Hours of Operation


Tuesday-Thursday
11:00 AM - 8:30 PM

Friday & Saturday
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Closed Sunday

Closed Monday

Phone: (850) 433-0511

"Without a doubt, our favorite 
seafood restaurant in the area."

ROOKS FAMILY AND HISTORY


Dale Rooks and his mother, Jane Rooks Rollins

Herbert "Coot" Johnson and
Tom Rooks, cousins and founders.

1974, six years after opening the restaurant 
and before the expansion on the back.
Herbert "Coot" Johnson and Tom Rooks were cousins, both born and raised in Vernon, Florida. Tom was born in 1923 and Coot in 1927. They lived a typical small town life until World War II when they both joined the Navy and served in the Pacific. After the war they attended the University of Florida on the GI Bill.

Coot was working for General Finance Corp when he decided to open a business selling live bait. He bought the building shown above in 1964, known then as Walker's Boat House, and set up shop. He expanded into small boat rental and extended the docks for rentals.  

Times were hard but he stuck with it and persuaded his cousin Tom to join him in 1968. Later that year they started serving food. The initial menu was raw oysters, boiled shrimp, gumbo, chowder and fried mullet. 

Coot left the business in 1970 to teach and Tom and his wife Jane took it over. 

In 1974 they expanded by adding the back part of the restaurant, increasing it to the present day size. They kept adding dock space for slip rentals. 

When Tom died in 1979 Jane took over the management and ownership of the business. Today Tom and Jane's son Dale is the operating manager of the Rooks Marina and the restaurant. Jane remarried to Reed Rollins and they can be found most evenings at the M.O.B.

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