Gulf Drive Cafe' & The Kokonut Hut
900 Gulf Drive North
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
 
 
 
  Reviews (19)    
4.3 out of 5.0
4.3
out of 5.0
Quality of Service:
 (4.5/5.0)
Responsiveness:
 (3.8/5.0)
Professionalism:
 (4.0/5.0)
Value:
 (4.5/5.0)
Flexibility:
 (4.4/5.0)
 
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5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
Everything for our wedding was perfect. The food was amazing and the staff were great! My guests raved about the food as well as the bartender and staff. It was stress free and relaxing. If your planning your wedding you should look at the gulf drive café/tiki hut! We were very pleased with everything. Thanks again for a perfect day!
Wedding: 05/08/2014
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
We got married here on 04/12/14. It was perfect for the beach wedding I've always dreamed of! The staff was excellent & very prompt & prepared.
Wedding: 04/12/2014
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Sharon 1 Reviews
We loved having our Wedding and Wedding Reception at the Kokonut Hut. Despite the worst Rain in many years our Wedding was very memorable thanks in large measure to the staff. Angie, the Event Planner,from the time I first contacted her, was exceptional in her dedication to coordinating the details for our Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding, Wedding Reception and Morning after Breakfast. My Wedding Planner Sheila, commented on how much she enjoyed working with Angie because of her professionalism. Additional thanks to Stacey, the Banquet Captain, and Willie, the Banquet Assistant, for their tireless efforts and long hours on behalf of our events.
Wedding: 09/23/2013
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Wedding Planning, Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Sharon 1 Reviews
We are so glad that we chose this location for our Grooms barbecue dinner, wedding,wedding reception and the next day breakfast; complete with an omelette bar. Our family and friends still talk about the seafood Paella that was made right before us all and served individually to each of our guests! The Wedding Planner was so easy to work with and the Wait Staff prompt and courteous. Thank you all for helping us have the best day!

Kind regards,

Ben and Sharon
Wedding: 09/23/2013
Services Used: Wedding Cake, Catering, Wedding Planning, Event Rentals & Photobooths, Party Supplies, Ceremony & Reception Venue, Unique Services (Other)
2.6 out of 5.0
2.6/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  4.0
  • Responsiveness:  2.5
  • Professionalism:  1.5
  • Value:  4.0
  • Flexibility:  1.0
Let me start off by saying that our wedding, in the end, was perfect in every way possible. That was mostly due to our laid back demeanor, being surrounded by our family & friends, and being determined that NO ONE (venue or otherwise) was going to ruin our day.
Now, the process leading up to the big day was a completely different story. Pete started off as our main contact person. About two months before I called to set up a meeting to discuss menu, details, etc. I was just then informed Pete no longer worked for Gulf Drive Tiki. When we chose this place for our ceremony & reception, I was promised the WORLD. When I was forced to work with Angela, I was told NO to every single thing I had discussed with Pete. I ended up getting an email from the owner back tracking for Angela because of how my meeting with Angela went.
Negatives
-The new bathrooms STILL aren't done.
-First Angela said they lost our contract, or couldn't find it. Once they did find it, they said it wasn't signed (even though they cashed my check). So basically all those details I okayed with Pete went out the window because no one signed it on their end.
-They charge you TWICE for chairs (once for the ceremony and once for the reception). At $3 a chair with 125 guests, that is INSANE. I went with an outside company for MUCH less.
-Pete told us we could go past 10:00p if we had a DJ (if we had a band, we had to end at 10 because of a sound ordinance). I fought this to the end and it was one of the things I was victorious on....we went until 11p)
-Pete told us he would work with our budget on food.There was no negotiation or working with our budget. Prices on the menu were set and the menu was set.
Finally, I would say the most disturbing thing that happened several times was how Angela looked down on us. And I quote,"We could do this but you wouldn't want to pay for it." or "Well most of our brides have wedding planners." This was one day in our lives, our budget was very reasonable

Wedding: 07/27/2013
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.4 out of 5.0
4.4/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  4.0
  • Responsiveness:  4.0
  • Professionalism:  4.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

carrie 1 Reviews
Loved my wedding, it was my vision come true. I worked with Angie and she was great. Very responsive with phone calls and texts, wanted to make the day perfect for us. Venue was exactly what I wanted.
Wedding: 04/29/2013
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
3.0 out of 5.0
3.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  3.0
  • Responsiveness:  3.0
  • Professionalism:  2.5
  • Value:  4.0
  • Flexibility:  2.5

Jenny 2 Reviews
The location was amazing. Beautiful for photos and a relaxed wedding atmosphere.
Angie was nice to work with but a little disorganized. We started working with Pete, who mysteriously stopped working there about a month before the wedding and we had to figure that out for ourselves.
The bar tab was high...lots of drinks on there that weren't on our approved list. A few party crashers made it in because there isn't really a way to stop it, which I brought up before the wedding and was told "just don't worry about it." I'm sure they all got some drinks out of it. Food was not what we wanted. Pete knew what we wanted, but I guess the information was not passed along.
It's a beautiful venue and nice to have tables, linens, plates, etc all packaged up together, but make sure you request the WHOLE bar to be shut down to outsiders, and go over tipping beforehand. They had a tip jar out all night and then added 18% to the bar tab.

