SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Cocoa Beach’s Iconic Bernard’s Surf Building Torn Down
By Space Coast Daily // August 7, 2017
Cocoa Beach landmark and early space age astronaut hangout
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Alan Zlotorzynski is live for the end of an era as longtime Cocoa Beach landmark and early space age astronaut hangout Bernard’s Surf Restaurant & Lounge is being razed to the ground.
ABOVE IMAGE GALLERY: Realtor Bobby Freeman, who is Space Coast Daily’s Real Estate Editor, was fortunate to do a final walk-through of The Surf property before buyer Luke Johnson closed on the property and take what are probably some of the last pictures of the inside of the building as it looked before falling to disrepair. (Space Coast Daily – Bobby Freeman image)
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA –An end of an era is here as longtime Cocoa Beach landmark and early space age astronaut hangout Bernard’s Surf Restaurant & Lounge is being razed to the ground.
The building, located at 2 S. Atlantic Avenue in Cocoa Beach had been closed since October 2010, but fond memories abound with many Brevard County locals who grew up with the iconic restaurant.
“My goodness, so many good memories there,” says Beth Gasis via Facebook’s Wake Up Cocoa Beach forum.
“Not another place in CB that holds the memories as The Surf did. It was around for so long. Everyone our age was always there for years and years!”
It began on October 31, 1948 when Bernard Fischer opened one of the first restaurants in Cocoa Beach, Bernard’s Surf. He was a member of the Fischer family, which owned and operated a fleet in Port Canaveral when it was nothing more than a small fishing village.
The Fisher family operated the business until 2006 when it was sold to new owners. The Surf then fell from grace after several decades as a highly popular dining venue.
Its decline followed its sale to a European group by the longtime family owners, but business suffered badly in the recession and was eventually closed.
In March 2012, British businessman and legendary restaurateur Luke Johnson was in Cocoa Beach to purchase a home and happened by the shuttered Surf during an auto tour of the area with Realtor Jennifer McCoy.
“We drove past the iconic building that was for sale and Luke asked me about it,” said McCoy, a Broker-Associate with RE/MAX Elite’s McCoy-Freeman Group.
“I told him The Surf used to be a wonderful place for locals and celebrities to gather and enjoy amazing food, cold beer and fresh oysters,” said McCoy who represented Johnson for the Surf purchase.
“I remember Luke walked inside, looked around for about 10 minutes and said, ‘I’ll buy it!’”
Johnson, who has a string of successes in the UK restaurant business purchased the building for $625,000 in May 2012.
Johnson’s main achievement was building the Pizza Express chain – from a starting point of just 12 premises to more than 250 restaurants in the space of just six years.
“Wow, so many great memories,” siad Olivia Fiedler via Facebook. “I grew up in that restaurant. Gonna be weird to see the building finally go.”
I was fortunate to do a final walk-through of the property before Johnson closed on the property and take what are probably some of the last pictures of the inside of The Surf as it looked before falling to disrepair.
It did bring back a lot of fun memories of sitting at the bar and eating an endless supply of fresh shucked oysters and enjoying a cold beer with many good friends.
BELOW IMAGE GALLERY: Realtor Bobby Freeman, who is Space Coast Daily’s Real Estate Editor, was fortunate to do a final walk-through of The Surf property before buyer Luke Johnson closed on the property and take what are probably some of the last pictures of the inside of the building as it looked before falling to disrepair. (Space Coast Daily – Bobby Freeman image)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bobby Freeman, a life-time resident of Brevard County, has been a top Realtor in the area for two decades. In his first year as an agent, Freeman received a Rising Star award from his Brokers. Since then he has achieved numerous sales awards including the prestigious RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award.
Freeman, Jennifer McCoy and Nikki McCoy-Freeman are family partners for RE/MAX Elite’s McCoy-Freeman Group. Together they have more than 30 years of extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry and have sold over $300 million.
Among McCoy-Freeman Group’s achievements are RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Platinum Club, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and voted Best Realtor in Brevard County.
The group has been featured in many news publications including CNN Money Magazine, CNNMoney.com, WFTV 9 News, News 13, WKMG News 6, Coastal Condo Living Magazine, Hot Retirement Towns Magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
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