The Blind Tiger restaurant on the Fairhope Pier opening delayed

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 7:44 PM CDT
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FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - It will be a couple more months before The Blind Tiger restaurant on the Fairhope Pier will be open to the public. That’s according to the owner and founder of the restaurant chain.

If you’ve taken a walk on the Fairhope Pier in the last few days, you’ve probably noticed work underway at the restaurant there, most notably the expansion of the rear deck.

Owner and founder of The Blind Tiger, Thomas Genin (left) speaks with contractor about deck...
Owner and founder of The Blind Tiger, Thomas Genin (left) speaks with contractor about deck renovations currently underway.(Hal Scheurich)

“You have a lot of tourists that go up and down this pier. You have a lot of fishermen…fisher ladies and yeah, they should do pretty good business,” said Jane Zimmerman, visiting from Michigan.

When the announcement was made last summer that The Blind Tiger would be the next tenant, projections were that it would be open by now. Owner and founder, Thomas Genin said the restaurant’s unique location caused some of the setbacks.

“It’s a very unique situation. There’s a lot of government agencies involved. There’s environmental issues. There’s you know, codes for all kinds of things,” Genin explained. “We will have a restaurant over the water, so you have to be careful.”

This will be Genin’s fifth restaurant on the gulf coast. There are already two in Louisiana and two in Mississippi. Genin says he was familiar with the pier location and jumped at the chance when it became available. He intends to not only bring a fast and fresh menu but plans to build upon many of the unique qualities of the location, including the marina.

“I think long term, you’re going to see charter boats. You’ll have pontoon boats. You’ll have parasailing. We’re going to do an annual kids fishing tournament. We’re going to do a few fundraisers and the locals, overwhelmingly are in support of having transient boat slips,” said Genin.

Some of the locals who’ve seen other restaurants come and go from this location think The Blind Tiger is a perfect fit.

“I always talked about how I wish there was a place to come by boat,” said Fairhope resident, Ben Montgomery. “I wish there was a place we could you know go kayak and go paddleboard and then, go have a drink at the bar or have some oysters or something like that and there’s really never been anything like that. Not in a long time so that will be nice.”

If you’re wondering about the menu, there will be fresh, seasonal seafood offerings. As for staples, Genin said you can count on a good cheeseburger, steamed royal reds, fish tacos, seared yellowfin tuna and much more. The hope is to open sometime in May and once fully staffed, The Blind Tiger will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.