T H E G R A N D M A R L I N S T O R Y
The story begins, as many good stories do, with a group of friends killing time on a boat, waiting for the fish to bite.
The boat? The Gulf Rascal, a 68-foot Hatteras. The place? The North Drop, the world-renowned marlin fishing ground north of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. The fish they were waiting for? Atlantic Blue Marlin, pound-for-pound the world’s strongest sports fish. The fishermen? A group of close friends and longtime business associates who share many passions: boats, big-game fishing, good food and drink, the stress-free lifestyle of the Caribbean and an affinity for the thrill that comes with hooking a big marlin.
“How can we tie all these things together and share them with folks back home?” they asked one another.
Out of that simple question was born The Grand Marlin. The restaurant’s mission statement is pretty straightforward — it calls for fun, great food and drink, and an atmosphere reflecting the easy Caribbean lifestyle. Add to that the beauty of Pensacola Beach, and nestle it in a beautiful facility on the Santa Rosa Sound — and you have The Grand Marlin Restaurant and North Drop Bar.
In 2008, the team recruited two well-known, long-time members of the Atlanta restaurant scene — Bryan Housley and Award-Winning Chef Gregg McCarthy — as partners. And in 2010, The Grand Marlin opened its doors.
In the five years since its opening, The Grand Marlin has proven to be quite a significant and tasty catch for Pensacola Beach and the community.
“This was our dream — to operate a casual, comfortable, top-notch restaurant on the Gulf, serving the finest seafood. We remain so grateful to our customers and community for their continuous support,” says Housley.
W E L C O M E T O T H E G R A N D M A R L I N
With views of Santa Rosa Sound and sunsets over Pensacola Bay, The Grand Marlin offers a tranquil, relaxed atmosphere, paired with the area’s best selection of fresh seafood highlighted by delectable, daily specials from the kitchen of award-winning Chef Gregg McCarthy.
The restaurant boasts the area’s best-stocked, most tempting oyster bar where the finest oysters, from Apalachicola and East Bay to more exotic locales, are shucked to order.
For those in the mood for something other than seafood we offer enticing steaks, succulent poultry dishes and other fare to meet your every taste.
The Marlin offers a full-bar and an intriguing 80-plus bottle wine list, chosen to compliment any dish while presenting exceptional value. Inspired by the quality and beauty of one of the world’s strongest game fish, the intricately designed dining room — with its barrel-vault ceiling and comfortable banquettes — features a spectacular 1,228.5-pound Atlantic Blue Marlin. Caught in August of 2008 by Trey Irvine aboard the Mimi, the fish holds the North Carolina state record.
The impressive catch embodies The Grand Marlin’s promise ‑ an experience between time and tide, an experience like no other.
W E L C O M E T O T H E N O R T H D R O P B A R
Taking its name from an underwater canyon north of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, one of the world’s premier billfish fishing grounds, The North Drop Bar brings a touch of the Caribbean to the shores of beautiful Santa Rosa Sound.
Try one of our signature cocktails, like a Blue Marlin Martini or a Ginger Rum Cooler, while sitting back and listening to live music. Whether you desire an ice-cold North Drop Ale, the best Mandarin Mango Mojito under the sun, or a glass of our carefully-selected wine, the North Drop Bar will satisfy in a unique, comfortable and fun atmosphere.
And did we mention the view? With the ever-changing light on Santa Rosa Sound, the sunsets over Pensacola Bay or the sparkling lights of Pensacola Beach at night, patrons of the North Drop Bar have a ring-side seat to the finest show in town.
Come as you are. It’s the beach after all. Relax. Kick off your flip-flops. Take a tour of our Caribbean-inspired “tall” drinks. Or simply sit back and relax, cocktail in hand, and enjoy the gentle breeze.
M E E T Y O U R H O S T S
Bryan, a native of Marietta, Ga., is a 25-year veteran of the restaurant industry. Before joining his long time friend and collaborator, Chef Gregg McCarthy at The Grand Marlin, Bryan spent a decade as operating manager Ray’s On The River, an Atlanta dining institution. He was also instrumental in opening and helping make a success of Ray’s In The City, a sister restaurant opened in 2003. Under Bryan’s leadership Ray’s On The River won more than 10 Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence and was consistently recognized as having Atlanta’s top-rated brunch. For more than a decade Bryan and Gregg have shared the dream of a restaurant dedicated to the finest seafood and spectacular wines in a gorgeous setting. The Grand Marlin is the realization of those dreams.
With a lifelong passion for great tasting food Chef Gregg, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, sees the seafood offerings of the Gulf Coast as an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is to take the finest, freshest seafood the ocean’s waters have to offer. The challenge is to use his culinary skills to create innovative and tantalizing dishes. Chef Gregg is more than up to the challenge. With a distinguished career that includes cooking at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington D.C. and The Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas, Chef Gregg was also sous chef at the Buckhead Diner in Atlanta and the Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas. Winner of numerous awards and featured on PBS’s Great Chefs series, Chef Gregg has been a guest chef at New York’s James Beard House, one of the highest honors a chef can receive.Before coming to the Grand Marlin, Chef Gregg was corporate executive chef at Atlanta’s Ray’s Restaurants, including Ray’s on the River, Ray’s Killer Creek and Ray’s In the City.