Fire Consumes The Treasure Ship Restaurant

Post image for Fire Consumes The Treasure Ship Restaurant
by April 28, 2010 • 28 comments

This afternoon around 3 pm, the iconic Treasure Ship Restaurant set fire from a presumed electrical issue consuming almost the entire building. From the outside, much of the facade was badly damaged as smoke filled the air over Grand Lagoon, off of Thomas Drive.

Talking to a Fire Lieutenant, I was told that it’s hard to tell at this point exactly what the cause of fire was. It was expected that most of the interior was destroyed, but nothing official was released as of yet.

“We have over 100 employees that grows up to 200 during season,” one Treasure Ship employee said, “the loss will be hardest on the employees.” He went on to say that some of them had been working there for 24 years. The Treasure Ship was built in 1976.

Another employee said, “I spent most my life here, I can’t believe this is happening.” Watchers were stunned and in awe at not only the magnitude of the fire, but also the fact that a local icon may be gone forever.

Again, it’s too early to tell if The Treasure Ship Restaurant will be rebuilt or if it will be a total loss. But one thing is for sure, the building has sustained large amounts of damage.

Our condolences to out to the owners, employees and families that are effected by this terrible tragedy. The Treasure Ship will truly be missed, whether it’s gone for a season or a lifetime.


Talking to a Fire Lieutenant, I was told that it’s hard to tell at this point exactly what the cause of fire was. It was expected that most of the interior was destroyed, but nothing official was released as of yet.

“We have over 100 employees that grows up to 200 during season,” one Treasure Ship employee said, “the loss will be hardest on the employees.” He went on to say that some of them had been working there for 24 years. The Treasure Ship was built in 1976.

Another employee said, “I spent most my life here, I can’t believe this is happening.” Watchers were stunned and in awe at not only the magnitude of the fire, but also the fact that a local icon may be gone forever.

Again, it’s too early to tell if The Treasure Ship Restaurant will be rebuilt or if it will be a total loss. But one thing is for sure, the building has sustained large amounts of damage.

Our condolences to out to the owners, employees and families that are effected by this terrible tragedy. The Treasure Ship will truly be missed, whether it’s gone for a season or a lifetime.

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1 Shanna Hebert April 28, 2010 at 11:17 pm

My family loved eating there for the 1 time that we were able to we are just visiting Panama City! My three year old lil girl loved watching the pirates walkin round! When I heard the news I got sad, but I hope they rebuild it! I feel like it’s part of this city!

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2 Joe Taylor April 29, 2010 at 6:13 am

What a sad thing! I remember as a pre-teen when it was constructed. I took my prom date to the “Top of the Ship” and we spent many good nights at “the Brig” back in the 80’s. Fun, Fun times! Our thoughts go to everyone effected.

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3 karen Smith April 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

Jason, I am so glad to see that you are out there doing what you are great at and that is getting right in the middle of the community news and events. WE appreciate you being on top of this and getting it out to us. My heart is so heavy for the owners and the workers. The Treasure ship was a great part of eveyone’s memories of Panama City Beach. I believe that once again our community spirit will come forward and help these people find jobs and any other help that is needed at this time. I wonder who we could contact to offer help at this time???

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4 connie fritz April 29, 2010 at 6:59 am

Oh what a shame. I’m so sorry to hear about the fire and the pictuures are so right there.
I do hope they will rebuild it. The people need the jobs and I feel sorry for them and the owners.
I’ll keep up with the news via the web & the pictures in it.

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5 Debbie Seeley April 29, 2010 at 7:38 am

Wow! What a tragedy! One of my mother’s favorite places when we come down. Our prayers go out to the owners and employees who worked there. And I agree, Jason, thank you for letting us know about this horrendous situation so we can offer our prayers.

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6 Lori Duncan April 29, 2010 at 7:50 am

Oh, that is so very sad to hear. I have directed countless guests there and all have had a wonderful, memorable time. Thank you for covering this story Jason. I know you’ll be there for the reconstruction, should it happen!

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7 Lisa Garmon April 29, 2010 at 8:01 am

Gosh, I really hate to hear this as this is another PC Beach icon that you see every year that you are visiting. I have been there ever since it was constructed and will miss seeing it this year. I sure hope it gets reconstructed….seeing things like this just seem to keep our memories young. LisaG Gainesville, GA

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8 Noel B. April 29, 2010 at 8:04 am

Ate there at 12 on vacation. My nieces come down and eat there every year. I can’t begin to count the number of tourists I have met who told me they eat there every year. Between this and the oil spill, I worry about this season.

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9 Noel B. April 29, 2010 at 8:20 am

Oops, forgot to say thanks for the article and images Jason.

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10 Jerry Eyler April 29, 2010 at 8:37 am

What a loss. Our guests always enjoyed the Treasure Ship. We have a few souvenir glasses in our condo from the TS too. I hope the building can be repairerd.

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11 mary ann rennick April 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

I’m Debbie’s mother and yes, I am heartsick. I remember the Sunday brunches that were enormous and so much fun. I sure hope they build it back. It will only be better, newer and probably more efficient.

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12 Marta R. April 29, 2010 at 9:29 am

I remember my first visit to the Treasure Ship in the summer of ’82. It was THE place to see and be seen and I frequented it often. I hope it was be fully restored to its former excellence.

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13 Pepper Pascal April 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

My family ate at the Treasure Ship at least once a year. I always thought of it as a landmark. Unfortunately, it’s a landmark that will no longer be there. Our condolences to the owner and staff.

