Ed Chiles was born in Lakeland, Florida, to the late Governor Lawton and Rhea Chiles. A passion for all things Floridian was instilled in him early on. An avid outdoorsman, his favorite childhood memories are roaming the Northern Florida woods with his father hunting game. The family always had a passion for cooking, especially when it came to local game, seafood and favorite southern fixings. After graduating UF, he and his father did what any political science major would do and decided to open a restaurant. To gain experience Chiles temporarily relocated to Miami to work at the venerable Miami establishment Joe’s Stone Crab.
Chiles has owned three waterfront restaurants on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, Florida since 1979 which is when the historic flagship, The Sandbar, was opened followed by the Mar Vista in 1990 and The Beach House in 1993. The finest locally sourced Florida fare and products from around the country and world have always been a feature on Chiles’ restaurant menus, but in recent years he has become a pioneer in the sustainable tourism industry.
Chiles’ restaurants have been striving towards sustainability in more ways than featuring sustainable food sources. Composting is an effort that works directly in conjunction with Chiles’ two organic farms: Gamble Creek Farm of Parrish, Florida and 3 Boys Farm of Ruskin, Florida. Fresh produce from the farms are featured on the restaurant’s menus. Composted material from the restaurant kitchens as well as from the Anna Maria Fish Company are returned to the farms to make fertilizer. As well, oyster shells are collected and utilized in an ongoing project to restore oyster reefs.
Sandbar Seafood & Spirits
Located on Anna Maria Island’s north end, the iconic Sandbar is known for its authentic Florida beach charm, beautiful setting, and breathtaking sunsets. The Sandbar also has a reputation for offering the freshest gulf to table seafood, farm to fork produce, and pasture to plate fare available. The culinary creativity shines through while highlighting sustainable products. Sandbar guests return time and time again to recapture the memories created by the professional staff, delicious meals, sweeping views, and a front row seat to spectacular sunsets. It remains the place that locals visit and take their out of town guests to impress them with the best the island has to offer. And, for that bucket list moment, don’t miss the Sunday Jazz Brunch 10 am – 1 pm.
100 Spring Avenue
Anna Maria, FL 34216
Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub
Take the less traveled route to Longboat Key’s northern end and discover Mar Vista’s beautiful, completely unique, bayside setting.
Mar Vista is a local treasure rich in history with a casual, laid-back, authentic Florida atmosphere. This charming restaurant is top rated for serving the most locally sourced seafood and heritage items the area has to offer. Mar Vista’s private dock with 14 convenient slips awaits you. Plus, they have a private beach, dining under the trees or on the covered patio, a full bar and a convenient package service with beer and wine. Come to Mar Vista for an original Florida moment.
760 Broadway Street
North Longboat Key, FL 34228
Beach House Waterfront Restaurant
The Beach House is conveniently located on Bradenton Beach just south of the Cortez bridge. It is a one of a kind, waterfront dining experience where casual and fun are combined with a touch of swanky style. Family friendly and sporting the largest gulf front deck on the west coast of Florida, the Beach House offers toes in the sand dining, freshly caught seafood, farm to table produce, and a top-notch staff. Don’t settle for ordinary when you can enjoy fresh seafood, casual fare, and chef inspired features Innovative features like the sunken lounge and all-weather, climate-controlled deck make the Beach House a favorite for locals and visitors alike. The Beach House is known for good food, great friends, an amazing Gulf front view, and the 2•4•1 Happy Hour weekdays – noon until 5.
200 Gulf Drive North
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Photos courtesy of Chiles Restaurants.