Shoney’s in Pier Park is OPEN and it’s Delicious!

by March 8, 2013 • 8 comments
Shoney’s in Pier Park is OPEN and it’s Delicious!

If you’re been looking for a fresh pick for your next breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s a new kid on the block in Pier Park in West Panama City Beach. Shoney’s in Pier Park opened yesterday with their grand opening to take place next week. Today I had the opportunity to have a sit-down with one of their market leaders for lunch after a conversation with their CEO this morning.

Lunch was delicious, and their cordiality has been second to none. If they run their business half as well as they’ve treated me, they’ll be very successful indeed.

First Impressions.

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Ya know, I have to admit, with what little I knew about Shoney’s, I wasn’t particularly excited about one coming here. It’s not that I was unexcited, there just wasn’t any emotion at all.

But, since this is PCBDaily, and there’s an obligation to report on (if nothing else) something new, I figured I owed it to you; and them. My request for more information was interestingly responded to.

I was first called by the new Marketing Director of Pier Park, who told me someone from Shoney’s would be calling me. The next day I received a call from the Shoney’s Director of Marketing who said he was going to set up a call for me with the CEO. Reassuring him that a conversation with the CEO wasn’t necessary, it was insisted upon.

This morning I was connected with David Davoudpour, the CEO, who was just a flat-out nice guy. We had a great conversation for a few minutes and parted ways.

I texted the DOM for Shoney’s asking him if I could stop by for lunch and was treated to lunch by another senior staff member who spent more time with me than I do with any of my minions.

This morning, the CEO told me that they spend time and energy in community involvement, and I continued to feel that resounded over and over. Over the years, I’ve been treated to lunch, I’ve been given favors in hopes of a favorable word and the like, but they just made me feel good.

And I can tell you, they left a lifetime impression on me. And I’ll have no hesitation seeking them out when we travel or when we’re going out here locally.

This Shoney’s is different.

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Naturally, when you see a larger brand enter into a market for the first time in a while, or if they open a new location, you’d expect them to try some things differently. This is no different.

The Shoney’s in Panama City Beach is doing a few things differently, but they’re staying true to the heritage their CEO emphasized to me this morning: that they offer “good value, family American dining.”

Some of the things they’re doing differently here include having a full steakhouse menu, full bar (beer and liquor), completely different ambiance, they have a Hometown Cafe (espresso, latte and mocha), and they have outside patio seating (that seats 60).

And another huge difference, and I mean huge in the literal sense, is that this is the largest Shoney’s they have, ringing in around 7,200 square feet.

The food and the prices.

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When asked this morning what he thought Shoney’s was best known for, David Davoudpour told me “value, and fresh, quality food.” Rob, the representative that met me for lunch told me all the ingredients are fresh, nothing comes in frozen, and pointed to my onion rings stating they are all hand battered from fresh cut onions.

I have to admit, when Red Robin came in (right across the street), I was excited to try them, but I was disappointed in their price-point. I have a hard time taking my whole family there for less than $100. Remember, I have 5 kids.

When I was looking at the menu, I was impressed at the low cost of the items. It’s hard going out to eat around here without spending a fortune.

Davoudpour told me this morning that I had to try the burgers. So for lunch, I had an All American Burger, and was asked at the time of order whether I wanted pink or no pink. I chose pink and I was not let down. The burger was moist and tender, the bun was fantastic and the “fix ins” were perfect. The burger was perfectly adorned and it really was absolutely delicious.

As a side I got onion rings, and they were amazing as well.

My meal, with the water I ordered, would have been $6.99 plus tax. Not a bad lunch.

So, where are they?

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Remember that Cantina Mexican restaurant across from Red Robin? They shut down and Shoney’s filled in their spot. They’ve spend the last couple months building and the inside looks great. They’ve filled it out nicely and they have plenty of room for professional groups (hello IdeaCamp) and private parties.

So, Shoney’s in Panama City Beach in Pier Park. Try it. It’s fantastic and totally receives the PCBDaily’s Stamp of Approval.

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1 Cathy March 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Great looking restaurant, the way it’s designed it fits right in! The bar really throws me in a Shoney’s but, these are “modern” times & at a beach location. I know it will do amazingly well!
Glad you had a wonderful visit & meal. Thanks for the story & photos.

Cathy/Tennessee

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2 CJ March 10, 2013 at 2:21 am

Lets hope they don’t close down mysteriously like they did with those two Shoney’s about 9 years ago here in PC and PCB that was horrible.

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3 maureen boutwell March 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

I do believe that the franchise owner has a great deal to do with what happens with a store like this, but this area needs a place where the whole family can go, and those without kids as well, where an affordable meal can be got, along with drinks when appropriate, when visiting Pier Park for a day and evening of planned funs activities. And even the locals enjoy eating out during the week and saving the higher priced places for the weekends and special occasions. The population is growing. Pier Park is the hotspot in PCB where most of us venture to go, visitors and local alike.

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4 Charles Eason, Jr. March 15, 2013 at 8:08 am

Is this restaurant going to have the breakfast bar, typical for other Shoney’s I’m familiar with?

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5 charles funk March 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

We will give Shoney’s a try in the near future. Cantina Mexican was terrible, nothing Mexican about it! One time at Red Robin was enough for me, as you said that is a lot of money to spend for a burger and fries. 5 Guys is a much better value and you get peanuts!

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6 boston richie March 22, 2013 at 10:25 am

went there saturday night. Very limited number of hot items on buffet (12),: mashed potatoes, gravy, lima beans,green beans,corn on cob,mac and cheese, fried chicken,fried whole catfish, fried clam strips(I know that new england is the only place where the fried clams include the belly, so I’ll give you that one), some nice garlic butterfly shrimp, fried shrimp,and nice pasta alfredo. Small but ok salad bar,but no lo-cal dressings.Peel and eat shrimp small and no flavor. For more money than Golden Corral and chowtime there is far less selection, not a good value. The staff is very good,however. Restaurant was clean and comfortable, lots of tv’s.

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7 Ferguson June 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Shoney’s can’t keep employees because they’re very unprofessional! And, Red Robins beats them in taste and they’re prices are similar!

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8 Kay Knowles August 25, 2013 at 8:55 am

I was so impressed by the friendliness and cleanliness of this facility! Im sitting here now eating my best breakfast on this vacation. A+ service and food…!!!!

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