kennon said. “Private business is private business, and we understand that, but there is a line that you can’t cross. We will hold you to that. I want you to know up front what we feel. I don’t want you to think we are doing anything we don’t want the whole community to know. If the community thinks we are wrong, they will let us know.”
Kennon wrapped up his comments with one final statement — or as he called it, a sermon.
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“We are strictly protecting our brand. I don’t know if you all have been here very long, but you have no idea the lengths we go to protect our brand, which is family friendly, conservative values, traditional values. Those values are what made us great, and to compromise them doesn’t make sense. It’s like Pepsi selling Coca-Cola. You just don’t compromise brands. Sermon’s over, but thank you for listening,” Kennon said.
MORE EATS NOW AT THE WHARF, TOO
In addition to Dick’s, The Wharf has filled three other locations with new food and beverage spots for locals and visitors to enjoy.
“We’re always looking at ways to expand and enhance customer experience and think these new businesses are a great addition to our current lineup,” said Jason Labo, general manager of The Wharf. “There are some fun new spots, and we hope our locals and guests enjoy each of their unique offerings.”
One new spot at The Wharf comes to Orange Beach by way of Mobile. The newest franchise of Mo’Bay Beignet Company just had its soft opening and is preparing to welcome powdered-sugar-loving customers. The menu features coffee drinks, traditional beignets sold in orders of three or 12 and signature syrups for dipping like buttercream and cinnamon. There are also seasonal syrups that rotate on the menu.
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Mo’Bay Beignet Orange Beach is in Suite F101. For more information, visit mobaybeignetco.com.
If you’re not a sweet tooth, maybe you’re in the mood for a big New York style slice of pie? Stop by the new Vinny’s Pizzeria located next to The Wharf’s Ferris wheel. And if you are eating with a group, you won’t have to worry about arguing over toppings. Their giant pizza comes by the slice or the whole pie to satisfy the whole group.
Vinny’s Pizzeria is at 4651 Main St., Unit K-1. For more information, visit Vinny’s Pizzeria Facebook or call (866) 743-7669.
Not hungry at all? While The Liquor Cabinet does not carry food, they do carry everything you need to fix a cocktail. The new specialty spirits shop offers the top brands and an assortment of liqueurs and mixers. The shop is owned and operated by chef-and-wife team David and Tillie Pan of The Pantry at The Wharf. Stop by The Pantry for provisions and chef-prepared grab-and-go food after a trip to The Liquor Cabinet for all your vacation needs.
The Liquor Cabinet is in Suite F103, and The Pantry in F106. Visit thepantryatthewharf.com for more information.