You may not know of Limerick’s Irish Pub by name, but you know the address: 6628 Thomas Drive, home to several previous businesses, the most recent being Buckwild Saloon and The Shaggy Marlin both closed due to complaints from nearby residential area. You see, Limerick’s sits on what may be the most ambivalent location on all of Panama City Beach, perfect for drawing big crowds on Thomas Drive with very little adjacent competition while facing a row of seasonally-packed condos. At the same time the location is smack-dab in the middle of a quiet and easily angered residential area.
The stories behind the location have been many. You may remember when the property was known as Buckwild Saloon the establishment was sued Bay County and had its owners arrested on charges of violating a revamped noise ordinance. Residents in the area complained that the bar was too loud and its patrons overly raucous. There were also complaints of overflowing parking making it difficult, if not dangerous, getting in and out of the street. Buckwild owners agreed to renovate the property and change it to Shaggy Marlin by adding parking lot noise barriers and changing the building focus from a bar to a restaurant (although they still charged for cover). While loved by locals who didn’t live in the Thomas Drive area, the Shaggy Marlin was sent to court a second time during Spring Break. Officials said the Shaggy Marlin violated the prior agreement being both noisy and not operating primarily as a restaurant. Needless to say the place was put up for sale with Counts Real Estate Group, Inc and tagged with a stern warning from Bay County Commissioner Mike Thomas that whoever purchased the property must live by the guidelines set in the agreements with its previous owner.
All that bring us to now, the property has since been sold to a bank, leased to its current proprietors and dubbed Limerick’s Irish Pub. The name change has only been a part of an honest-to-goodness transformation. Since the property has been in opened, February 09, there have been no complaints. That time period includes Spring Break and Thunder Beach. Limerick’s, like its predecessor, still offers live music, only on the weekends, but the chosen bands are not quite as mosh-pit-inspiring. The bands also play only indoors. I personally spoke to several patrons and employees who all felt that the newly name and updated venue has serious potential or longevity. For one, the food is great; Limerick’s may very well have positioned itself as the best place on the beach for icy Appalachian oysters and a mojito. They’ve added security and decided to close its doors by 2 AM. In order to help drive business, instead of using the upper floor bar as another music-driven area, they’ve changed it into PCB’s only venue for the amateur poker league, free to the public. On top of all that, the proprietors have been in negotiations about purchasing the next door parking lot for added safety. One gentleman I talked to, who happened to be one of the complainers during the Buckwild-Shaggy Marlin era, said he now enjoys walking down the street to the Irish spot for the Beef and Guiness soup and a few oysters.
I’m glad to see such a great location for locals not go to waste. What do you think?