Pensacola residents longing for the elegant, upscale dining experience presented years ago at the former Jamie's Restaurant are in store for a similar concept when Alice's Restaurant opens on West Intendencia Street soon. Guests at the new Alice's Restaurant on West Intendencia can expect a menu and atmosphere unseen in Pensacola since Jamie's Restaurant closed in 2009.
Owner Alice Guy, front, and her team receiving manager Alvin Spellman, from back left, front of house manager Donnie Webb, beverage manager Clyde Baver, pastry chef Tara Dragon, and kitchen manager Russell Scarritt pose in the kitchen of the new Alice's Restaurant coming soon to West Intendencia Street in Pensacola. Article & Photo Credit Pensacola News Journal
New restaurant owner Alice Guy managed Joe Patti's from 1992-2002. During that period, she integrated a gourmet deli, sushi deli and wine shop into the acclaimed Pensacola seafood market, and in 2018, she opened Anna's Fine Wines on South B Street.
"The wine will be from around the world, we'll have old world and new world wine, we'll have value wine, we'll have high-end wine, we'll have wine flights," Guy said. "A great selection, I think, and something to please everyone's palette." Guy and her management team of six - including a former owner of Jamie's - bring roughly 250 years of restaurant industry experience among them into the former Versailles event center at 1504 W. Intendencia Sreet.
Guests can expect upscale and private dining, a wine bar, a wine cellar that is occasionally open to the public and an atmosphere unseen in Pensacola for about a decade, according to Guy. "I think people who have lived here for many years and are familiar with Jamie's, I want them to know that's what they can compare the upscale dining room to," Guy said. "The dishes made there for many, many years, people still are seeking and looking for today."
Kitchen operator Russell Scarritt owned and operated Jamie's on Zarragossa Street from 1999 until 2009. The self-taught chef got his start at the restaurant in 1982 as a busboy and learned on the job for close to 20 years. Guy and Scarritt bonded and brainstormed over wine tastings in the past year.
When Guy, a 30-year veteran in the wine business. bought the property in October, she conceptualized an event center with a wine bar and wine tastings. But a spacious kitchen became a talking point between Guy and Scarritt during those tastings, and she didn't have to nudge him a whole lot to get him aboard."She said, 'I'm going to open the kitchen and I want a chef, I want you to come with me,'" Scarritt recalled. "She said, 'I'm not going to do it without you.' And I said 'Jesus, Alice, I'm old.'" "But the passion started building, and the excitement, because we're old enough to know better," Guy added. "We're old enough to know what makes us happy."
A true void of continental dining in Pensacola, Guy said, especially west of downtown, helped open her eyes to a restaurant concept she didn't originally anticipate pursuing.
Again, coming on the west side of Pensacola, there needed to be a restaurant in this area. You're constantly traveling up Ninth Avenue or East Hill or downtown to find a nice place to enjoy dinner and I thought the location was key." A vast "good, better and best" wine selection with ranging price points should satisfy wine connoisseurs all over town, Guy said, and the full bar will also craft cocktails and serve craft beer, some on tap.