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14 Bernard April 29, 2010 at 10:08 am

It is indeed a shame to see such an Icon of Panama City Beach being destroyed by fire. All those people out of work atop of that and without immediate income is terrible. I know the times are difficult, hundreds of people are loosing their jobs in Lynn Haven, now this nightmare. I hope Bay county, or the State of Florida does something for all these people. Maybe a couple of politicians can skip one of their trip to Arruba or the Hawaiian Islands, (Business trip…?),l that is and filter that money down this way,,,,,,,Nice dream I guess.

In a better note, Welcome Back Jason, we missed you.

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15 DJ PorkChop April 29, 2010 at 10:59 am

It will be missed, hope they rebuild the Ship! We have performed numerous weddings there and they were all awesome. Bring it back and make it better than ever! My heart goes out to all the employees and the owner of the Treasure Ship. I think we will see it set sail one day.

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16 Bill & Ginette Brown April 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm

A truly sad sight to see . NO PCB vacation was complete for my wife , Ginette , and I until we had dined on ” The Golden Hind ” , Sir Francis Drake’s ( or , as he was known on The Spanish Main , ” El Drako ” ) Flag Ship . We certainly hope that , for all concerned , Staff and customers , it will be restored to it’s former glory .
Bill & Ginette Brown
Otawa , Canada

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17 Blake April 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I will miss their smoked tuna dip and a cold brew terribly. My condolences to the owners, employees and all parties involved.

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18 Dan F April 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm

We have been going to the beach since 1996 (20 hour drive from Nebraska) and one of the first places we go is the treasure ship. I can’t even count the number of times we have eaten there or sat outside in the bar and watched the boats come in. I really hope they rebuild.

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19 Lisa S. April 29, 2010 at 7:47 pm

OMG!!! SO SAD!!! My trips to PCB will not be the same without the TS. I really hope it can be rebuilt back to it’s former glory. My prayers go out to the owners and the numerous employees who have lost so much in this tragedy.

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20 Mike E. April 29, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Plus one for the smoked tuna dip and a cold one down at Hooks! I come down from south GA to fish a few times each summer and me and my buddies always came by for the dip and a great mahi sandwich and to listen to the band and watch the charters come in. My wife and I had one of our fist dates there back in “83, dinner and then dancing. My thoughts and prayers are with the employees and owner(s). I hope someone rebuilds it! PC will not be the same without it.

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21 Raymond B April 30, 2010 at 2:49 am

WE GOTTA REBUILD THIS THING!!! IF THEY CAN BUILD THE WONDERWORKS BUILDING, THEN WE CAN REBUILD THE ‘SHIP!!

Heartfelt feelings to the Nombergs and the employees. I always loved eating at Hooks and having a grouper sandwich and black beans and rice.

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22 Barb A. May 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Oh what a loss for everyone. Hook’s was my favorite for lunch and we always took visiting young guest to the Ship. In June my three year old grandson will be visiting for the 1st time and we had already planned a trip to the Treasure Ship- fortunately I bought him one of your t-shirts last week to surprise him….
I hope you can rebuild. I’m just glad no lives were lost

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23 Candace May 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm

This is almost unbearable to look at. I am 41 and have been going to this place since I was a little girl. I still get goosebumps everytime I pass by it, or we take my son to it. The memories are forever in my mind of this and just like another said, another Icon from PCB gone forever. Maybe they will rebuild. Still, it won’t be the same will it? 🙁

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24 Laurie Cochran May 2, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I”m so sorry to all the employess of the treasure ship. We are coming to pcb in 5 weeks and our family was looking forward to eating there again. My 2 grand-daughters loved the pirates. Please build it back if not it will be dearly missed.
Laurie Cochran

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25 Faye Woods May 3, 2010 at 7:31 pm

So sad! I fell as though I lost a friend. I loved the Treasure Ship. I was there the year it was built and have been coming to PCB since I was 13 yrs old. So much fun and memories. I hope the owners will take a long hard look at salvaging what they can and build back! I’m sure it’s brought alot of joy to alot of families, just like mine. My heart goes out to the owners, employees and their families. It will certainly be missed!!!

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26 Mona Lisa May 4, 2010 at 8:01 am

It is a shame, I will miss the ship being part of our skyline. Im playing Devils Advocate here and maybe someone has already asked this, but…

There are thousands of workers displaced due to the economic downturn, they have been out of work in some cases for YEARS…why isnt the local community so concerned with giving THEM the jobs now available to the Treasure Ship emplyees?

I have a feeling that gut instinct is right…that some big local names are invested in the treasure ship and since its such an icon, and drawing natl attention, emphasis has to be placed on these employees, who will easily get unemployment, rather than on those out of work for a very long time.

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27 darryl elkins May 5, 2010 at 8:13 pm

What a huge loss!!!! My family and I are from North Carolina, and we have always enjoyed this eatery over all of the others in PCB. I hope they decide to rebuild this one of a kind land mark…..I really cannot imagine PCB without it. My prayers go out to all that are out of jobs…..as well as the fine folks of Bay county in dealing with this awful oil spill in the gulf. God Bless, we all pray for a huge miracle.

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28 Helena May 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm

My now husband took me there for a very romantic dinner on our first visit to Panama City Beach in 1982. We married in 1983 and went there again on our honeymoon. Over the years we have brought our children and grandchildren there for many happy times. The Treasure Ship is a big part of our lives. I pray they will rebuild

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