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Bud & Alley's Waterfront Restaurant & Bar celebrates 35 years in Seaside

Zandra Wolfgram

Posted on Mar 15, 2021 in Bud & Alley's , Dave Rauschkolb

Seaside’s beloved landmark restaurant Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant —spontaneously named for Seaside founder Robert Davis’ dachshund, Bud, and restaurant owner Scott Witcoski’s scrappy cat, Alley — is heading into 2021 deliciously renewed.

“With care and consideration for the past and to honor the original building, Bud & Alley’s remains largely the same, save some minor interior restoration. Thankfully, architect Dhiru Thadani was up to the delicate challenge of marrying the old and the new,” founder/owner Dave Rauschkolb says.

The resulting design is a perfect match.

A new entrance plaza flanks Bud & Alley’s to the east and west with a tree-lined walkway to the north. With 850 additional square feet, the rooftop deck offers a breathtaking Gulf view, and a panoramic view of Seaside’s Central Square.

A full-service bar fronts 30A, a three-story tower entrance to the rooftop deck bar is now equipped with an elevator, and 10 restrooms have been added. A gleaming hand-crafted wood bar rail leads guests from the back deck area to the beach via a beach boardwalk.

A new entrance plaza flanks Bud & Alley’s to the east and west with a tree-lined walkway to the north. With 850 additional square feet, the rooftop deck offers a breathtaking Gulf view, and a panoramic view of Seaside’s Central Square.

A full-service bar fronts 30A, a three-story tower entrance to the rooftop deck bar is now equipped with an elevator, and 10 restrooms have been added. A gleaming hand-crafted wood bar rail leads guests from the back deck area to the beach via a beach boardwalk.

Though much has changed this year for the restaurant that pioneered the farm- and sea-to-table movement in Seaside, the seafood-centric menu curated by the capable hands of executive chef David Bishop remains largely the same.

“Our fresh, locally sourced menu favorites, including our famous Crab Cakes, head-on Barbecue Shrimp, and Sweet Potato Fries are all still on the menu,” Bishop assures.

Over the years, Walton County's longest-running restaurant has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including Florida Trend Magazine's Golden Spoon Hall of Fame Award and Emerald Coast Magazine's Best Place to See the Sunset.

Bud & Alley’s Restaurant Group also includes The Taco Bar and Pizza Bar + Trattoria. Just in time for this spring’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, The Taco Bar is being reimagined and expanded to include a large new bar on 30A.

Thirty-five years ago, when he was 24, Dave Rauschkolb was much more interested in catching waves than serving up seafood. But when Seaside town founder Robert Davis invited him and his then partner, Scott Witcoski, to manage a restaurant in Seaside he dove right in. Rauschkolb is still in awe of an unexpected detour that led him to become a successful restauranteur.

"You often don't realize things as they are happening," he reflects. "This renovation takes Bud & Alley's to a greater level. To still be here and usher it into the next age for the next generation is a true honor, and I'm as excited now as I've ever been."