Gator's Gator missing from Blue Orleans
By Joyce Owen
The always smiling ‘gator that guarded the door at Blue Orleans restaurant has gone missing, said Blue Orleans’ owner Gator, who prefers to keep his last name a mystery.
Gator discovered the ‘gator at Shiver Me Timbers gift shop in Cape Cod, Mass. many years ago.
When he saw the statue, he had to have it.
“The ‘gator, which he (the shopkeeper) valued at about $500, was a gift from a woman,” he said.
Much of the memorabilia in Blue Orleans has a ‘gator theme.
The ‘gator statue was the official greeter at the restaurant. A tray resting on his left arm held menus, with a coffee mug placed on top to keep them from blowing away in the frequently breezy conditions on the porch.
When Gator arrived at Blue Mountain Beach Plaza on Oct. 3, he discovered his beloved ‘gator was missing.
The coffee cup had been placed on a nearby ledge.
When Gator reported the theft to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 3, he asked if there was a possibility they could dust the coffee mug for prints.
WCSO’s Public Information Office Bryan Maule did not have any information on the case, but said unless the investigators need his assistance, they don’t advise him on a case.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the LSU/ Florida football game this weekend,” Gator admitted Tuesday as he shared his misfortune. However Laurie Liles from Richard Liles Interiors, the business next door to the restaurant, wasn’t so sure.
“They get a crowd (at the restaurant) and though it is not an unruly group, this is football season,” she said.
Rather than offering a reward, Gator has promised an award for the return of the ‘gator. If anyone has information about the ‘gator, call Blue Orleans at (850) 622-1909.
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