The Bay

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About The Bay:

With authentic Southern flavors, an ever-bustling bar scene and its decidedly casual coastal vibe, Great Southern Cafe has been a consistent crowd-pleaser in Seaside for years. Now Great Southern Cafe’s owner, Chef Jim Shirley, has cooked up something entirely new in South Walton.

Perched directly on Choctawhatchee Bay at the southern foot of the Highway 331 bridge, Shirley’s newest restaurant — The Bay — is now open.

Located in the beloved local hangout once known as Sea Bar, The Bay’s high-ceiling interior features an expansive full bar, an open kitchen, a special bar just for sushi (overseen by local favorite Chef Jamison Hendler), and plenty of seating for private indoor dining. Outside on the covered deck, there’s a full open-air bar with an absolutely stunning view of Choctawhatchee Bay. Go just a few steps further, and you’ll find your toes in the sand, where you can lounge beneath the shade of palm trees.

Shirley has created a new kind of local hangout at The Bay, where guests can bask right on the sand while enjoying live music, cocktails, beach games, standup paddle boarding, and of course, excellent food.

The-BayThere’s even a dock for guests who prefer to arrive by kayak, canoe, YOLO Board or small boat.

“Everyone loves to be on the water,” said Shirley. “There’s really nothing else like this in South Walton.”

In addition to The Bay’s expansive outdoor deck, sandy beachfront and long pier, there’s also a secluded oak-draped alleyway tucked around the corner that evokes the spirit of a courtyard in Savannah or New Orleans. Shirley said that the courtyard will be used for private functions and special events.

Shirley opened his first restaurant, Madison’s Diner, in Pensacola in 1995, followed by the Screaming Coyote in 1997, and then Fish House in 1998. While his signature style of cooking has been called “Modern Southern” cuisine, Shirley introduces some new flavors at The Bay.

“Naturally, we feature some of the menu items that many Gulf Coast visitors and locals expect, such as steak and shrimp,” said Shirley. “But we also have tapas, sushi, and some innovative new dishes with an Asian influence.”

24215 S Hwy 331
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459





Upcoming Events at The Bay:

  • Sunday, December 16 @ 4:00 PM - Sunday Pickin' w/ Mike Whitty & Friends
  • Wednesday, December 19 @ 6:00 PM - Bonfire on the Beach: Sugarcane Jane
  • Sunday, December 23 @ 4:00 PM - Sunday Pickin' w/ Mike Whitty & Friends
  • Wednesday, December 26 @ 6:00 PM - Bonfire on the Beach: The Shakedown
  • Sunday, December 30 @ 4:00 PM - Sunday Pickin' w/ Mike Whitty & Friends

  • 30A Cottages chooses beach houses for their comfort, amenities and style, and each home offers a unique beach experience. We look forward to talking with you about your perfect beach vacation and how we can simplify every step of your planning. Stay on 30A, and forget where you’re from.

    -2016 Hot Spot Award winner for “Best Rental Company On 30A.”

    Kaiya Beach Resort | Inlet Beach
    4 bd    4 ba    1 ½ ba    4390 sqft

    Naturewalk At Seagrove | Santa Rosa Beach
    4 bd    3 ba    2818 sqft

    Naturewalk At Seagrove | Santa Rosa Beach
    4 bd    3 ba    1 ½ ba    2547 sqft