Owner sad with Smiling Fish leaving Gulf Place

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 04:59 PM.

“We are excited to announce this great addition to Gulf Place and look forward to something a little different on what we feel is the best corner on 30A,” said Cindy Stenberg, association manager.

Stenberg said the new restaurant owners will freshen up the corner with remodeling and improvements after the first of the year. She expects that La Playa will open by March 1 for lunch and dinner.

Stenberg said she has been told that Barnes enjoyed his best year ever at that corner and it was a very successful year for him.

“We gave him first option and he made the decision to move on. It was a financial decision,” she said.

Barnes agrees that it was a business decision as his rent was going to be increased.

“It was a math problem,” he said. “I would have had to raise my prices. I had my vision for that corner. I set out to make it a neighborhood place. I am humbled by its continued success and look forward to having a new home.”

As for where that new home will be, he is not certain but is pursuing two or three options.

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