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“Needs Lots of Work to Improve Everything”

Hurricane Charley's Raw Bar And Grill
Ranked #12 of 162 Restaurants in Punta Gorda
Cuisines: Cajun & Creole, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Hurricane Charley's Raw Bar & Grill, Punta Gorda's newest waterfront restaurant opened in January of 2014 in the PG Waterfront Hotel on Charlotte Harbor. The sister restaurant to Dean's South of the Border, Charley's offers a full bar on the scenic deck with the best sunsets in Charlotte Harbor. Our menu is eclectic ranging from fresh seafood including gumbo, crayfish, Ipswich clams, oysters and scallops to steaks, sandwiches, burgers, salads & delicious desserts. We offer inside dining or harborside with entertainment seven days a week. Hurricane Charley's is more than a restaurant, it is a historic picture of the 2004 hurricane which devastated Charlotte Harbor, our walls tell the story of a community effort to recover and triumph over the 2004 hurricane which leveled our city.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

Great potential if more work goes into everything. We have been disappointed every time we have gone since Hurricane Charley's opening. We were surprised that we didn't love it because we have been going to Dean's South of the Border regularly for years. I'll categorize my review based on 3 basics in no particular order because I would rate all three as average: 1) Ambiance 2) Food and 3) Service. 1) The place remains shabby even though it had been going through months of supposed renovations. Nothing that may have been done to fix up the place is obvious. It needs serious remodeling. I doubt that this hotel will be able to get a major franchise as supposedly coming according to our local paper. 2) Food is average based on our visits; however, I expect it to improve because the owners have the experience to deliver better than average food. The kitchen needs to ask that salt be used with a less heavy hand because salt shakers are available for customers to suit their preference. I had extremely salty shrimp that may have been a one time problem because the fried grouper was excellent on a later visit. My husband recommends the Cajun jambalaya. Punta Gorda has a more mature population so are more likely to prefer healthier choices. 3) The service is average with some really good staff interspersed with some I would call tired and borderline grumpy. My husband does not want to return under any circumstances because stinky cigarettes are permitted on the outside deck (as appropriate by Florida law) but if he wants to enjoy an expensive cigar that is not allowed anywhere! At least Deans continues to permit cigars at umbrella tables on the outside walkway/driveway (maybe that's actually right of way owned by the city!).

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Thank SunshineLadybird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean S, Owner at Hurricane Charley's Raw Bar And Grill, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Thank you for your feedback, we appreciate and value your input. You are absolutely right, these are the 3 points of service every restaurant has to address.
Ambience is crucial and a work in progress, due to the urgency to occupy the building we had little time to address the decor etc which is a huge part of the dining experience. Our goal is to have something unique rather than replicate another venue. We have a pictorial of Hurricane Charley (most of them photos I took after the hurricane) in progress as well as framed original photos for the foyer of old Punta Gorda, the pictures should be ready soon. We also have many other ideas for the space which will take a little time to do correctly. We did do extensive renovation of the interior restaurant & deck at our expense but are limited as to our role as tenant.
We will certainly check to make sure food is not over seasoned, this is especially important as you point out for our senior customers.
Service, the most important and most difficult issue for every restaurant. When we opened in January we hired 120 new employees who all professed to be "experienced" although inexperienced in our new venue. It has been a journey to weed out those who don't fit our expectations and we continue to work on this daily. We have also brought some experienced managers from Dean's to train the new employees.
Cigars. We hadn't really given a lot of thought to this but we will. Cigars should be accommodated just as cigarettes are in the outdoor area. Expect to see a change.
I read each and every review and we learn from them all. We work for the customer and our goal is your satisfaction. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Sandy

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Reviews (1,030)
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982 - 986 of 1,030 reviews

Reviewed March 27, 2014

Cold, wet weather did not keep us from going to Hurricane Charlie's for lunch. I was glad to see it was busy as the word it out that it is a great place to go. We ate out on the tiki bar and had great service and wonderful crab tower (listed as an appetizer, but great as an entree). Even thought it was chilly, we enjoyed the atmosphere. I asked the server to tell the owner, Dean, to get the tiki hut "winterized" and she said they are planning on portable heaters and plastic drop curtains. Keep your eye on this place to keep improving.

