One of the locals’ favorite restaurants in the Navarre Beach area is the Blackwater Bistro, located in historic Milton. It offers delicious cuisine, an incredible brunch menu, and quaint décor. But our favorite local bistro also offers something you won’t find on the menu: A rich history dating back to the early 1900’s.
The Building’s History
The building that now houses the Blackwater Bistro was constructed around 1909 as a private home for Dr. James McBride Sharit and his family. Dr. Sharit and his daughter, Marie, would often make house calls by a horse-drawn carriage to the residents in the surrounding area.
Throughout the decades, various families lived in the home, with the last resident being Ms. Janice Mason and her children. Ms. Mason operated a Court Reporting Company in the private dining room – not surprising given the house’s close proximity to the county courthouse! What is today the Blackwater Bistro’s kitchen was once her sons’ bedroom.
Not only is the building itself historic, many of the decorations inside have their own backstories. The large mirror currently hanging in the main dining room came from an English pub in Great Britain, dated over 100 years old. Also in the main dining room is a historic chandelier replica.
The city of Milton is known as the Canoe Capitol of Florida, and a beloved friend, loaned Blackwater Bistro the Dugout Canoe, or Pirogue, that hangs in the bar room. This Dugout Canoe was made and acquired in Ecuador where it was used as a means of transportation for a family.
The Blackwater Bistro
In 2008, Paul and Pam Ki Martin purchased the property and began restoring the original beauty and charm of the old house. Most of the wood is original, including the flooring, walls and windows. Many of the original doors were kept as decoration and were used to adorn the halls near the kitchen, as well as trim the bar. The bar itself is built from walls that had to be removed.
On January 2, 2009, Blackwater Bistro opened its doors to serve the good people and visitors of Milton and the Navarre Beach area, and they’ve never looked back. With down-home cooking that has just as much charm as the building itself, you’re sure to have a wonderful meal to remember.