There’s a new restaurant in the waterfront district of downtown Panama City, and it’s already the talk of the town. Harrison’s Kitchen & Bar serves traditional Southern flavors and fresh Gulf seafood in a casual setting. The opening of Harrison’s and the future Hotel Indigo (located next door) is part of the revitalization taking place in a historic downtown that was hit hard by a powerful storm, Hurricane Michael, in 2018.
The local community has been involved with the restaurant even before it officially opened this month. In 2021, The St. Joe Company, which manages the property, asked residents to nominate and vote on potential names for the new restaurant. The winning name, Harrison’s, refers to an old name for the city and to Harrison Avenue, the main artery of downtown Panama City and the street at the end of which the restaurant is located. The restaurant’s design, with its wood accents and industrial vibe, is a nod to the history of the Panama City Marina and its crucial role in the downtown community.
“A city’s downtown is part of its history and lifeblood,” said Matt Moore, Director of Concepts and Development for The St. Joe Company. “We think it’s appropriate not only that the name chosen represents the heritage of this area, but also that the people of Panama City and Bay County had a hand in choosing it. We want to create a flagship business that helps revitalize downtown Panama City, but just as importantly, we hope Harrison’s will be a place where people come to relax, enjoy great food, meet friends and create memories.
Panoramic views of the Panama City Marina and St. Andrews Bay provide a breathtaking backdrop to Harrison’s food and beverage offerings. To eat, there’s okra, the Georgian salad (with mixed lettuce, sliced peaches, Thomasville Green Hill cheese, spiced pecans, pickled onions, and champagne dressing), shrimp and oyster po’boys, shrimp and grits, and lime pie. For drinking, there’s beer, wine, and signature cocktails like the Low Country Bourbon Punch, Shell Island Sipper, and Harrison’s Bloody Mary. For the best views, you can dine outside, where there’s a covered patio, fireplace, and lawn with an adult-sized Connect Four game and cornhole sets. If you stop in to watch sports, the wraparound rectangular bar is the perfect spot, with eight big-screen TVs hanging in the center of the bar.
Harrison’s Kitchen & Bar is located at 5 Harrison Avenue in Panama City, Florida. They are open Tuesday through Sunday, with brunch on Sunday and lunch every other day of the week. Come listen to live music from local bands at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and during Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but you can book the space for private dinners and events.