Blackwater Bistro receives Clayton White Business of the Quarter Award

Published on January 17, 2019 with No Comments

Special thanks to the Santa Rosa Press Gazette for their contribution to this story.


While celebrating its 10th anniversary in January, the Milton City Council voted Blackwater Bistro to be the Clayton White Business of the Quarter for 2019.
The local restaurant is now a popular destination for people to dine, visit and enjoy the atmosphere of a historic home. The establishment is located just off the shore the Blackwater River on Elmira Street in downtown Milton.

Councilman Jeff Snow made the motion for the Bistro to receive the award at the Jan. 8 council meeting saying,  “The restaurant is an asset to the city.”
At the 10th anniversary gathering January 12, Mayor Heather Lindsay said Bistro employees care about everyone who comes in. She said it represents the image Milton desires.
“We are proud to recognize the Bistro, the owners, employees and all who come here,” she said.
Council presented the award Saturday to coincide with the Bistro’s 10th anniversary. Named after the late Councilman Clayton White for his dedication to small businesses, the city gives this award each quarter to a Milton business. The business receives an engraved trophy and will keep the city’s decorative Business of the Quarter sign for three months.

Pam and Paul Kilmartin receive the Clayton White Business of the Quarter Award while Mayor Heather Lindsay says a few words about the Blackwater Bistro.

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. Always giving, Paul served on the city council for four years and continues to serve on the Planning Board. His wife Pam grew up in Santa Rosa County and is at Lt. Commander in the Navy Reserves. Both work in the health care industry.
Paul was honored to receive the award. Regarding the anniversary he said, “Smiles and laughs have been had. Tears both happy and sad have been shared. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping Pam and I make the Bistro what it is today.”

The Clayton White Business of the Quarter sign

 Glen Hill, manager of the establishment since its opening, said he’s proud of what the restaurant has become. 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. Hill currently serves on the Riverfront Re-development Team and active in engaging in growth management activities for the city.
The Bistro is located in the oldest building hosting a 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. According to Hill, 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 carriage drawn by white horses.
Hill said over the years the home was owned by numerous families. Janice Mason’s family were the last  family to reside in the home.

Glen Hill, manager

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.
Most of the windows, walls, ceilings and floors are original wood. The large mirror in the main dining room came from an English Pub in Great Britain. It is over 100 years old as well, said Hill.



Posted in Arts and Culture, Business Spotlight, Downtown, News

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