New stores emerging in Pier Park just in time for spring break

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 10:56 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - With spring breakers starting to arrive, so does new business in Pier Park in Panama City Beach.

“Panama City is one of the great 11 wonders of the world,” celebrity chef Paula Deen said.

As Deen would say, she always knew one of her restaurants belonged here. Deen wants to welcome everyone back to the re-opening of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen after it closed its doors in 2019.

“To me, the most important thing is southern hospitality. That’s what my business was built on,” said Deen.

Deen said while Panama City Beach is home away from home for spring breakers, she wants people to step into her restaurant and feel at home, but more so, feel like they’re at her home.

“They’re going to get this wonderful food that really made me who I am,” said Deen.

Deen said the idea of the family-style restaurant centers around spending time at the table with family and friends. Also in Pier Park, people looking for more fun in the sun can enjoy other activities outside of dining.

“Because we’re getting ready for spring break, so you want to treat everyone accordingly going into the season,” said Tori Allen, manager for Axe Throwing Panama City Beach.

Allen said even though Axe Throwing opened a few weeks ago, business has been flying in.

“The market for tourism is really good here,” said Allen.

For the younger kids, they can build their fun in the form of animals at Build-A-Bear workshop. While visitors flood in for spring break, that doesn’t guarantee every store will make it, with a few storefronts in Pier Park remaining empty.

Deen said due to the pandemic, she will not be here for the re-opening on March 8. She adds she plans to come to what she calls “home,” once things with COVID-19 settle down. Allen also said visitors should keep a lookout for their new surprise business coming in the next few months.

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