Travel & Leisure
Wrestler reopens Water's Edge with cheaper menu
JODY BOWES, correspondentWEEKI WACHEE - "If I'm not having fun, I'm not going to do it."
Published: August 25, 2009
Published: August 25, 2009
So says Mike Graham, co-owner of Weeki Wachee's all-new Water's Edge restaurant. Mike and Diane Graham opened the doors of their new eatery on July 24.
Mike is a 36-year veteran of professional wrestling who in the 1980s was AWA World Light Heavyweight Champion twice. His dad Eddie was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008. Diane manages the Graham's real estate investments and runs her own real estate company. They say they are finding their foray into restaurant management challenging and a lot of fun. Fun seems to be one of the key ingredients in their new recipe for success. They have made sweeping changes to the menu, building, landscape and venue.
"Everything on our menu is unique," says Mike. "All our food is prepared from original recipes."
He says chef Robert Edwards has more than 35 years' experience in the food industry and they are grateful to have him on board. Water's Edge reduced menu prices to hopefully inspire local residents to make their establishment a frequent gathering spot. The most expensive menu item is the $9.99 hand-cut filet mignon dinner. They serve smoked dishes, "Graham's Sandwiches," and "Mike's Surprise" daily specials. They constantly experiment with new items, and Edwards can sometimes be seen offering samples.
On Sunday mornings Water's Edge opens at 8 a.m. for its "Sunday Morning Breakfast Club." Breakfast is served until noon and includes Bloody Marys, Tequila Sunrises and fare such as a breakfast burrito, croissant, "Redneck sandwich" and biscuits with homemade sausage gravy.
This Labor Day they are presenting a Lobster Fest that includes lobster cooked on the grill and all the draft beer you can drink while you are eating. Water's Edge has a full liquor license and features well drinks, wine, draft beers and bottled beer.
With a capacity of 200, Waters Edge offers seating in the restaurant, bar and dance areas. Their new venue includes a pool table, video poker and bowling games, and "no-cover-charge" live music. Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 pm is "Biker's Fest on the Water," and Friday is Bike Night from 4 to 7 p.m. Getting up to dance, Weeki Wachee resident Bobbi Cela said she enjoys the live music and friendly staff.
"They make you feel welcome, and are very neighborhood-friendly," she said.
Outdoors is 280 feet of newly cleared waterfront. Covered picnic tables allow customers to sit back, unwind and enjoy the river view.
Boater Keith Lawrence tied-up to their dock. He and grandson James Johnson came in for takeout barbecue. Lawrence has patronized all the restaurants occupying that spot since the 1960s.
"I remember when this was the Green Door," he says. "It was real popular. They always had big crowds. I'm glad to see somebody is making this a friendly, local spot again."
Martha and Ed LaMaster live nearby on the river. The LaMasters have also patronized other restaurants at this location and hope the new eatery will bring people back to the area.
The Grahams report business had increased each weekend and hope local patrons will continue to support them. They are excited to have a new, different place to offer Hernando County, adding "We didn't want the same old walls, décor, food and drink. People live in Florida for the water. We love our nice waterfront view and that we have food you won't get anywhere else."
"Our message is simple," adds Mike, "Come to eat, stay for the fun. Enjoy our live music, play some pool, and meet some nice people. There are lots of friendly local folk to talk to here."
Waters Edge offers a 50-seat private banquet and meeting room, catering and take-out. They are currently open Wednesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. Live music is offered Friday and Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m.
Biz at a glance
Name - Water's Edge
Location - 6024 Cortez Blvd., Weeki Wachee (3 miles west of U.S. 19)
Contact - 352-610-4372