Joe Freer has owned the popular Shades Bar & Grill since the days it was located in Seaside and it is known for its friendly bar atmosphere.
However, Freer is poised to kick it up a notch with his latest dining debuts.
Freer is readying to open the first of two restaurants in The Orleans building that he started developing three years ago.
The first will be Southside Slice Pizza restaurant. The pizzeria will be family and kid friendly, which Freer describes as similar to Shades, but not as big and with more counter service than table service.
"You order at the window, then take it to a table or take it home," he said.
Freer grew up in Buffalo and describes the crust as not exactly New York style, but artisan/specialty.
Southside Slice is on track to open toward the end of October.
The Orleans building consists of 18,300 square feet of retail and seven condos on about three-quarters of an acre. Five of the seven condos have sold. Each condo has its own garage with outdoor gas lights for lighting.
"My wife is from New Orleans and picked those out," he said.
Each condo has two bedrooms and two baths, and one of those is a penthouse on the fourth floor, which has its own elevator. Every condo has a Gulf view and features porcelain and hardwood floors.
The penthouse is on the same floor with the second restaurant -- Pescado Seafood Grill & Rooftop Bar -- a casual/fine-dining restaurant and bar overlooking the Gulf offering indoor or rooftop seating. The Pescado is expected to open in December.
"Pescado is Latin for fish," explains Freer.
Freer has brought on Chef Ken Duenas, formerly at Café Thirty-A, as executive chef.
Located next to Rosemary Beach Town Hall, Freer said that bringing The Orleans to fruition has been a labor of love.
"It has been a long road to get it done but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel," said Freer. "We are really excited to be close to opening these two places."