STUART, Fla. — Treasure Coast residents will now have the luxury of visiting a new beachfront bar and restaurant.
Years in the making, the Seaside Cafe on Stuart Beach opened its doors Friday after struggling to find employees for weeks.
"A beautiful view," said Mike Tierney, resident. "It's a wide beach, plenty of room and well-maintained."
Tierney said he was unaware of Friday's ribbon-cutting but quickly found himself enjoying the new hangout.
"Next thing I know I'm having a beer and I'm having a delicious smorgasbord of meals, friendly lovely people, just so glad I moved to Stuart," Tierney said.
The project cost $2 million and replaced the old Chef Shack that occupied the space for years.
Kevin Abbate, the director of Martin County Parks and Recreation, said the county began offering incentives such as free water park passes to Sailfish Splash and free rounds of golf to get residents to apply.
"We had a big influx of students. It was amazing to see some of the 14-year-olds apply for a job," said Abbate.
The cafe currently serves food, beer and wine.
Abbate is hoping the new colorful curb appeal will bring in customers.
"We know we're going to get the beach customer because they're here and they're hungry, but getting the customer off the street to come to this destination was our goal," Abbate said.
The new property also includes new restrooms and beach showers.
It will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekdays.
"I'm definitely going to come back, and I would recommend anybody in the area to come back to enjoy the service and the food," Tierney said.