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 folks 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 prized fish? 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, including: 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. In 2008, the team recruited two well-known, long-time members of the Atlanta restaurant scene as partners — Bryan Housley and award-winning Chef Gregg McCarthy. And in 2010, The Grand Marlin of Pensacola Beach opened its doors.

“This was our dream—to operate a casual, comfortable, top-notch restaurant on the Gulf, serving the finest seafood.” says Housley.

Since its opening, The Grand Marlin has proven to be quite a significant and tasty catch for Pensacola Beach and the community. So much so that in early 2016, a second location in Panama City Beach was planned.

Located at the Lighthouse Marina on Grand Lagoon, The Grand Marlin of Panama City Beach opened fall of 2016. “We’re excited to be a part of the Panama City community,” President and partner Bryan Housley said. “Our focus has always been about people. We look forward to building a family of locals and team members within the community.”

W E L C O M E   T O   T H E   G R A N D   M A R L I N

With sunsets overlooking Grand Lagoon, The Grand Marlin of Panama City Beach 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 The Grand Marlin of Panama City Beach offers enticing steaks, succulent poultry dishes and other fare to meet your every taste.

The restaurant’s second floor will highlight The North Drop Bar – bringing a touch of the Caribbean to the shores of beautiful Grand Lagoon. Enjoy a tall cocktail while sitting back and relaxing in the laid back atmosphere.

The Marlin offers a full-bar and an intriguing 80-plus bottle wine list, chosen to compliment any dish while presenting exceptional value.

The Grand Marlin of Panama City Beach promises 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 Panama City Beach.

Try one of our signature cocktails, like a Blue Marlin Martini or a Ginger Rum Cooler, while sitting back and enjoying the serenity of the lagoon. 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 St. Andrew Bay, the sunsets over Grand Lagoon or the sparkling lights of Panama City Beach at night, patrons of the North Drop Bar have a ring-side seat to the finest show in town.

As we say, come by land or sea but, 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 HOUSLEY  |  President/Partner

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.

GREGG MCCARTHY  |  Corporate Chef/Partner

With a lifelong passion for creating 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. Winner of numerous awards and featured on PBS’s Great Chefs series, Chef Gregg has also been a guest chef at prestigious James Beard House. 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.