The Jury is in on Vero Beach’s The Patio Seafood Tavern: It is a Destination Tavern

Vintage Painting

Vintage Painting of The Patio


Did you know, it is presumed, that when Vero beach legend Waldo Sexton built The Patio, he was able to convince the developers of Route One to divert the North-South route to go East – West in front of what was then his strawberry stand and ice cream parlor?


Waldo Sexton / 1885 – 1967

Waldo Sexton build The Patio in pieces. First he built the strawberry stand, which is now the “Blue Room.” Then he added the ice cream parlor, which is now the “Red Room.” Then he added a barbeque “joint,” which is now the bar.

To round out the three venues he added an outdoor patio, which is the origin of the name The Patio. Eventually a roof was put over the patio and it became a dining room.

Two Paintings on Either Side of the Bar believed to be Waldo Sexton’s wife Elsebeth Martins who he married in 1917.

Woman One

Woman Two

(Glad They’re a Little Blurry)

Here’s Gregory Peck

Jimmy Stewart

Bill Brown leased the Patio in late 2014, much to the delight of the Sexton family, and had his grand opening on New Year’s Day 2015.

He has an impressive background in managing / owning restaurants in Michigan and Orlando, especially budgeting and designing cuisine.

Bill Brown

Bill Brown

Bill felt it was important to rebrand The Patio as The Patio Seafood Tavern. The word Tavern is the special part because Tavern comes from the Latin word “Taberna.” Tabernae first appeared around the end of the fifth or fourth centuries B.C. as locations that were important for economic activities.

Taverns in the United States, after Prohibition, became basic drinking establishments where locals stopped after work for conversation and beer.

Bill wanted The Patio to be a Tavern, “a community place, where people get together, congregate and socialize and not a place just for special events. We are creating an atmosphere and environment where people feel comfortable.”

Patio seating


“We are a place where you can get an amazing certified Angus burger for $12.00 or Florida Black Grouper for $ 29.00.”

“On Tuesday nights we offer a Maine lobster for $ 19.95 and on Saturday nights we have an all you can eat offering of Snow Crab Legs for $ 25.95.

The reason for the word Seafood is that Bill grew up on the shoreline in Connecticut and felt having The Patio become a Seafood Tavern would complement where we are in Vero.

Bill said that: “when you open any new business you don’t really know how it will turn out. But during the season it exceeded our expectations and during the summer we hit our goals.”

One way The Patio Seafood Tavern is distinguishing itself from traditional restaurants is by its innovative cuisine and it’s unique presentation. Instead of shrimp scampi tossed in linguine, Bill prepares shrimp with lobster raviolis over a bed of cooked spinach in a creamy garlic sauce.

Although its is a Seafood Tavern, Bill also takes pride in their aged in-house steaks, which are hand-cut.

Another specialty is fresh Black Grouper, with a citrus glaze consisting of Indian River County limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruit.

“We are growing our business one person at a time. We put love into each serving and want it to be a special surprise. Our staff is extraordinary and we strive every day to improve our guest experience.”

“Word of mouth is the best type of marketing we can do. Although Bill wants The Patio Seafood Tavern to be a “community place,” recently the Blue and Red rooms have become a destination for private events.

One woman from Switzerland celebrating her own birthday wanted to plan her own party. Her father was a general. She selected the Blue room and her family flew here from Switzerland. Bill said: “they were so excited to have a place to come back to.”

In other instance a pharmaceutical company had a business meeting with overheads and a white board and “we are now becoming known as a destination for rehearsal dinners. I never thought we’d be in that type of event business.”

A tribute to Bill and his staff’s success is that The Patio Seafood Tavern is celebrating its one year anniversary on January 1, 2016.


Check out this Banyan Tree Just Inches from the Patio

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