Bud and Alley’s
Scott Witoski and Dave Rauschkolb were 24-year-old surfing buddies when they learned that Seaside founder Robert Davis was looking for someone to open the town’s first restaurant. Scott and Dave already had a history working together, Scott as a chef and Dave as a waiter/bartender at the restaurant Scott’s father Tally owned in nearby Destin. Undeterred by their relative youth – and the fact that Seaside at the time had just 12 houses – the pair decided to seize their moment, and a great restaurant tradition began.
Named for Robert’s dachshund and Scott’s cat, Bud & Alley’s opened its doors in 1986. With an emphasis on fresh, local seafood and dishes that the prestigious Frommer’s travel guide has called a fusion of “Basque, Italian, Louisiana and Floridian dishes,” they struck an artful balance between fine dining and laid-back ambience…but then, how could a restaurant be anything but relaxed in a setting like this, where pretense is washed away by the turquoise Gulf waters and sunset is ushered in on the rooftop bar with the ringing of an old steam-train bell?
Times change along with the menu. Seaside has grown. Dave has since opened a taco bar and pizza bar nearby, instant classics in their own right. But Bud & Alley’s enjoys its well-earned place on the map, a culinary rite of passage for every visit to the Gulf.