MARCO ISLAND — The air was permeated by the delicious scent of smoking shark at CJ’s on the Bay Tuesday as people gathered for the “Loco for the Locals” Luau.
Guests were arrayed in festive attire ranging from Hawaiian shirts to grass skirts and coconuts as they listened to music from Duncan Wheeler. The Bacardi girls handed out drink samples while guests were eating dinner and then led guests through games like the Limbo and a hula hoop contest.
“The response was positive, there were a lot of locals in attendance and everyone seemed to have fun,” said Laura Owen, executive chef and restaurant manager at CJ’s. “We were honored by the presence of so many loyal and valued friends.”
There were about 115 people sampling the buffet of shark, steak and various other dishes and many others hanging out around the bar and enjoying food and drinks from the regular menu.
“CJ’s hosts tourists and snowbirds and we truly enjoy having, but that said, the locals are our real, true fan base,” Owen said. “They support us during the summer and bring visiting family and friend throughout the year.”
One local, “Bamboo” Bob Warren was enjoying the drink specials and the atmosphere as he waited for the line to thin out so he could try the roasted shark.
“We catch shark all the time,” Warren said. “It has a good texture, like Mahi, but I have never had it roasted before.”
Plates were piled high and the bar was busy keeping glasses filled as the party rolled on.
“We had a good response,” Owen said. “We are considering hosting a couple more fun parties for the locals, probably in August and October.”