Bud & Alley's Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Panama City Beach

May 16, 2014 by SoWal Staff

The bell rang loud and clear yesterday as a 30-year Seaside tradition made the short hop over to the waterfront in Panama City Beach. A convoy headed out from SoWal to take a 200-pound vintage bell from an old steam train and hoist it into place at the new Bud & Alley's Waterfront Restaurant overlooking Grand Lagoon. After a few remarks, owner Dave Rauschkolb grinned from ear to ear and rang the bell loudly, signaling the beginning of a new tradition at the remodeled 400-seat restaurant and officially claiming that a second Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant is now open for business.

The second old bell leaves Seaside headed to Panama City Beach. "It's so gratifying the way the community has embraced us," said Dave. "I've been surfing here for more than 30 years and kept my boat next door. When the opportunity opened up o take over the old Boathouse Restaurant space I said yes immediately. I knew someone else would if I didn't and I knew with the incredible staff I have we could make it happen."

The new Bud & Alley’s restaurant is located in the heart of the working waterfront just steps from the Lighthouse Marina, which sits on the north shore of Grand Lagoon - a protected body of water connecting the Gulf of Mexico by West Pass just minutes from the marina by boat.

Local architect Leo Casas was the point man for the redesign and renovations. "The biggest challenge was the sheer size and scope of the project and the short amount of time we had to get it done," said Leo.

The new location is much larger than Bud & Alley's in Seaside with several different bars and dining areas on two levels. The first thing Leo did was advise Dave to open up every room to take advantage of the water view.

The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner. Whether you come by land or by sea, you won’t want to miss the restaurant’s daily bell ringing signaling the setting of the sun over the water. Guess the exact time and you win a free drink from the bar.

The new entrance to the upper floor - "Stairway to Heaven".


“We’re elated to be moving into this new, amazing location and offer our world-famous hospitality to the visitors and guests of Lighthouse Marina and Panama City,” said Dave.

Founded in 1986 in Seaside, Bud & Alley’s has become a gathering place revered by local patrons and visitors known for “Good Food. Good People. Good Times.”


The original Bud & Alley’s is an anchor restaurant for the culinary scene located on Scenic 30A in Seaside. Over the years, Bud & Alley’s has garnered numerous awards including Florida Trend Magazine’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame Award, designating the eatery as one of the Top 20 Restaurants in Florida.


Lawrence Klang joins the Bud & Alley’s team as executive chef. Klang brings a far-reaching knowledge and passion for the freshest of seafood and clean flavors cultivated by training in England, the South of France, and along the coast of Maine. Passionate about working with local fisherman and farmers, Klang was recognized for inspired recipes in the kitchen of the acclaimed Natalie Restaurant in Camden Harbour, Maine, and Fish Out of Water at WaterColor Inn on 30A.

Just one of the many dining areas with a view - there is indoor and outdoor seating - still to come is an enclosed "Marina Club with leather sofas and massive TV screens for sports.

Chef de cuisine Derek Langford refined his culinary skills closer to home receiving a culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Blue. Langford worked for five years at Fish Out of Water, where he forged relationships with regional farmers and local fisherman to obtain the freshest produce and seafood and refined his classic French training with authentic Southern Gulf-coast traditions.   

Bud & Alley’s has been a leader on the Northwest Florida culinary scene pioneering the fish- and farm-to-table food revolution in Seaside and along Scenic 30A. The menu embraces the seafood of the North Florida coastal lowlands serving only the freshest locally available ingredients. Bud & Alley's renditions of Gulf coast classics paired with a personal take on classic Southern cuisine have been the hallmark of nearly 30 years of menus.

The new location even has its own Pizza Bar with wood-fired oven.

The menu boasts a variety of fresh seafood including famous jumbo lump blue crab cakes, grilled whole fish of the day or Seaside shrimp. Bud & Alley's also offers Naples-style wood-fired pizza served from a pizza bar and a full menu of antipasti and Mediterranean dishes for sharing.

Intimate seating at the Pizza Bar.

Whether dining in our open-air roof deck, air-conditioned dining room or comfortable Marina Club bar, every seat has a view. Just like in Seaside, Bud & Alley's is the favorite gathering place for the daily bell ringing and sunset celebration. It's a local ritual to enjoy the Happy Hour prices at dusk and watch the boats come in and display their catch. After dinner, Bud & Alley's Marina Club Rooftop Bar features excellent live entertainment and DJs for open-air late night dancing and fun.

Local favorite Donnie Sundal entertained the crowd with the bell at his side and the awesome waterview and sunset at his back.

"It is a real privilege to have this opportunity to bring some great new Bud & Alley’s traditions to Grand Lagoon and the East Side. I welcome everyone to join us at Bud & Alley’s and usher in a new fun, dining tradition to Panama City Beach,” Dave said.

For more information on Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant & Marina Club Rooftop Bar, call (850) 249-2111 and visit To plan a wedding, corporate event or catered event, contact Tiffany Windsor at (850) 960-6651 or email


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