The Quarterdeck Seafood Bar & Grill, a popular watering hole on Indiantown Road for about 15 years, closed after business hours Tuesday and the owners are planning a new restaurant/dive/kayak rental business adjacent to Sawfish Bay Park.
“The new facility ties in with the eco-tourism and history in Jupiter,” said Richard Cullifer, one of the owners of 50-employee Quarterdeck and part of the group developing the new project.
Sawfish Bay Park, a public park on the east side of Alternate A1A north of Indiantown Road, is the site of the 1915 Florida East Coast Railway depot, once a stop on Henry Flagler’s railroad. Local residents are raising money to refurbish the structure, which would be rented for social events.
Cullifer’s $2 million plan calls for remodeling the 7,000-square-foot, one-story Jupiter Dive Center and office building owned by the Cullifer group. The new 150-seat raw bar/restaurant would serve casual seafood, hamburgers and alcohol. The developers would build and maintain outdoor public restrooms.
No live music would be played, Cullifer said.
Kayak and paddle boat customers could row to locations such as Jupiter-owned Fullerton Island. The county and town are working on a plan to make the vacant, 12-acre island an aquatic preserve accessible only to small boats.
“The project fits in with the diving, reefs, kayaking and other eco-tourism activities in the area,” said Russ Ruskay, Jupiter’s director of business development.
Quarterdeck owners were unsure whether to sell the property before the new project was built.
“When a viable offer was made, our decision was made for us. It was a no-brainer,” he said.
Cullifer said he could not release the Quarterdeck sales price nor the buyer because the sale is still pending.
The Sawfish Bay project must be approved twice by the town council before construction can begin. No date has been set for the first public meeting. Cullifer said he hopes to present a plan in about six months.