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Ride on down to the Longbeach Cafe on Longboat Key

Longbeach Cafe on Longboat Key (FL) opens today!
Longbeach Cafe on Longboat Key (FL) opens today!
Tom Batchelor

Motorcyclists are known for group riding on a nice weekend with a particular restaurant stop as the destination. They plan routes designed specifically for the place they're salivating over that takes them through scenic back roads or lovely beachfront areas. Certainly, routes are designed to enjoy the ride and the roads but there's always the draw of the food.

Longbeach Cafe on Longboat Key (FL) is that kind of place. Recently opened, the restaurant sports an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, plenty of parking, great food and fast service. Their hours are 7am-3pm M-S and Sunday, 7am -1pm.

Years ago, this very location was home for Isabelle's Eatery, which was an extremely popular place especially for the breakfast crowd. Isabelle's is long gone now but the history of that former restaurant is ever present today.

Pete and Colleen Collandra, with partner Jeffery Daly, planned the restaurant for many months but to Pete and Colleen, it's more than just a business venture. Married just over ten years now, it is at this very location where Pete met Colleen.

Colleen worked for Isabelle's for many years and one day, Pete sprang roses on her while behind the counter. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Colleen brings many, many years of restaurant and hospitality experience to the venture, while Pete and his "Mr. Fix It" hands-on skills keeps the gears turning.

Longboat Key is a barrier island just 11 miles long and is split in the center by the Manatee/Sarasota county line. Beach views are plentiful along Gulf of Mexico Drive, the area is generally packed with motorcycles on nice weekends. Hundreds a day can be seen on any given day.

Make Longboat Key's Beachfront Cafe a destination for your next breakfast or lunch ride. It is located at the north end of the island in the Whitney Beach plaza. The street address for your GPS is 6836 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228.

From the Tampa/St. Pete area, simply head south on 275, over the Skyway bridge and continue south into Manatee County. Take SR64 out to towards the beaches. Head south on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach and continue all the way onto Longboat Key, which is just over the Longboat Pass Bridge (just south of Coquina Beach). Whitney Beach Plaza is on the left about 1/2 mile from the bridge.

After a great meal, take your group and continue south on the Key, enjoying the Gulf views and beach scenery.

A great place for a breakfast or lunch ride destination!