Pesky Pelican Grille shows they aren’t going anywhere after Hurricane Michael

Franklin County

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Taking a trip through Franklin County, many locally-owned restaurants and businesses sit along highway 98.

One of those businesses is the Pesky Pelican Grille.

The three-year-old restaurant sits next to the Coastline RV Park, owned by Garrett and Chester Cramer.

Owner of Pesky Pelican, Jewell Still says though they weren’t always in that location.

“We had a quaint beautiful spot just right up next to Lynn’s, across from Ard’s Tire Right here in Eastpoint and we overlooked the Bay.”

Still is referring to Lynn’s Quality Oysters and Ards Service Station.

She says though, a restaurant was never in her plans. Still worked for 33 years in the postal service before moving down to be near the water.

With a retirement fund and a couple of family members needing work, Still says a restaurant was a way she could help her family.

“I’ve got a brother and a sister in law that needed to work and I thought well ‘what way could I get them to work because he was a contractor, the market was down and I had my retirement fund so I said what can I do that can put him to work and put her to work and it was a restaurant so there it was.”

The original Pesky Pelican was opened in 2016 but was destroyed in Hurricane Michael two years later.

“It took everything. I mean it did not even leave a piling, not even a piling. It flattened it. It took it out.”

Still says after the storm, she wasn’t going to re-open but help from the Cramer’s caused her to change her mind.

“I had a food truck in the back of my mind and I guess they heard me talking about it at some point cause they came to me in December and they said Jewell, we hear you’re getting a food truck. If you get a food truck, would you consider parking it at the RV if we build you a pole barn so they built the pole barn. I kind of cooked it up and here I am.”

The Cramers approached Still in December. By April of 2019, the doors to the new Pesky Pelican were open for business.

“I’m doing what I feel like the Lord wants me to do because as you know, here in Eastpoint jobs are very rare and to employ, I employ about 13 and that means a lot to me.”

Besides her employees, Still says it was also important to open back up to support a struggling community.

“Eastpoint had two blows. You know we had the fires back in March and then, we had not overcome it and then we had the storm. This is a strong community, and if people are wanting to come in and bring new industry, bring in new jobs, this is the place, this is the place to come. We need growth, we need people, we need housing.”

While she and her husband hold the title as owner, Still says she wouldn’t be anywhere without the customers and employees and she will keep the kitchen open for as long as she can.

“My employees are my children, they’re not related to me and I get emotional when I think about them. They mean a lot to me and they know that and I’ll keep going until I can’t go for them because I love them.”

The Pesky Pelican is located at 897 E Highway 98 in Eastpoint.

Learn more about the restaurant here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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