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Rice family opens new Kingfish Restaurant

The opening revives a family tradition dating back to the opening of the first restaurant at John's Pass in 1945.

By PIPER JONES CASTILLO

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001


The Rice family of Treasure Island, owners of Gator's Cafe & Saloon, John's Pass Marina and the Kingfish Wharf, has opened the Kingfish Restaurant at 13155 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach.

This is the third restaurant of the same name for the Rice family. Agnes Rice, 82, and her husband Charlie, who died in 1979, opened the original in 1945 on Gulf Boulevard, before there was a bridge connecting the two sides of John's Pass. In 1973, they moved the Kingfish across the street. Their son, Sid Rice, managed the business, a well-known early morning stop for local fisherman until it closed in 1993.

The interior of the new Kingfish displays artwork housed in the earlier eateries, including early paintings by wildlife artist Guy Harvey and a mural depicting the 1940s fishing village. "Since we opened a few weeks ago, I've talked to a few snowbirds who recognize some of our stuff from the old place," said Sid Rice, 49, who oversees the family's John's Pass operations.

Hours of operation are 4-10 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 4-11 p.m. Friday and Sunday.

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