Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille St Pete Pier
Doc Ford is tropical adventurer who has spent a lot of time in the same far flung countries that I wrote about when I was monthly columnist for places such as Cuba, Cambodia, South Africa, Australia, Vietnam, Borneo, and all over South and Central America. It was while traveling for Outside and other magazines I came to know and love the superb cuisine of the rural tropics.
I loved the sauces, the spices, and the passion that went into the food preparation. We hope that spirit is part of Doc Ford’s Sanibel Rum Bar and Grille, too. But the real hearts, heads and souls behind this establishment, though, aren’t fictional. They are real people; people savvy enough to envision a whole new concept in bars. A Rum Bar!
They are people creative enough to embrace an entirely different kind of sports bar concept. “You’re gonna have gourmet finger foods? Sports bars don’t serve great food,” we were told. Well, ours do.
- Surfaces sanitized between seatings
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
- Limited number of seated diners
- Distancing maintained in common areas
- Extra space between tables
- Waitstaff wear masks
- Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Food was fair. Environment was good. Best to go for a drink during daylight. Find somewhere else for dinner. Doubt seriously Randy Wade White had a steel and glass building in mind to conveyDinkins Bay character.
Great food great service
Delicious food and exceptional service. We chose to eat outside, but the crane operating, while entertaining, was noisy. However, I have highly recommended Doc Ford's to several friends.
Our server was phenomenal. Her warmth and friendly demeanor was genuine and I truly appreciated it.
Just a beautiful location, the ambiance is great. The food was excellent and very reasonably priced. We highly recommend Doc Ford’s.
Doc’s is a fab location, on the newly renovated St Petersburg pier. The bar menu is 4x the length of the food menu - with a focus in rum, which our waiter proudly informed us is a “heavy pour”. The ambience? Inside is dark - even non a sunny afternoon - and LOUD.” Outside offers seating on the pier’s sandy surface, but you may have to ASK for an umbrella if you don’t want to be in besting sun. (Their also building 50+ dick slips, so besides the piped music - there is plenty of pike- driving noise to “keep you entertained.” The food was tasty and plentiful. The staff attentive, professional and know how to work a crowd. It IS difficult to get a reservation, so the press releases must be compelling. (The experience less so). Oh, by the way - Doc Ford is a character in the series written by Randy Wayne White - successful local author & businessman - and is the name sake of both this St Pete , Captiva Fl & two other locations.
Food was great and our waiter Terence was extremely informative. A good experience overall
Top notch location for this restaurant. Initial contact with reception was wonderful. We were taken to our table reservation 30 minutes ahead of time (we got there way to early by mistake), THANK YOU, and when the TWO of us were being led to our table the hostess/we passed many 2 person table opportunities only to be seated at I can and will describe as the Absolute Best Table in the entire restaurant ! You could have actually used the table they gave us for a party of 6 instead of just us two (the restaurant was completely full). We were seated right next to a panoramic window view of the lengthy St Pete Pier and the beautiful waters of Tampa Bay ! The view was intoxicating ! The entire dining experience went absolutely wonderful and our waiter was top notch. Thank you Open Table for securing this reservation for us and if you had anything to do with our seating placement (I requested nice seating because of our anniversary when I placed the reservation) a million times over, Thank You, that was the cherry on top of my wife and my Anniversary Weekend celebration ! Open Table and Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill gets an A+
Appetizers were decent, but service was slow. Spent 5 mins staring at it waiting for side plates to enjoy it. Then main meals took over 40 mins. When they arrived one meal was quite good and hot, while the other was mediocre, dry and cheery as if it had been sitting under a heat lamp the entire time. They did take care of some of the bill, but I would be hard pressed to go back after this last experience.
Made a reservation at 8:30 and luckily for in 30 mins early. Food was not good but drinks were great.
The food was prepared very well and the view of Tampa Bay was breath taking.. Great service and Great outdoor seating with live music
Excellent food and table service! A very busy place but the outdoor seating made it Avery enjoyable evening!
Excellent service and great atmosphere!
Kyees was our server this evening and he was excellent! He was attentive and very friendly. I had the cedar plank salmon meal and it was well prepared. Husband had the grouper special and he very much enjoyed the meal. We both had dessert ( I had the key lime pie and husband had the brownie dessert) and it was delicious! Would definitely dine here again when in St. Petersburg.
This is a fun place to eat outdoors with the water view. The food is excellent. Staff very friendly.
I drove over from Lakeland and it was worth the drive. It was great food with a fantastic view and the service was above average too! I will definitely return with friends and family!
Nice restaurant on the Pier. Outside seating looks to be preferable. Inside seating was overly bright, like an Apple store. Food was very good.
Nice outdoor dining area with a great view and good ambience, although the inside looked nice as well. Large menu with lots of choices and a pretty good range of prices. Food (Steak Salad and ChimmiChurri Chicken) was excellent and portions were pretty hearty. Our server, Matthew, was excellent...knowledgeable, friendly, casual but there when we needed him. The only negative was that when I made the reservations I was asked if was a special occasion and responded that it was my friend's birthday but this was never acknowledged by anyone.
This was our second visit and enjoyed our meal equally both times. The food is delicious. We order extra so we can take it home with us for later.
