DAPHNE — PP Hospitality Group is adding another waterfront restaurant to its hospitality empire.The restaurant, currently known as Back Deck is in the newly renovated Lake Forest Yacht Club …
DAPHNE — PP Hospitality Group is adding another waterfront restaurant to its hospitality empire.
The restaurant, currently known as Back Deck is in the newly renovated Lake Forest Yacht Club building located at 1 Yacht Club Drive in Daphne. The property is owned by the Lake Forest Property Owners Association (POA). Earlier this month officials there asked PP Hospitality, owned by Pete "Panini Pete" Blohme and Nick DiMario, to step in and take over operations.
The pair also own and operate Panini Pete's Café & Bakeshoppe, Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina, Squid Ink Eclectic Eats and Drinks and Ed's Seafood Shed. They are also currently working to open a food hall in the RSA Bank Trust Building in Mobile called Parc Le Tralour and own the MobTown Proper & Vintage barber shop in Mobile.
DiMario said the Lake Forest POA approached PP Hospitality to see if they could help the restaurant be revamped.
"After we looked around, Pete and I said we could help. We were interested in operating it," DiMario said.
The property checked all the boxes according to DiMario. There is plenty of parking, three bars, seats 300 and has unobstructed views of Mobile Bay and beautiful sunsets. The deck isn't covered but that is something DiMario plans to change.
Another aspect DiMario is excited about is the ability to have live music.
The restaurant will be called The Waterfront and will have a laid-back and fun vibe, he said.
"The Waterfront is going to be a whole vibe of the waterfront, food, fun, music and killer appetizers. It's going to be kind of like Squid Ink meets Ed's Seafood Shed meets Sunset Pointe all in one," DiMario said. "Expect killer hamburgers, tuna nachos, all kinds of cool fries, artichoke dip and grilled fish sandwiches. Super approachable and not fine dining."
The addition of The Waterfront to the PP Hospitality Group umbrella will replace the water views lost at Ed's Seafood Shed on the Causeway. The property was destroyed by an early morning fire in September 2021.
While the goal was to reopen the Causeway location with a new concept, DiMario said they have run into some roadblocks and are currently evaluating what to do with the property.
"The project on the causeway has had so many things that got in the way from flood elevation to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to setbacks. The reality is to build that property it probably wouldn't be feasible based on the pylons and things that go there," DiMario said.
But when one door closes and another opens.
"When you have a situation that comes forward like that and now you have this other waterfront property that comes forward how do you get opportunities like that? How does something like that fall into your lap," Dimario said. "I think it is because you are doing good stuff. Building houses for people and telling people what they want to hear and what they don't want to hear. That is doing good stuff."
PP Hospitality has a lot of ideas for The Waterfront and DiMario is excited by the possibilities.
"The people at Lake Forest that we have been dealing with are super pumped about what we are doing there and excited about it. That makes it all great," DiMario said. "I think it will become a restaurant venue that becomes a destination on the water."
For more information on PP Hospitality Group and their various properties, visit paninipetes.com.