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Mar. 26, 2019
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Lakeside’s annual restaurant roundup

By Pamela A. Keene
 
In the interest of increasing customer comfort, Pelican Pete’s at Port Royale, the lake’s only floating restaurant, is raising the bar this season.
 
“Thatched roofing, new tables and chairs will give our guests an improved dining experience,” said Brian Grill, general manager of Pelican Pete’s. “Our customers have told us they want seating to protect them from the elements, and that’s what we’ve done by adding motorized retractable canvas sides to the restaurant. It’s all about enjoying on-the-water dining. We’ve preserved the great views on the lake while keeping customers comfortable with our open-air concept.” 
 
Pelican Pete’s, located just south of Browns Bridge, has clear open views of the bridge and the main channel of Lake Lanier. Situated behind breakwater docks, the floating restaurant offers a full bar. Popular frozen drinks include Pina Coladas and daquiris. There are eight beers on draft and additional bottled beers. “Our beer is served at between 28 and 29 degrees thanks to our special serving system,” Grill said. “We’ve got a really great variety and I can safely say that it’s the coldest beer on the lake.” 
 
Food at Pelican Pete’s is prepared from fresh ingredients. Grill said that food deliveries are made three times each week. “Our burgers are never frozen and we hand-bread our seafood on site,” he said. “And as an example, our hamburger buns are fresh-baked from a true bakery in Atlanta. There’s nothing better than a fresh bun with a freshly made burger.” 
 
The courtesy docks now offers 80 slips for boaters to come to the restaurant by water all season.  
Pelican Pete’s opens for the 2019 season the first full weekend in April, starting Thursday, April 4. It will be open Thursday through Sunday until May 23, when it switches to seven-day operation through Labor Day. It will also be open weekends in the fall.
 
Info: 770 877-5717, ext. 5, www.bestinboating.com.
 
Skogie’s at Gainesville Marina opens March 1 with more and larger courtesy docks dedicated to restaurant patrons, plus music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “Once school is out, we’ll be open five days a week and then starting Memorial Day, we’ll go to seven days a week,” said owner Tony Jonovitch. 
 
Known for its Sunday brunch, which is also offered on holiday Mondays, with several varieties of Benedicts at $14.99, Skogie’s is continuing its unlimited Bellini, Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar for customers who purchase brunch. The Bellini bar is an additional $16.99. 
 
The brunch buffet ranges from traditional breakfast fare to grouper, shrimp, wings and pulled pork. Jonovitch rotates other home-cooked items such as lasagna and scampi.
 
Skogie’s menu features Keto-friendly and gluten-free selections. New items include Dynamite Shrimp and “zoodles,” noodles made from zucchini that are popular with people on Keto diets.
 
Each season, Skogie’s hosts several community events, including Believe with Me, a national event that raises fund for Gold Star military families. In 2018, the restaurant raised more than $20,000 by donating all sales from its brunch during Memorial Day weekend. This year it will take place on Monday, May 27, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
 
Skogie’s opens March 1 for Friday through Sunday operation. Hours expand to five-day-a-week service when school is out. Starting Memorial Day weekend, the restaurant at Gainesville Marina will be open seven days a week. 
 
Info: 678 450-1310, www.skogieslakefrontrestaurant.us.
 
Fish Tales at Hideaway Bay Marina opens March 1 for seven-day-a-week operation, including  music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant, which was opened in 2010 by Dale and Jessica Ozaki, will continue to offer many of the same customer favorite menu items. 
 
“This year we have created an additional waiting area for customers to order drinks and appetizers,” said Alana Quick, marketing director. “And we’ve changed the exterior color of the restaurant and brought in new upscale plates for our dinner items.” 
 
“New menu items include Ahi Tuna Poke Nachos, Pimento Buffalo Chicken Dip and our Frickles Fried Pickles that are a favorite at Pig Tales,” she said. “Steak Chimichurri has been added as a dinner entrée.”
 
Fish Tales will be open seven days a week. Promotions and special events are listed on the eatery’s Facebook page. 
 
Info: 770 967-3775, www.fishtaleslakelanier.com.
 
Pig Tales, Fish Tales’ sister restaurant at  Aqualand Marina, opens March 1 for weekends in March. April 1, it will expand its hours to seven days a week. for the 2019 season. It will offer music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
 
Info: 678 828-7676, www.pigtaleslakelanier.com.
 
Twisted Oar at Holiday Marina is open year-round. With one of the largest craft beer selections on Lake Lanier with 20 on tap and nearly three dozen in bottles, the restaurant offers special promotions most nights.
 
Monday is Trivia night; Tuesday features Tacos and Tequila; Wednesday the restaurant serves half-price pizza. Food specials during the week include crab legs on Thursday, Prime Rib on Friday, Fried Shrimp baskets on Saturday and All You Can Eat spaghetti on Sundays.
 
“This year we’ve added an outside stage for our entertainment Thursday through Sunday,” said owner Cary Eubank. “And we have two bands on Saturday and two bands on Sunday, plus there’s an 85-inch large-screen television outside.” 
 
Eubank said he plans to repeat his Shuckfest from last year in the spring and the fall. “Last year we went through 1,200 dozen oysters,” he said. “It was amazingly successful.” 
 
Info: 678 714-7572, www.facebook.com/twistedoar/.
 
Margaritaville at Lanier Island’s LandShark Landing is open all year long with seven-day-a-week operation. A full schedule of special events will highlight the 2019 boating season. It will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. 
 
“Regular events include Full Moon Parties and our Low County Boils from May to September,” said Nicole van Leeuwen with Margaritaville. “We’ll offer single-artist entertainment inside LandShark Landing on Friday and Saturday in April. From May through Labor Day, Friday will feature a single artist in the restaurant, a band and DJ on Saturday and a DJ on Sunday.”
 
Info: 678 304-3120, www.lanierislands.com/margaritaville.

Posted online 2.28.19
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