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Just Up the Creek
There’s just something magical about eating in a tin-roofed, cozy wooden building draped in spanish moss that hangs from the towering oaks surrounding it — classic southern dining at its best! One place in particular that has been doing it right since 1991. Creekside Dinery, set slightly hidden from the beaten paths of US1 and State Road 312, is a cozy establishment with a simple living feel to it. With a large outdoor deck overlooking the marshes of the San Sebastian River, Creekside is immersed in the nostalgia of Old Florida. The property displays a charm that makes patrons completely forget the hustle and bustle only yards away. Place a cocktail in your hand and a plate of Southern Comfort Shrimp and Grits in front of you and you may never want to leave.
While the setting is undoubtedly picturesque, it is only one of Creekside’s many cherished aspects. With the freshest seafood and local ingredients, the restaurant has grown over the years to become one of St. Augustine’s most popular eateries.
“We’ve been doing farm to table since before it became popular.”
We have a history of using fresh fish and local ingredients,” says Scott Singleton, who has been an ownership partner since the establishment first opened its doors. Singleton and his partners bought the St. Augustine Beach landmark Saltwater Cowboy’s in 1978 and have built a reputation of operating some of the Ancient City’s most successful restaurants.
“When we purchased what is now Creekside Dinery, it was a little place called Keepers that had only been opened a short time and wasn’t doing well,” says Scott. “We came in and invested into the property. Over time we closed in the marsh and made several additions including the outside deck and bar.” Judy Adams-Smith, who is also one of the original owners recalls, “We fell in love with the location. We moved in here before all of the chain restaurants opened.”
It’s Creekside’s mission to go above and beyond the run-of-the-mill variety seafood that classic Southern cooking is known for. Serving hot commodities such as the ever-popular rock shrimp, East Coast White Shrimp, fresh oysters, and palette pleasing stone crabs, this place is always looking to step up its game. The staff at Creekside Dinery are experts in the area of Plank Cooking, offering mouth-watering favorites such as chicken, fish, and steak cooked on well-seasoned 1” thick oak planks. And since every true seafood lover has to add some succulent lobster to their diet, Creekside also serves both the Maine and Florida varieties. “We deal with reputable suppliers all over the state,” says Singleton. “If we can’t find the freshest seafood possible here in St. Augustine, we call our suppliers in other areas that we’ve worked with for years so that we can serve our customers the highest quality available.”
Anyone will tell you that there’s no better compliment to fresh, delectable cuisine and a beautiful, serene setting than local live music. Sitting on outside deck with a signature meal, a frosty beverage, the refreshing marsh breeze, and some top shelf musical talent is sure to soothe your worries away. Bands play Wednesday thru Sunday in summer and spring and Thursday thru Sunday in fall and winter. “We have some really great local talent playing here,” says Adams-Smith. “In addition to our regular music schedule, one Monday each month we have a jam session where different musicians will show up and freestyle jam together on the outdoor deck. Musicians that show up are from all different genres, rock, folk, bluegrass…We are extremely lucky to have this kind of talent here .”
Creekside is also the perfect venue for private parties and special events. “We have done everything from weddings and receptions to fundraisers. We have different rooms to accommodate different sized events.” adds Adams-Smith.
With a passion for being good neighbors, Creekside Dinery also brings their ‘A game’ when it comes to serving their community. They have hosted events for the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association, of which they are members and are regular participants in the Taste of St. Augustine of which proceeds go to Epic Behavioral Healthcare. They also participate in The Great Chowder Debate, benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Johns County and sponsor the All American Air-Table Tennis Classic — the popular annual fundraiser hosted by the All American Air Foundation.
Great location, handcrafted beverages, the freshest, most creative seafood around, and a love for the community they are a part of — that is what Creekside Dinery is all about. For more information visit creeksidedinery.com or call (904) 829- 6133 today.