Have you happened to notice the increasingly prolific Salt Life stickers on the back of cars and SUVs? If not, we're wondering where the heck you have been. They're everywhere.
Now the ubiquitous Salt Life brand has taken on a new life in the form of a small chain of restaurants. The second location--the first is in Jacksonville--opened about nine months ago in Coral Springs. And more are slated to come.
Bill Leahy and Greg Saig, two former Outback guys, approached the founders of the Salt Life brand about the concept for Salt Life Food Shack. They pay a fee and sell the attire in-store, but aside from that the founders of the brand are not involved in the day to day operations of the restaurant.
The restaurants draw from the brand's beachy, surfer vibe with cool blues and turquoise colors, oceanic inspired prints, and surf and fishing themed decor. The spot has an old Florida beach-cottage feel with reclaimed wood floors and wire brushed oak for the bar. There is even a life-sized sailfish displayed behind the bar. Each restaurant is intended to bring local components to the design of the spot. While all of the existing and planned sites are in Florida, if the restaurant moves out state, Leahy says they plan to include local components. According to him, "If you reflect the indigenous species in the water, people will respond."
The food is a combination of coastal fare from around the world with a large emphasis on tropical components, specifically Costa Rica. Leahy and his partner have sourced recipes from restaurants they have visited on trips. Caliche's Poke Bowl is an example. In exchange for his name on the menu Caliche, a restaurant owner in Jaco Beach in Costa Rica, gave Leahy his poke marinade recipe.