George D. Petrandis constructed the original building in. He built the structure on salvaged lumber and nails from the closing of Camp Gordon Johnson at St. Teresa Beach. The pilings for the foundation were purchased for one dollar each. For the first few years of operation, generators also bought from the Army camp provided electricity. Until Mr. Petrandis bought the poles to run the power from Panacea to the bridge, there was no electricity in the vicinity. The George’s Café and Bar was built on pilings and located over water in order to be in a “wet” county; Leon and Wakulla were dry at the time. Franklin’s county line at that time was the north bank of the Ochlockonee Bay. George’s soon became a popular “watering hole” for Tallahassee and South Georgia residents. But, it was the food, more than the bar that began to draw enormous crowds.
During the summer months of the ‘s, it was not unusual to see cars parked all the way to the intersection and in the corner filling station’s lot while customers waited for a chance to eat “over the water” and enjoy the fresh local seafood. The present owner, Angelo E. Petrandis, cooked hushpuppies standing on a box in order to reach the fryer and learned to broil steaks and seafood as a boy. He bussed tables as his father and brothers, Jimmy and Johnny, cooked and his mother Bulah and his aunt Helen served the seafood dinners they were famous for. As a toddler, Angelo rode his tricycle through the dining room, meeting and eating with customers. Angelo and Arline opened their first restaurant just up the road from here, the concrete block building on your left that now houses a branch of Wakulla Bank. They were in business at that location for sixteen years. In March of, after extensive renovations to the old building, Angelo moved back home over the water. During the years between and, Angelo and Arline raised their three children Thomas, Yasmin and Lila as “restaurant babies.”
They each progressed from riding Fisher Price busses through the dining room to bussing tables, washing dishes, making salads, cooking, cashing, and bartending. During the’s, in an effort to get away from the constant demands of a busy restaurant, we tried a ten-year lease to an outside party. The arrangement didn’t work out but did serve to let Thomas M. Petrandis and his wife, Jennifer, realize they wanted to be back in business. So Arline and Angelo began the process of turning the restaurant over to the next generation. Thomas and Jennifer added new dimensions to the restaurant. Thomas’s talent and love of creative food combinations resulted in a menu that included many new specialty dishes. Because of Jennifer’s accounting degree and expertise, the restaurant had its first computerized registers and bookkeeping system. They were steadily increasing the customer base while continuing to serve the same fresh seafood that is the hallmark of Petrandis cooking. On July 10, 2005, Hurricane Dennis changed all our options and plans for the future.
The “old building” which had stood for sixty years suffered severe damage from the storm. Our only choice was to finish the demolition and start over. So began the lengthy process of planning, financing, and constructing. Without the determination and vision of Angelo, this building would never have been completed. We owe a great deal to our cousin, Chris Gouras, who designed, ordered, and assembled the equipment for the first class kitchen and bars. We were fortunate to have the knowledge and efficiency of nephew Lee Petrandis who was our general contractor. Without the labor and skill of countless other subcontractors, this landmark new building would not exist. Our greatest debt is to the good Lord, because He was willing; we are back! We welcome you to this one-of-a-kind restaurant. Angelo’s is based on heritage, hard work, and fresh local seafood prepared expertly. We know we provide our customers the finest seafood, because we catch and clean it ourselves. We have our own fishing and shrimp boats, the Tropical Trader fleet, to ensure the seafood we serve is the freshest possible.