Nick’s on the Bay is a Family Affair
November 21, 2013 by Jill Tanner
Nick’s Seafood Restaurant is famous for having the freshest seafood around. They get all of their mullet, crab, shrimp, and flounder right out of the Choctawhatchee Bay. The Gulf provides an endless supply of fish right off the boat. The Nick family takes pride in serving real seafood - not worried about how pretty they can put crab on top of grouper - but ensuring that it’s the freshest and tastiest grouper you'll ever have.
The story of Nick's began in 1956 when Frank and Hattie Nick bought a piece of bayfront property west of Freeport for just $8,500. The land where Nick’s Seafood Restaurant (AKA Nick's on the Bay) sits now was once a beloved and simple fish camp. Frank (Old Nick) and Hattie (Miss Hattie) rented boats for just a dollar a day and sold bait and beer to fishermen.
In 1963 the focus of the business changed and Nick’s Seafood Restaurant was born. Sixteen years later, Frank Jr. and his wife, Bonnie, took over, and then their children, Frank III (Trey) and Jennifer, in 1998. Three generations of Nicks have claimed Nick’s on the Bay and no doubt their legacy will be carried on by a fourth generation by Aubree and Cade, Trey and Jennifer’s children.
The unassuming restaurant by the bay west of Freeport on highway 20 has Apalachicola oysters you can order by the half dozen or dozen, homemade seafood gumbo that is to die for, and some of the most delicious fried chicken you will ever taste. If gator tail is your thing, they fry it up nice and golden.
Nick's has beer and wine at prices that are unheard of this day and age. Come visit Tuesday – Sunday from 11:00 – 8:30. Better yet, join the gang at Nick’s for a huge bonfire (a couple of stories tall) right on the bay on December 6 from 6 p.m. to midnight. There will be live music by The Velcro Pygmies, food and drinks, and tons of fun. Nick's takes a break from December 16 - 25, reopening on the 26.
Head north on hwy 331 to Freeport, hang a left on hwy 20 through town for about 10 miles to Basin Bayou and you'll see Nick's on the left. It’s not as far as you think - just twenty minutes or so - come out and get the seafood you dream about.