Anna Maria Island is unique because of the fact that so many of the island’s restaurants and businesses are still family owned, a defining characteristic of “Old Florida” that the local community has long maintained.
While you are staying in one of our comfortable and memorable Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, you will certainly want to treat yourself to some of these one-of-a-kind local establishments that you can find nearby.
One long running bar/eatery that often draws interest is the iconic Duffy’s Tavern, a family owned business for generations like so many others on the island.
The restaurant first opened its doors in 1958 and became a hit soon afterward, becoming a regular hangout spot for island regulars and travelers.
Duffy’s Tavern is currently owned by five sisters along with their mother, the locally popular Miss Duffy Geyer, who together ensure that the place remains a top spot for refreshing chilled beer and world-class burgers on Anna Maria Island.
As a family owned business for so many decades, it’s certainly one of the top attractions that you’ll want to check out as you explore the other “Old Florida” mom and pop establishments throughout the island.
History of Duffy’s Tavern
It all happened when a trumpet player named Claude “Duffy” Whiteman leased a partly dilapidated two-story shack in the center of town, and named it Duffy’s Tavern after a famous radio program with the same name. His aim was to start a small restaurant joint, with the main goal of selling mugs of beer along with appetizing sides and sandwiches.
He sold the business in 1971 to Miss Duffy Geyer, which she hoped would provide for her five daughters and keep them busy. The five sisters – Polli, Peggi, Penni, Patti and Pam – have been successfully running Duffy’s Tavern under the leadership of their mother ever since, maintaining the tradition that Claude Whiteman established with impressive dedication.
They remained at the founding location until mid-2002, when the lease ended. The family decided to take a new direction and took around nine months to secure a new spot in Holmes Beach. They relaunched right in one of the most frequently visited parts of the island, near plenty of other high end restaurants and a short walk from the ever popular Manatee Public Beach.
Duffy’s Tavern has a new home, but tourists are still blessed with the same old-fashioned, high-quality and timely service the tavern has always been known for. The new location does feature a few new conveniences, such as a centerpiece fireplace and air conditioning to keep you cozy no matter what the thermometer reads outside.
Location and Opening Hours
The restaurant is located at 5808 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach and is just across the street from the Holmes Beach City Hall. It’s open on all days except Tuesdays, and its hours are Monday to Saturday 11 am to 8 pm and Sunday noon to 8 pm.
Visitors have the whole day to indulge in the beauty of the island and nearby beaches and then stop by Duffy’s Tavern for reasonably priced drinks, fast service, lively conversation with locals who have frequented the tavern for years, and a perfectly made sandwich.
Menu and Pricing
Duffy’s Tavern offers its visitors very reasonable prices. Most of its sandwiches and burgers are under $10, and there is an impressive variety, from hot dogs, BBQ pulled pork, ham with multiple cheese options, and of course a variety of burgers. Visitors can’t miss out on the homemade sides including coleslaw and potato salad.
And what about the chilled beer? Mugs are just a few dollars or less with both domestic and imported beers on tap, as well as bottled options. A few wine selections are also available for those who prefer it, as well as juice and soft drinks if you plan on bringing the family or those who prefer not to drink.
Keep in mind that this is a cash ONLY restaurant.
Voted as a “Top 10 Hamburger Heaven”
USA Today has voted Duffy’s Tavern as one of the “Top 10 Hamburger Heavens” in America for good reason. It is well known among locals for their great prices and satisfying burgers, with many of them being loyal customers who have keep it running strong.
Be sure to make the quick trip to Duffy’s Tavern while staying at your Anna Maria Island vacation rental. With its classic tavern charm, reasonable prices and mouth-watering food, you will very likely also want to keep stopping by again and again!