about Paradise Grill
1097 N.Tamiami Trail
Nokomis, FL 34275
In the Nokomis Village Plaza
Southwest Corner of US 41 & Laurel Road
For Reservations Call (941) 786-1524
Family Owned & Operated
Full Service Catering
Take Out & Call Ahead
Reservations Upon Request
Live Music Daily
Happy Hour Daily till 7pm
Laid Back Casual Dining
Full Tiki Bar
Fresh Caught Seafood
Farm to Table Menu
Fresh Fruit & Juice from Mixon Farms
Daily Delivery from Sutter Dairy
The Sun - Venice Gondolier
Venice Lifestyle Magazine
Venice Lifestyle Magazine
Three years ago, Mary Beth Hansen bought the site of the old Ophelia’s Pasta House in Nokomis and took a sledgehammer to the place. Out went the acres and acres of garish pink tile. Out went the nine tiny dining rooms in favor of a much more open and spacious three-room floor plan. And, finally, up went her new restaurant’s name, Paradise Grill, a statement of just how Mary Beth feels about her restaurant, as well her beautiful corner of Florida.
“I’m from Michigan,” the warm and affable Mary Beth explains while enjoying a martini at the Paradise Grill’s indoor bar. “I had a restaurant in East Lansing, sold it, and then had a bistro in Lansing, right across from the capital for many years. Eighteen years ago, I came down here to change my lifestyle and get out of the cold. I completely gutted this place and started from scratch.”
The new restaurant she built is a lively and colorful homage to Old Florida’s laid-back lifestyle, to the freedom of mid-century vacation travel and the great American highway. At the Paradise Grill, everything is made from scratch even down to the soups and salad dressing. The drinks are stiff and cold, and by the time your second visit arrives, Mary Beth and her staff of 40 will likely have already learned your name.
“Our goal is to get to know people,” she says. “We’re a neighborhood business, very customer-oriented. We absolutely love our locals, really cultivate our relationship with them. We want everyone to feel welcome and special and just strive to be gracious hosts and hostesses.”
Outside, Paradise Grill boasts an authentic thatched tiki bar hand-built by members of Florida’s Miccosukee tribe, jammed every night of the week with live music and happy hour drink specials. There’s a 7-foot tarpon on the wall; and inside, floor-to-ceiling wine racks; a full bar as long as a basketball court; and the artwork of Brendan Coudal, locally famous for his retro paintings of pinup girls and the Florida of fishing poles and orange blossoms. For a $100 donation to the South County Food Bank, customers can have their own hometowns added to the colorful road marker signs hung about the place.
Mary Beth wrote the menu herself and brought down some of her Midwestern favorite comfort food from her Michigan days—including shepherd’s pie and mashed potatoes—and added a coastal cuisine flair, including her signature fish tacos. Of course, the Paradise Grill is also the go to place for that perfect “cheeseburger in paradise.”
But being the best casual dining and watering hole in town isn’t enough for Mary Beth. Paradise Grill also regularly hosts fundraisers for a variety of nonprofits including Toys for Tots, the Venice-Nokomis Woman’s Club and the United Way. At last year’s Christmas fundraiser, more than 900 toys were donated by her customers to give to needy kids.
“As a neighborhood business, anything we can do financially to help out in the community, we do it,” she says.
She takes a moment to greet yet another customer with a, “Hey, Bill! How are ya?”
Then she winks and says, “At Paradise Grill, we just spoil our customers rotten.”
1097 N. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis, 941.786.1524, ParadiseGrillFL.com
Venice Gulf Coast Living Magazine
Discover Paradise Grill, where it’s always tiki time! Enter this Nokomis eatery, and you’ll be charmed by its warm, inviting vibe; inspired, quality-driven menu; and friendly staff. In fact, when you come in, you’ll find that the restaurant’s team will make you feel welcome at this casual neighborhood meeting place.
Having over 35 years in the restaurant industry, owner Mary Beth Hansen saw a niche in the area’s food scene that needed to be filled: a place with a comfortable atmosphere where people could gather to enjoy great cocktails and food—all at a reasonable price.
She’s accomplished that and more with the Paradise Grill. Since it opened its doors in January 2016, this unpretentious getaway has become a favorite destination for locals, snowbirds and visitors!
Enjoy the wide-ranging menu that features Gulf-to-table fare. Snack on the oysters, fish tacos and burgers. Nosh on the mouthwateringly delicious Mexican pulled pork tacos (carnitas) or try the delicious catch of the day. “Our food is fresh, locally sourced and cooked to order,” shares Mary Beth, adding, “We make all our own sauces.”
You’ll find there’s beer on tap, plus all your favorite drinks with many special ones also available. Among the most popular offerings? The Paradise Cocktail and Nokomis Iced Tea.
Stop in any day of the week and you’ll discover that there is always something fun going on. Live music has been part of the Paradise Grill experience since day one and it always draws a crowd. Tune into some of your favorite hits from the 1950s through the 1980s from 6 to 9 p.m. every night of the week.
Adding to the variety, the specials menu changes daily: Monday is All-You-Can-Eat Pasta, followed by Taco Tuesdays and Wednesday night’s “Burgers for $7.” Thursday’s specials are Chicken Parmigiana and Three-Cheese Spinach Lasagna, while Prime Rib is served up on Friday and Saturday, along with all the regular fare, of course.
“We’ve had great support from the locals since we’ve opened,” says Mary Beth. “We call them our ‘Paradise family.’ Our manager, Terri Zabel, does a fabulous job of making sure everyone feels special and appreciated.”
Customers, like James Myers of Venice, have responded favorably. “The atmosphere here is fantastic,” he enthuses. “The entertainment is great. It’s such a lively place, and the bartenders and servers always have a smile on their faces. You really feel at home here.”
“You can’t beat the prices,” adds patron Bill Colbath, also of Venice, pointing out the $5 wings. “I’ve been coming here since they opened. Nothing changes from week to week; they don’t skyrocket the prices. They even put on a party for the regulars, with free beer and food last Christmas. It seems the people involved in this restaurant go out of their way to please you and to make you happy.”
Stop by the Paradise Grill today and get ready for a great time!
Conveniently located in the Nokomis Village Plaza
at the corner of US-41 and Laurel Road in Nokomis
Paradise Grill is open:
Mon.-Thurs. 11am till 10pm
Friday 11am till 11pm
Sat. 7:30am till 11pm
Sunday 7:30am till 10pm
Happy Hour is Open till 7pm Daily!
Written by Lynne Bermel Scripter
Photographed by Kyra Barger
Venice Gulf Coast Living Magazine