A well-known Destin restaurant building is getting a new name and fresh features.
Fish Bar, which closed in January, is undergoing construction to be opened as a new dining location that will be centered on a casual atmosphere.
“Although we're going for a much different, more casual concept, I hope to bring the same Southern hospitality and fresh seafood that has been missing on this harbor for quite a while,” said Miller Phillips, who is the owner of the new restaurant. His father owns the land and building, and Phillips will be leasing the building from him to open his restaurant.
The restaurant’s new name will be Boshamp’s, and is expected to open at 414 Harbor Blvd. in Destin in early spring 2013.
The building for Boshamp’s used to be the Flamingo Cafe, which was owned and operated by Phillips’ father and mother, Allen and DeeDee Phillips for over 20 years.
Flamingo Cafe was a very upscale, fine-dining restaurant.
“I've dreamed of running this restaurant for as long as I can remember. After five homesick years in Birmingham, the old Flamingo is vacant again and now I really feel like I'm ready and prepared to pursue my dream,” Phillips said in an e-mail to The Log.
Phillps’ sister, Ashley, came up with the name Boshamp’s. It's a combination of Phillips’ three Labradors’ names and his initials: Bobo, Otis, Shug, and AMP.
“It’s so difficult to come up with an oyster bar name that's not already taken, and Boshamp's easily met that criteria, plus it’s a catchy name and it's impossible not to love my dogs,” said Phillips.
The restaurant’s specialty will be its oysters. It will also serve old Flamingo Cafe specials and “every type of local seafood prepared in every way imaginable.”
“We'll have fresh Apalachicola oysters year round, prepared any way you'd like — fried, steamed, baked, or raw with any and all toppings you can come up with,” he said. “We'll also have fresh-steamed blue crabs, fresh fish and shrimp, and basically whatever is in season.”
Phillips summed up Boshamp’s overall appeal as “sort of an ‘organic seafood’ restaurant — caught here, cooked here, the way it should be.”
His goal is to provide great seafood in a comfortable atmosphere to both Destin locals and tourists.
“Obviously, I want to cater to the tourists as well, but want to take care of the people I grew up with and plan on growing old with,” said Phillips. “My restaurant will be the place you ate at on your lunch break and the same place you're going to bring your out-of-town guests and family to every time they come visit.”
As for the construction work that’s being done on site, Phillips said that they are completely re-arranging the interior of the building, structurally and aesthetically.
“We're losing the formal feel and adding the comfortable, old school Destin feel that everybody around here lives and loves every day. We're also adding over 5,000 square feet of deck space behind the restaurant. Approximately 2,000 square feet of which will be covered and at the actual restaurant level,” Phillips said.
He added that the rest of the deck will be below the covered deck, along with a beach area for guests to hang out in and travel to the restaurant via boat.
“We're hoping that the new boardwalk makes its way down to us soon and we're planning accordingly as well.”
Phillips said that he is excited about moving back home and pursuing his dream of opening the restaurant back up.
“People don't want to have to get dressed up and pretty just to eat good, fresh seafood, and I plan on providing exactly that, but with the best view on the entire harbor,” he said.