By Kelly Baughman
With over 60 years of serving fresh local seafood, The Point Restaurant, located at 14340 Innerarity Point Road, is as steeped in history and tradition as it is good food and good times.
Originally opened as the first grocery store in the Perdido Key area in 1950’s by the Ivy family, the location served as home to the area’s first fire truck and operated as a one stop shop for the sleepy fishing village that called the area home for nearly 20 years before it was sold to David Lively in the 1970’s. Lively turned the grocery shop/firehouse into The Original Point Restaurant, promising the freshest seafood around, having built a rapport with local fishermen who provided him with the treasures of the Gulf daily.
The restaurant remained a staple in the community for years, but that almost came to an end in 2015, when Lively decided it was time for him to shut the doors for good.
Chrissi Waller, who now co-owns the restaurant with her father Clyde Waller, recalled the day she heard the news. “My husband Jason and I used to drive all the way from Robertsdale just to eat at The Point. We happened to come in one night and ran into to David. He told us he was going to shut down and we were both devastated. We were both from Innerarity Point, and this place is a local landmark. We knew we couldn’t let that happen,” she said.
Waller, who was working three restaurant jobs at the time, knew she had what it would take to keep the legendary joint alive, and at the urging of her husband, took the idea of buying the restaurant to her father who quickly jumped on board. “From the time I learned about Lively’s plans to close, to the time it was ours, was only about a month. I never dreamed in a million years that going out to dinner that night would change my life forever,” she said.
Since the Waller’s acquired The Point, a lot has changed like the new spacious outdoor bar, live music now seven nights a week, and special events that occur often, but one thing has remained the same….fresh, local seafood served with a smile to the locals who love this place and call it home.
“We can’t say enough how much we love and appreciate the locals who keep this place alive. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the changes and we are so thankful for the community support. We couldn’t have done this without the amazing staff we have and the people in this community that we consider family,” Waller said.
Serving up unique dishes like Mullet Backbones, Alligator bites, Daddy Clyde Waller’s Famous Grouper Fish Chowder, and fresh Mullet caught locally daily, The Point is one of the most delicious and beloved seafood restaurants on the coast. Maybe seafood isn’t your thing. No need to worry! The Point serves up plenty of scrumptious land fare like an Angus Ribeye, Bone-In Pork Chop, Country Fried Steak, and more.
With Chef Buzz Valadao at the helm, every dish is flavorful, fresh, and filling. Valadao’s daily specials feature his one of a kind sauces, unique fresh catch recipes, and his “to die for” New York Style Fried Cheesecake, fried golden and topped with pecans in an amaretto caramel sauce.
In addition to serving up some of the best local seafood, The Point is one of the area’s premier music venues. With an outdoor space set under a backdrop of towering oaks and twinkling lights, music lovers will enjoy live entertainment in gathering style seating around fire pits and picnic tables while sipping on delicious cocktails from the ample horseshow shaped outside bar.
Outside, you’ll enjoy acts like The Beach Billy’s, Christina Christian, Jonathan Puzan, Sugarcane Jane, and more, as well as events like the Sandy Roots Songwriter’s Series, The Point Art Festival, Perdido Key Mardi Gras Festival, and many more. Inside, you’ll love Bubba and Them, the area’s only Bluegrass band, who have picking their way into local hearts for 20 years.
On Saturday, March 2nd, head over to The Point for ‘Pardi Gras’ from noon to 9 pm. There will be a special Cajun inspired menu courtesy of Chef Valadao, art vendors, live music all day and night, and a Pirate Costume Contest where you can show off your best Scallywag impression for a chance to win gift certificates to The Point.
Be sure to catch the Snowbird menu from 4-7 pm daily, and stop in after a long day for happy hour specials.
For the freshest “gulf to table” seafood on the Key, The Point Restaurant is where it’s at. And thankfully, it’s safe to say that’s where it will be for many years to come.
For more information or for a full list of menu options and live entertainment line ups, visit www.thepointperdido.com or visit The Point Restaurant on Facebook.