Cedar Key is Florida’s “first key”, and if you’re thinking way down South you’re heading in the wrong direction. Nestled in the Gulf of Mexico, in North Florida, Cedar Key transports visitors to Old Florida.
Now there are two businesses breathing new life into their charming island. These new establishments make their home in two historic buildings on the corner of one of the few “major” intersections on the island.
1842 Daily Grind and Mercantile
First there’s 1842 Daily Grind and Mercantile. The charm of this coffee house is undeniable. It is exactly the kind of establishment this island needed. A full menu of practically every specialty coffee drink you can conceive is accompanied by a substantial breakfast menu that verges on being brunch.
The name is a tribute to the year in which the building was built. The space is narrow, but long, with a handful of tables and chairs, as well as a counter along the window over looking the historic buildings of this area. When my family and I dined here show tunes played on a vinyl record machine, quite a lovely touch.
Merchandise waiting to be purchased by patrons lined the shelves. The coffee itself was rich and satisfying. Breakfast may have been more calories than I care to usually enjoy in one meal, but it was well worth the indulgence. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.
Bonish Studio (Photography and Bar)
Right next door to 1842 Daily Grind is the Bonish Studio. Here you can browse stunning photography, antiques, and other great finds. This place is a supreme spot for finding a unique gift. I found nautical treasures that I wish could come home with me.
As the sun goes down the studio welcomes friends, family, and visitors as a bar with more character and charm than you could ask for. Back home in Orlando we have two beloved bars called The Imperial, one near downtown Orlando and one in historic Sanford. The Bonish Studio reminded me of The Imperial bars in that distinctive furnishings and art surround the patrons as they sip on libations.
It is a cozy, inviting, and a memorable setting. Their selection of beer and spirits is quite appealing. This makes a great place to gather with family and friends, or make new ones and engage in an evening of gregarious conversation.
It is my sincere hope that both businesses stay in Cedar Key for many years to come. Cedar Key is already a warm and charming place to be and with 1842 Daily Grind and Bonish Studio now gracing the main street, there is even more reason to plan a getaway here.