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Back Beach Barbecue raises $1,680 for South Walton Academy

special to Gannett Florida
Walton Sun

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Back Beach Barbecue celebrated its three-year anniversary in business on June 24 and raised a total of $1,680 for South Walton Academy.

To commemorate the occasion, Back Beach opened its doors for their loyal customer base to come enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner with 25 percent of sales made throughout the day benefiting South Walton Academy.

Guests were invited to the Panama City Beach restaurant, from 7 a.m.to 9 p.m. to dine on Back Beach Barbecue’s award-winning barbecue. The first 100 customers received a special gift bag filled with branded items from the restaurant, including a cup, koozie, and sticker.

Back Beach Barbecue served over 400 people throughout the day, each enjoying a variety of smoked meats, sides, homemade sauces, and desserts. The number one selling item throughout the day was the brisket, which is typically the number one selling item every day, according to Back Beach Barbecue’s pit master, Shane Kirkland.

The event celebrated the past three years Back Beach has been open while also relishing in the individual successes and achievements the restaurant has garnered throughout the short period, and the numerous obstacles they have faced in those years including Hurricane Michael and the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

“Within the next few years we hope to keep building our team and creating the family-oriented establishment that we have always imagined,” said Monica Cosenzi, owner of Back Beach Barbecue. “We want to continue to be a staple in the community and keep giving back as much as possible.”

The anniversary event raised a total of $1,680 for South Walton Academy, a private, non-profit inclusion school and pediatric therapy center in Santa Rosa Beach that includes therapies and educational tools in an effort to bridge the gap between communication and children with Autism and other learning disabilities. As the only school of its kind, their program is highly sought after and desired in the community. The money raised from the anniversary event will help fund any future expansion of the Academy as the need for more facilities, new teachers, and supplies continue to grow.

Back Beach Barbecue’s dining room and patio remain open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. The restaurant has implemented updated cleaning procedures and spaced their tables at least six feet apart in order to protect their customers and staff during this time.