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Feb 20

DOWNTOWN: The place to eat!

Posted to AROUND ABOUT TOWN by Brian Hughes

Folks who say, “There’s no place to eat here” haven’t explored Downtown Crestview in a while. The historic district’s 14threstaurant is slated to open in March, joining a choice of eateries that is as diverse in their menus as they are in their culture and heritage.
In fact, downtown Crestview's plethora of places to eat could be one of the community's best-kept secrets. Let's spill the beans!

Bill and Tracy Toannon, owners of Casbah Coffee Co., have entered the final stages in their quest to open The Heights, which will feature Chicago-style pizza and cuisine, and is on Wilson Street just south of their coffeehouse.

“The electricity is on now,” Bill Toannon said. “That makes a big difference. We’re tweaking the recipes and getting the menu just right as we finish work on the interior.”

Whether patrons seek food with a kick, downhome country cookin’, something ethnic, or, as Crestview native Leon Curenton terms it, “just plain food,” Downtown Crestview, from the courthouse to the railway tracks and beyond, is the place to find it.

Those seeking such traditional American southern cuisine — and renowned breakfast omelets — find it at the Tropical Palm, a Main Street staple since shortly after World War II, as well as the homestyle cookin’ on Uncle Bill’s Family Restaurant and Desi’s Restaurant’s buffets.

In recent years, Downtown has attracted cuisine that older locals never even imagined they’d find in the heart of Crestview, including Asian favorites such as Korean bulgoki and bibimbap — plus sushi — at Arirang, Lao Thai food in the Main Street Eats outdoor food court, and sushi and hibachi favorites at You Sushi. 

You Sushi’s chef and co-owner Jimmy Ye said the cordial folks he met during a brief visit to Crestview in the 2010s made a lasting impression on him and inspired him and his wife, Mei Zheng, to return and open their restaurant in October 2016.

Such hospitality can be found along with award-winning barbecue just south of the railroad tracks at Hub City Smokehouse and Grill, while sweet teeth can get their fix at Casbah’s pastry display case, Back Home Bakery and Café, and Tom’s Main Street Ice Cream, where an imaginative array of flavors — including the wonderful Caramel Caribou — await.

Kay’s Kurbside Café, another Main Street Eats vendor, likewise adds a heaping portion of love to her diverse menu that includes burgers, shrimp po’boys and veggie burgers. (And for trivia buffs, Main Street Eats happens to be the geographic center of Okaloosa County.)

For comfort food seekers, there’s the thick, hand-thrown pizza renowned for its generous amount of cheese at Hideaway Pizza. Longtime Main Street icon Coney Island Hotdogs has provided memorable wieners, secret-recipe chili and hamburgers with a nice grilled crust since the 1940s. Natives recall its walk-up window.  

“I remember folks would walk up to the window and Mable (Edge, co-founder of the eatery) would holler out that window, ‘What fer ya?’” recalled Historic Preservation Board President Ann Spann fondly.

Add the culturally far apart — but, happily, in close proximity —Good Things Donuts and Jin Jin Chinese Restaurant, both on the south fringes of the historic district, and patrons have a well-rounded selection of eateries offering a diversity of cuisines, all in the convenience of the city’s heart. 

“I could see the downtown area’s biggest strength was its diversity of places to eat,” Mr. Toannon said. “That’s why we chose to open and grow here.”

 Long a Main Street mainstay, Desi’s Restaurant does a booming lunch buffet trade every weekday, with

CRESTVIEW’S DOWNTOWN EATERIES

Where to eat in downtown Crestview can often be a dilemma, with 16 eateries to choose from. Here’s the rundown, from north to south:

• Casbah Coffee Co., 196 Pine Ave. W., house-roasted coffee, homemade pastries, sandwiches, wine selection

• You Sushi and Hibachi, 450 Main St. N., diverse sushi and Asian specialties, desserts

• The Heights, 482 Wilson St. N., Chicago style pizza and cuisine (opening in March)

• Uncle Bill’s Family Restaurant, 252 Ferdon Blvd. N., home-cookin’ buffets, pizza, salad bar

• Back Home Bakery and Café, 307 Main St. N., homemade baked treats, soups, sandwiches

• Hideaway Pizza, 326 Main St. N., hand-thrown cheesy pizza, salad bar, lunch pizza bar

• Tom’s Main Street Ice Cream, 269 Main St. N., hand-dipped cones, sundaes and more

• Tropical Palm, 286 Main St. N., a Main Street icon: downhome cookin’, daily lunch specials, filling breakfasts

• Arirang Restaurant, 172 Woodruff Ave. E., Korean and Japanese specialties, sushi, outdoor bar

• Desi’s Restaurant, 197 Main St. N., hometown buffet lunch, renowned for their fried chicken and bread pudding

• Lao-Thai Xpress, in Main Street Eats, 147 Main St. N., Thai and southeast Asian cuisine

• Kay’s Kurbside Café, in Main Street Eats, 147 Main St. N., po’boys, burgers

• Coney Island Hotdogs, 107 Main St. N., another Crestview icon: famous hotdogs, Miss Mable’s secret-recipe chili and hamburgers

• Hub City Smokehouse and Grill, 168 Main St. S., award-winning barbecue and sides, catering

Just outside the historic district:

• Good Thing Donuts, 318 Ferdon Blvd. S, homemade donuts, fritters, Danish, coffee, etc., made fresh every morning

• Jin Jin Chinese Restaurant, 642 Ferdon Blvd. S., Chinese-American favorites, mainly take-out
Oct 22

Sunshine Law

Posted to City Clerk by Elizabeth Roy

The Facts about Sunshine Law Violation

Recently, The Crestview News Bulletin published an article about possible “Sunshine Law Violation” regarding a Workshop on October 15th about Itinerant Vendors.  Here are the Facts:

The Sunshine law requires “reasonable notice” regarding any public meetings or workshops to be held by a local governmental entity.

