REPORT: Gator’s Dockside Set to Open Nov. 2 in Old Milliken’s Reef at Port Canaveral

By  //  October 29, 2018

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Extensive inside and outside renovations have since been done to the facility

Gator’s Dockside, a popular Florida-themed restaurant chain founded in 1991, reportedly is aiming to open its 29th location on Friday, Nov. 2, at the site of the old Milliken’s Reef restaurant, located at 683 Dave Nisbet Drive at Port Canaveral. (Port Canaveral image)

BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Gator’s Dockside, a popular Florida-themed restaurant chain founded in 1991, reportedly is aiming to open its 29th location on Friday, Nov. 2, at the site of the old Milliken’s Reef restaurant, located at 683 Dave Nisbet Drive at Port Canaveral.

The Port’s newest restaurant, the  8,700-square-foot Gator’s Dockside, is situated on a prime waterfront location that overlooks the west turning basin and cruise ship terminals.

Gator’s Dockside at Port Canaveral will operate on the site of the former Milliken’s Reef Restaurant, operated by Rhoda and Jason Solano, which closed its doors abruptly April 3.

Extensive inside and outside renovations have since been done to the facility.

The family-friendly, sports-themed restaurants offer a fun atmosphere for everyone and feature burgers, sandwiches, seafood, salads, ribs, wings, gator tail and desserts.

“We’re known for our big screen TVs, great food and friendly service,” says Gator’s website.

“Our signature grilled wings are flavored with our tasty wing sauces that have made us famous. We only use the freshest, quality ingredients in all our menu selections including burgers, hearty sandwiches, made-from-scratch ribs, entree salads, and desserts that will bring you back to Gator’s again and again.”

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This is the second Gator’s Dockside in Brevard County. The other location is at 4200 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne.

Gator’s Dockside was started by brothers Tony and Paul Cipparone and friend John Foerst and the franchise has expanded to 27 restaurants throughout central Florida and eastern coastal areas of Florida.

Heathrow, Florida-based Ultimate Franchise Systems bought a large stake of the company in 2001 and planned to market the chain nationally, although as of 2017, such plans had not materialized.

The fare at Gator’s is on par with comparable Americana-themed restaurants such as Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, Chili’s and TGI Friday’s, but with a few “authentically Floridian” twists.

For example, the restaurant’s most prominently featured dish is fried alligator tail. Gator’s prices are on the medium to low range around $10.

Gators Dockside is very community-minded, supporting over 14 deserving charities.

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