Our visit was OK. We were seated before our reservation time. They were seating people apart, but the noise level even with 50 - 75% was unbearable. Our waiter was good but with mask and noise level was difficult to hear him. Wait staff were all wearing masks, but many other people walking around we not. Allow plenty of time to find parking spot, as the Pier is very popular and the parking is difficult to manuever.
Wonderful beautiful weather to enjoy the bay and look out to the gorgeous sunset. Food was good, making our reservation was simple, we were seated promptly and service was good for how busy it was. Food was delicious and our out of town guest loved it, especially the scallops.
Good service, masks being worn, tables spread out, food excellent, ready for us on time!
In violation of the local ordinance, the restaurant was open to 100% capacity. Social distancing was non-existent and masks were hark to find. Cocktail had no flavor and were lacking alcohol. Clam chowder was like wallpaper paste. Meat on Cuban Sandwich was tough. As for the Maine Lobster Roll, I had better from the McDonalds's on Cape Cod. We are big fans of Doc Ford's on Sanibel and have been there often and never disappointed as we were here .
Ambiance was excellent. Food was mediocre. Ordered the baked seafood dish, the actual seafood quality was good but the dish overall was quite bland and salty, lacked any flavor at all.
I will definitely go back, but will stick to a more seafood forward dish with sides. Service was good. Nothing over the top.
Service was awesome. My husband had the mahi dish and I had flatbread and shrimp. Both were very good. We will definitely return.
The only problem was I had reservations for 4 people at 5:30 and because we went there last Friday night and had a wonderful time....I talked the place up to the folks at the Harborage Marina.... so, I got other couples interested to go and therefore I needed to up my reservation to 6. So, I went back to open table and they said sorry, not at that time but possibly later at 9:30 pm. So, I then called Doc's and was told sorry they can't change it because of the open table policy.... Well I say sorry folks and they tried to get their own with no luck.... NOW, the killer when we arrived they went to seat us, but they had no 4 person table..... yep, you guessed it they sat us on a 6 person table. I guess you need to come up with a better plan to adjust... looks like the fork doesn't know what the knife is doing. (PS: I counted 5 additional 6 +
Our waitress Syd was amazing! She was always on top of what we needed. The place is extremely loud. Next time I will make my reservations to sit outside. The food was delicious and the portion sizes were large. Great drinks. I can't wait to go back again. Don't go without a reservation. I heard them tell someone there was over a 2 hour wait on Saturday night at 8pm.
Reservation was timely and we had a fantastic meal with great service. Will be back. Thank you.
the food was amazing! the atmosphere was beautiful! the staff was knowledgeable and even suggested amazing drinks! (dragon berry mojito was soooo good!). i looooved it!!
Laura our waitress was terrible
First time to Doc Ford's. Terrific food. Wide variety. Excellent service. Great location.
The staff did a wonderful job when a storm came in and quickly moved us from the beach area to the patio. Seamless. Our server was wonderful and the food was excellent.
We had a reservation and our table was actually open and available a few minutes early. It was great to see the safe distancing of patrons/tables and the staff were on top of cleaning vacant tables and chairs. Our server, Bryan, was professional, very personable, and proficient with the menu. The specialty drinks were delicious and our food choices were great. You must get the Yucatan Shrimp appetizer. There were 3 of us and a 1/2 lb. order was the perfect size. The sauce is exceptionally good and the dish is served with crusty bread to soak it all up. The lobster roll was very good - tasted fresh and they did not skimp on the amount of lobster. My husband ordered the baby back ribs dinner and it was served on a platter...could have been for 2 people. Similarly, our daughter order the wedge salad with grilled chicken. It was HUGE! We will definitely return and this will be a fun place to bring out of town guests given the restaurant's location and outdoor dining space.
The location is fantastic - situated between the marina, Albert Whitted airport and the Pier - so much to see. The views just can’t be beat. The food and service were fantastic. Highly recommend the Yucatán shrimp. After your meal, take advantage of the location and take a stroll. It was just an all-around great experience.
Drinks were great. Salad was great. Bread appetizer was a joke and looked like a child made it. Neither my date nor myself enjoyed our entree. I got the snapper which was slightly overcooked and had way too much of an unidentified brown seasoning on it....it would have been okay if it wasn’t over seasoned and overcooked...basically it had potential to be tasty. The pasta dish was terrible and required a bathroom trip 10 minutes after leaving...I won’t go into details. Overall...not impressed at all.
The chef wouldn’t modify sides due to allergy or dietary restrictions.
Service was a touch slow but overall good. My grouper sandwich and ceviche were wonderful. My his didn't enjoy his steak salad. Adequate gluten free menu, so I was happy. My drink was tasty and strong. Views were beautiful.
Great place, food was good but location is wonderful. Plenty of parking and lots of seating inside and outdoors. Live music was a little loud, but enjoyable if far enough away. Drinks were well made, food was hot and fresh! Yucatán shrimp is spicy and yummy! Too much cabbage in shrimp tacos. Over all wonderful place!
Awesome food! Great service! Love the decor! Beautiful views!
New Location at the St. Petersburg Pier, great view of the bay. Indoor & outdoor seating,
great food & atmosphere. Our server, (Terence) was very professional & polite, enjoy his story on how this location came to be. This is the third Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille we have been to, what makes this one special is that it is now local.
Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille St Pete Pier offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (727) 857-8118.
Doc Ford's Rum Bar and Grille St Pete Pier is rated 4.5 stars by 160 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.