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Thank escargot42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean S, Owner at Hurricane Charley's Raw Bar And Grill, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2014

Thank you so much for your kind words, we are working diligently to make Hurricane Charley's a top notch dining destination. Dean & I were discussing the plastic drop curtains as we were standing in a chilling wind on the deck this past Monday. lol. They are incredibly expensive so we are brain storming alternatives or modifications of the commercial panels. This said we need you and all your friends to keep eating the crab! Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Sandy

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Reviewed March 24, 2014

We had family in from from up north and thought we would give this a shot since we hadn't been since the change over. The location is awesome, but the service, well lack of, was awful. We were seated outside, which was great. After sitting there for 20 minutes a waitress dropped off 4 menus and didn't even bother to take our drink order, then after another 10 minutes or so they came to take our food order, we had to ask for them to take our drink order. Our food was just ok, nothing great, I would say average. I never did get my galrlic bread nor did our guest, the waitress never bothered to check to see if we needed another drink or water. Overpriced for what you get, the quality is just not there. We will be taking our out of town guest elsewhere as well as spending our money somewhere else.

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Thank RooRoo1031
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean S, Owner at Hurricane Charley's Raw Bar And Grill, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2014

First of all I would like to apologize for your dining experience. If you know Dean's you know we will continue to work until we have it right. You are correct, there are always staffing issues when you hire over 70 new people, there have been changes and there will continue to be changes until we have the staff/service/food that will do us proud. I have to say we did extensive physical renovations inside the dining room & bar at our own expense as we are a tenant and must work within the hotel parameters. This included removing walls, installing wine racks, rebuilding inside/outside bars, new tables/bar stools, paint, installing a glass wall to name a few, the space was dated from the 70's. Our goal for the interior is a history of Hurricane Charley's & Punta Gorda with personal pictures taken by local residents. It's a work in progress as all pictures must be scanned, processed & framed, there was no time to do all this when the property was presented to us, you will see it progress step by step. As far as cigars thank you for bringing that to our attention, we hadn't discussed that issue but will look for an appropriate space for our cigar loving guests including our son in law. We beg your patience, we work to earn every customer and hope you will give us another try. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. Dean

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Reviewed March 23, 2014

Only open a couple of months we decided to try this new restaurant for lunch. The weather was perfect so we sat outside on the tiki bar/lanai. The water view is nice and overlooks the Peace River. This restaurant replaced a restaurant that was simply awful so we were hopeful that this new place would be a welcome replacement. Sadly, it was not as good as we had hoped.

Service was adequate and was courteous. We found the food to be somewhat overpriced and the quality was average at best. For the benefit of the doubt, this place had only been open for approximately two weeks, so they were most likely still in a learning curve. But, one of the orders was for a burger. It was delivered cold and the bun was below par so even a new place should be able to deliver a good $11 cheeseburger. We may go back for another try but will wait until they get more experience and there are more reviews to steer us.

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Thank 13SpecialK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean S, Owner at Hurricane Charley's Raw Bar And Grill, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2014

Thanks for considering our newly opened status in your review. We are sorry to hear your experience was not what you hoped for and want you to know we are making changes daily to bring you the best dining possible. It was quite a challenge to work with over 70 new staff and we've made a lot of changes in all areas and will continue to do so daily. We know what we need to do and we'll do it! Thanks for taking the time to write this review and we hope you'll return soon and give us another chance to earn your business. Dean

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Reviewed March 23, 2014

I recently went to Hurricane Charlies with my wife and another couple. Granted it was very
busy. I did not expect to be waited on soon. We were told about at the 40 minute mark, our food was coming. We were told again 10 minutes later. We left after an hour and 15 minutes. I felt there was a lot that the management could have done prior to us leaving, giving us a free appetizer so we would not be so hungry. It was a bad experience and I'm not going back.

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1  Thank Shankdaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dean S, Owner at Hurricane Charley's Raw Bar And Grill, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2014

I'm sorry to hear about your experience and understand your frustration. We have made some changes to address this issue, training new staff has been a work in progress and we have brought some experienced managers from Dean's South of the Border to help with specific issue. We hope you will change your mind and give us another chance to earn your business and thank you for taking the time to write this review. Dean

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