     From the Sunshine Law Manual:

   The sunshine law does not define the term “reasonable notice.”  Therefore, the type of notice is variable and depends upon the facts of the situation and the board involved.  in each case, an agency must give notice at such time and in such a manner as to enable the media and the public to attend the meeting

The subject of the October 15 Workshop was discussed as an agenda item at the September 24 City council workshop.  At that time, the date/Time of October 15 at 5:00 pm was discussed and agreed upon by the members of the City Council present. 

The Agenda for the Meeting was posted online and in City Hall on Thursday, October 11.  As a reminder, City hall was closed for Hurricane Michael at noon on October 9 and remained closed on October 10.  Those citizens who have opted for text notifications should have received this text on October 11.

The Sunshine law also does not require that an agenda be published, although it is recommended, and we strive to get that information out as quickly as it is available.

From the Sunshine Manual:

The sunshine law does not mandate that an agency provide notice of each item to be discussed via a published agenda although the attorney general’s office has recommended the publication of an agenda, if available.  The courts have rejected such a requirement because it could effectively preclude access to meetings by members of the public who wish to bring specific issues before a governmental body

In the recent article, there was a “quote” regarding the publication of agendas and supporting documents 7 days in advance.  This comes from the Florida Administrative Procedure Act, and does not apply to Municipalities, or agencies appointed by a municipality.

Florida Statute 120, which establishes the Administrative Procedure Act. In section

120.52 establishes the definition of an agency.

120.52 Definitions. —As used in this act:

(1) “Agency” means the following officers or governmental entities if acting pursuant to powers other than those derived from the constitution:

(a) The Governor; each state officer and state department, and each departmental unit described in s. 20.04; the Board of Governors of the State University System; the Commission on Ethics; the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; a regional water supply authority; a regional planning agency; a multicounty special district, but only if a majority of its governing board is comprised of nonelected persons; educational units; and each entity described in chapters 163, 373, 380, and 582 and s. 186.504.

(b) Each officer and governmental entity in the state having statewide jurisdiction or jurisdiction in more than one county.

(c) Each officer and governmental entity in the state having jurisdiction in one county or less than one county, to the extent they are expressly made subject to this chapter by general or special law or existing judicial decisions.

This definition does not include a municipality or legal entity created solely by a municipality; a legal entity or agency created in whole or in part pursuant to part II of chapter 361; a metropolitan planning organization created pursuant to s. 339.175; a separate legal or administrative entity created pursuant to s. 339.175 of which a metropolitan planning organization is a member; an expressway authority pursuant to chapter 348 or any transportation authority or commission under chapter 343 or chapter 349; or a legal or administrative entity created by an interlocal agreement pursuant to s. 163.01(7), unless any party to such agreement is otherwise an agency as defined in this subsection.”

The term agency applies to the definition above.   The exact excerpt from the Administrative Procedure Act is as follows:

120.525 Meetings, hearings, and workshops.

(1) Except in the case of emergency meetings, each agency shall give notice of public meetings, hearings, and workshops by publication in the Florida Administrative Register and on the agency’s website not less than 7 days before the event. The notice shall include a statement of the general subject matter to be considered.”

The workshop that was held on October 15 was solely intended for the City Council to hear the facts and to determine what if any changes needed to be made to the “proposed ordinance” and if in fact they wanted to proceed with an ordinance.  The agenda clearly stated that the subject of itinerant vendors would be the topic, and the documentation itself was over 110 pages long.  If and when the ordinance is complete, it will be presented in the prescribed fashion in a regular or special meeting and the final reading and public hearing will be advertised a minimum of 10 days prior, as required by Statute. 

The only sunshine requirement for the documentation was that it be available as a public record request.   That request was made at the end of the meeting, and while an immediate providing of those documents is not required, they were handed to the requesting party before they left the meeting room.   No other requests for the documents have been received.

If you have any questions. Feel free to contact my office at 850-682-1560 or cityclerk@cityofcrestview.org


Jul 29

Support Crestview Police and First Responders

Posted to Council Member, Group 1 by Thomas Sutton

On Saturday, communities across America are showing their support for their police and first responders. Locally, people are gathering at the FWB Police Station and the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office to show support by being there, bringing signs, saying prayers, waving hands, honking horns, etc. from 11 AM until noon. We need to do the same here in Crestview. Join me tomorrow [Saturday] in the parking lot of the Crestview Police Station to show our support. Spread the word, bring friends, but most of all bring prayers for those who protect us on a daily basis.