Popular Orange Beach, Ala. restaurant The Gulf — known for its shipping-container construction, locally-focused menu and hip music — has expanded down the coast with a second location on Okaloosa Island.
The new restaurant marks the first Florida venture for the Alabama-based Hangout Hospitality Group, which owns the The Hangout restaurant in Gulf Shores, The Gulf in Orange Beach, and the annual Hangout Music Festival. Like the original, The Gulf Okaloosa Island was built using recycled shipping containers, a style that’s since been adopted by several Pensacola-area projects including Red Fish, Blue Fish on Pensacola Beach and the new Bodacious Brew outpost currently under construction in Downtown Pensacola.
Nestled on the corner of Marler Avenue and Siebert Drive overlooking Choctawhatchee Bay, the new two-story restaurant features indoor and outdoor dining, two unique bars, and a gift shop. Serving lunch and dinner daily, the restaurant offers an ever-changing chalkboard menu that features seasonal options crafted with locally-sourced ingredients from regional farms and the Gulf of Mexico. Menu staples include the crisp grouper sandwich with lemon dill sauce, hand-cut fries, and The Gulf Burger. Other features include a daily taco selection and a raw bar, along with a unique selection of mojitos and craft beers. A special brunch menu will also be offered each weekend.
“Our staff is genuine, passionate, and well-trained,” said Shaul Zislin, a partner in the restaurant. “We truly want to provide an experience that is unique and memorable to those visiting us at The Gulf.”
Reflecting the restaurant’s music roots, The Gulf’s launch event last month featured the Preservation Hall Brass Band of New Orleans. When there’s not a live band, the restaurant spins vinyl records from a curated collection.
The restaurant features 5,280 square feet of enclosed space, 3,646 square feet of covered deck, and an additional 4,775 square feet of uncovered deck. An expansive flexible floor plan will allow The Gulf Okaloosa Island to accommodate events of all sizes, officials said, ranging from intimate dinner parties to full-scale weddings.