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Something Old and Better Than Ever!

By Glenn Arnette, lll

When you travel from New York to Key West you pass many places along the way, some interesting and some forgotten. Remember when you could not drive without running into another STUCKEY’s alone the road? To me that was the place to buy a pecan roll. Then you could read a dozen or more Burma Shave signs and that would give you a chuckle!

Have you ever driven by something and thought that would be interesting and wished you had stopped? Well, that is exactly what happened to me while driving alone US 1 near New Smyrna Beach in Florida. Just off the side of the road was an old wooden structure housing some form of a waterfront fish house on a place called Rose Bay. After passing it many times, friends of mine, Jeff Smith and his wife Donna from Myrtle Beach suggested that we take a chance and stop by for a drink and dine there one night.OMG! What a discovery.

This restaurant houses the best staff, best atmosphere and some of the best food in Florida. It is like stepping back in time and landing yourself in the heart of Key West, Florida without driving those extra 6 hours.

Most of you know that I think the seafood in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina is some of the best in the country, but now I have discovered that the HIDDEN TREASURE Bar and Grill equals and in some ways passes those tasty dishes in South Carolina. My seafood platter (fried) was perfect. It was not greasy and certainly not heavily breaded. From oysters to Key West shrimp accented with cod and conch, my plate was perfect. They also serve everything from fish Tacos, buckets of steamed or raw oysters, steak, gator tail, ahi tuna and much more. Wait until you try the Crab Platter!

The décor is rustic and perfect for an afternoon cocktail, snacks, or dinner at night with flaming torches. You dress very casual and be sure to let your hair down and enjoy yourself. We did!

The Hidden Treasure Bar and Grill is owned by Kevin Merkel, Scott Weber and Steve and Sherry Woide. We had the pleasure of meeting Kevin and having him give us the history of the place. After being closed for a period of time, they purchased and revamped the property and brought life back for all to enjoy. This is a FUN place, a family place, a party place and most of all a friendly place. They have live music, a great staff and excellent management with creative minds and the prices are VERY reasonable.

On arrival we were greeted by Kayla Cutler and Amy Marimpietri (Hostesses) and taken to our table right on the waterfront of Rose Bay.

At that point we were treated like royalty by our waitress Bethany Bennett who gave us the best service ever!

About a week later I decided to invite my Northern friends, Bob and Gail Gonya, to something a little bit more exciting than a Norwalk, Connetticut winter, so I suggested the Hidden Treasures Bar and Grill. Did they like it? You bet your sweet bippy they did! They will be back!

Check their website: or give them a call for additional information at


When you plan to travel to Florida, get off the Interstate 95 and discover this restaurant. You will thank me a thousand times. Make the HIDDEN TREASURE BAR AND GRILL one of your favorite places in Florida.