Since opening its doors in 2009, the Blackwater Bistro has become a destination for people to dine, visit and enjoy the atmosphere of a historic home and the beauty of the Blackwater River.
Glen Hill, manager of the establishment since its opening, said he’s proud of what the restaurant has become over the years. He recalls many hours of hard work and determination to not only remodel the building but to also make it a place where friends can meet and couples can celebrate. “Come relax on our large front porch or dine inside. People love it here for a reason,” he said.
Beginning February 19, 2017 the Blackwater Bistro will begin serving brunch on Sunday opening at 10 a.m. Business hours are open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., serving and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and located at 5147 Elmira Street, Milton. Don’t forget to like them on Facebook. Their number is 850-623-1105 to call for reservations.
The history of the building, Hill said, is not only interesting but significant for the city. He supplied a brief description of the restaurant’s past:
“The Bistro is located in the oldest building of any restaurant in Santa Rosa County. The James McBride Sharit House was began in 1903 and completed in 1907 as a private home for Dr. Sharit and his family. Dr. Sharit and his wife raised their only daughter, Marie, in the home. The couple would make house calls providing medicine and health care using his horse drawn carriage with white horses,” he said.
Hill said over the years the home was owned by various families. Janice Mason and her family were the last private family to reside in the home.
As you stroll the house, he said, you will find some of the original doors standing in the hallway near the entrance to the kitchen. Some of the doors were used to line the bar. The bar is constructed from the walls removed from that room which divided the parlors and bedrooms on the north side of the house.
In 2008, Paul and Pam Kilmartin purchased the home and completed the restoration. They desired to return the building to as much of its original charm and beauty as possible.
Most of the windows, walls, ceilings and floors are original wood. The large mirror in the main dining room came to us from an English Pub in Great Britain. It is over 100 years old as well.
The hearths and fireplaces take us back to a simple time in life where warmth was passed by the burning of wood and the telling of family stories.
Blackwater Bistro was named Santa Rosa County’s Business of the Year, 2013.
Hill said both he and the Kilmartins are supportive of the local schools and charitable organizations by assisting the homeless, employing young men who are re-entering the work force, and donating musical instruments and supplies to middle and high school band programs.
“Ownership, managers and staff are excited about the growth and development in Santa Rosa County and in the City of Milton,” Hill said.
Blackwater Bistro is located in downtown Milton across from the Blackwater River Riverwalk and the downtown event space where festivals, concerts, car shows and movies are held each year.