Pitmaster brings weekend barbeque to Twisted Oar

Ownership wasn’t the only thing that changed last fall at Twisted Oar. The eatery at Holiday Marina, now owned by Jarrett and Kelli Gorlin, has a pitmaster.

Steve Harris joined the staff to cook barbecue on weekends at the restaurant last October. “Jarrett and Kelli wanted to add another dimension to the menu, so they brought me in,” said the retired Chamblee policeman. “I’ve been doing barbecue for years, so it just was a good fit.”

Harris spends his weekends – Fridays through Sundays – at an oversized smoker outside the restaurant, and you can smell the smoking meats cooking from the parking lot. He varies his selection between ribs, brisket, pork butts and chicken.

“I’ve really started to develop a following,” he said. “It has surprised me.”

Twisted Oar offers crab legs on Thursday nights and prime rib on Fridays. Weekends include entertainment. The restaurant opens every day at 11:30 a.m. Closing times vary. The website is thetwistedoar.com.

Pelican Pete’s at Port Royale is upping its game. “We’ve brought in the company’s executive chef, Corey Heath, from Waterfront Restaurant in Naples, to expand and enhance our menu,” said Brian Grill, manager of Pelican Pete’s.

The lake’s only floating restaurant is adding lobster rolls, oysters on the half shell and “Nashville Hot” chicken sandwiches to its selections. Additionally, diners can choose from barbeque platters or “drunken mussels” appetizers.

“We’ve added sharable sides, plus two new frozen drinks, including a ‘bushwhacker’ and a ‘frozé,’ frozen rosé wine with vodka,” Grill said. “This year, people can also purchase frozen margaritas on draft.”

Pelican Pete’s opened in late April for Thursday through Sunday dining; it will open daily beginning Memorial Day Weekend. For more information, visit the website at pelicanpeteslanier.com.

Gainesville Marina’s Skogie’s has once again expanded its seating. “We’ve added seating on the hill under a canopy, plus we’ve now got a pizza oven,” said Tony Jonovitch, owner. “While we’re still operating a limited menu because of the pandemic, we’re offering weeknight specials, including 75-cent wings on Mondays; buy-one, get-one taco Tuesdays; BOGO burgers on Wednesdays; Thursdays Low-Country Boil; and $1 oysters on the half shell on Fridays. And we have entertainment on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.”

Sunday’s all-you-can-eat brunch features several different style Benedicts, as well as various breakfast and lunch items. Skogie’s is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more info, visit skogieslakefrontrestaurant.us.

Rudy Conner, owner of Smokey Q BBQ has spent the winter and early spring upgrading and remodeling his restaurant at Bald Ridge Marina.

“We’ve got a new look, an expanded kitchen and seating for 50 in our pavilion, as well as inside dining,” said Connor, who has owned the eatery for five years. “By early May, we’ll be open Tuesdays through Sundays.”

As the name says, Rudy barbeques pulled pork, pulled chicken, plus Philly cheesesteak, smoked chicken Philly, smoked chicken wings and pork spareribs.

“This year we’re adding gourmet hand-pattied burgers and beef brisket,” he said. “And we’ll have some new sides.” For more information, see  Smokey Q BBQ on Facebook.

Pig Tales at Aqualand Marina and Fish Tales at Hideaway Bay Marina, owned by Dale and Jessica Ozaki, opened in early March for the season. Both will begin nightly music on Memorial Day weekend and continue through the start of the new school year.

Pig Tales specializes in all things barbecue and has a wide range of gourmet burgers. The build-your-own option includes a choice of protein, bread, cheese and various toppers. Fish Tales features fresh seafood from grouper to Ahi tuna, plus baskets, burgers and specialty tacos. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For information, visit www.fishtaleslakelanier.com or www.pigtaleslakelanier.com.

Visit Lakeside’s Dining Page for additional lakeside options


Skogie’s raises funds for Gold Star Families; seeks sponsors, donations

For the fifth year, Skogie’s is donating its sales to help Gold Star Families through “BelieveWithMe.com” on Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend.

“For $20 people can enjoy our all-you-can-eat buffet on Sunday and know that they’re helping support Gold Star Families,” said Tony Jonovitch, owner of Skogie’s. “It’s a wonderful way to support the families of fallen soldiers with finances, housing, living expenses, school uniforms and more, when they need it the most.”

The event will include a silent auction and will be accepting monetary donations.

“We’re also seeking additional sponsors and items for our silent auction,” he said. “Anything from tickets to a professional sports event to a guided fishing trip will be welcomed.”

In 2020, the event was canceled because of the pandemic. But in the time since Skogie’s began hosting this fund-raiser, the event has raised more than $50,000 for the national organization.

To donate or become a sponsor, call Jonovitch at 407 421-3468.