I would still recommend this place for a wedding or event, but you have to be a little pushier to get what you want.
Wedding: 04/13/2013
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.7 out of 5.0
4.7/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  4.5
  • Professionalism:  4.5
  • Value:  4.5
  • Flexibility:  5.0
Our experience with the staff was excellent. They were easy to communicate with and wanted to make our day special! The venue was perfect for our guests!
Wedding: 01/18/2013
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.0 out of 5.0
4.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  4.5
  • Responsiveness:  3.5
  • Professionalism:  4.0
  • Value:  4.0
  • Flexibility:  4.0
Overall great experience for the celebration of our wedding. It took a little bit time to get everything organized, but once our big day arrived, everything went smooth. Thoughtful service, good selection of food/drinks, professional staff and great customer care.
Hint: include the "prime ribs" in your menu, it looks great on a buffet with its own stand and chef.
Wedding: 12/29/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
2.8 out of 5.0
2.8/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  3.5
  • Responsiveness:  2.0
  • Professionalism:  3.0
  • Value:  2.5
  • Flexibility:  3.0
It was beautiful and I had a dream wedding, but be prepared:
POS:
-The location can't be beat. STUNNING.
-The food is DELISH. They can make anything—but there’s no tasting & most of the food are not on the main menu.
NEG:
-Pete, the person in charge, is over-extended. It would take days & reaching out multiple calls or emails.
-We didn’t find out about construction until 6 wks before--via FB. They did hide all the spaces facing the wedding behind bamboo fencing but the back side they agreed to clean up & remove caution tape from wasn't done & it was an eyesore walking up to the facility or to the original baths—because the new ones promised weren’t finished. No compensation offered for construction at all.
- Some lady that was not at any prior meetings ran the show that day, not Pete. Many things that I told Pete she wasn’t informed of. Apps weren’t delivered until people were seated for the reception instead of cocktail hour. I was very clear that I wanted the walls down & I did not want ppl to be in our reception space prior for surprise factor but walls didn’t get dropped until the cocktails were done—which left guests in that space. None of the vegetarian or kids meals were delivered. The 5 high chairs we requested weren’t there.
-They need a price list or just give one # that incl. all the add-ons already. Despite the contract saying I can have my own linens, Pete said we HAD to go thru him—& for 2x what I could have paid. Also, the bar min. kept changing--& not listed at all. At the end of the night, they charged my dad one amt, to come back to him 30 mins later & say that they needed to charge $500 more.
- There needs to be reasonable time given to clean up. It is unreasonable to have an event end at 10pm & be out at that same moment. One rude staff said to me, “We need to do this fast because our boss only pays us until 10pm so we want to go home.”
-If I heard the phrase one more time, “All the other brides love it” I will scream.
Wedding: 11/10/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
We had an amazing wedding at the Tiki Bar. The staff was accommodating, and the set up was beautiful. I would highly suggest getting married there!
Wedding: 10/19/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.0 out of 5.0
4.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  2.5
  • Professionalism:  3.5
  • Value:  4.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
The Tiki at the Gulf Drive Cafe is an absolutely beautiful venue for a wedding or reception. We would definitely recommend it. We had a few issues with communicating with the venue's management during the planning phases, but they definitely redeemed themselves the week of/day of our wedding. Everything was ready as promised, they were accommodating and they did a great job on our special day. Thanks Gulf Drive!!
Wedding: 02/25/2012
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.6 out of 5.0
4.6/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  3.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
When we came down from Clearwater to visit Gulf Drive Tiki I knew it was "the place" as soon as I saw the gigantic tiki hut in person! This place is absolutely beautiful and was exactly what we were going for! They also catered the reception and the food was AMAZING. If you love seafood you must have the Seafood Paella! Pete makes the Seafood Paella right under the tiki hut for guests to see. All of our guests raved about it! It was a perfect fit! The service the day of was fantastic. They don't respond well to emails so be sure to call them, its totally worth it!
Wedding: 10/29/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.0 out of 5.0
4.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  3.0
  • Professionalism:  3.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  4.0
I had both my ceremony and reception at Gulf Drive Cafe Tiki Hut. Overall it was an amazing time. They were just starting to do weddings when I was there, so I am sure they have ironed out some of the kinks. I will list the pos and negs:
Positive:
1. Great location at an affordable price- it doesn't get any prettier
2. Good food and great selection - it is fantastic to be able to customize your menu to what you want- the chefs are very creative
3. The bartenders and servers were attentive and provided everything we needed without asking
4. Once everything is settled, they do everything exactly as you request and are great at dealing with last minute difficulties.
Negative:
1. At the time there was no "price list" and costs were just being thrown out there. The only thing that was definite was the rental of the tiki hut
2. Pete who runs things is an EXCELLENT chef, idea man, and overall manager. But organization-wise it was difficult. I had to write my own contract and had to call several times (every time) before he would get back to me. Email forget it. But on the day he made it all happen and gave me my dream wedding. He just needs more experience with Bridezillas :-)
3. The bathroom situation is akward because you have to go into the restaurant to use the (very small) facilities.
4. There is no place for a bride to get ready or hide herself before her grand entrance. I had to rent my own dividers to have a private place before the wedding.

Overall it was a beautiful day and they made things as easy as they could for a bride. And again the food was AMAZING!
Wedding: 10/15/2011
Services Used: Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0
Location and environment was perfect and exactly what we were looking for. The ceremony on the beach with the beautiful sunset was amazing and the reception at the Tiki hut was very convenient and had the tropical elgance we wanted. Overall the staff was very friendly. Management was very accomodating and professional. Great value for the most important day and would defenitely recommend it to anyone! Thanks Gulf Drive!
Wedding: 09/24/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
4.0 out of 5.0
4.0/5.0
  • Quality of Service:  3.5
  • Responsiveness:  4.0
  • Professionalism:  3.5
  • Value:  4.5
  • Flexibility:  4.5
My wife and I celebrated our wedding and reception at the Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki on May 7, 2011. While we weren't the first wedding for the Gulf Drive Cafe, I think we were their largest at that time and I think we challenged their staff. We had approximately 110 people. Despite the size, we fit comfortably under the Tiki. Despite the size, the service was good, and the servers professional. At the time, the bar configured differently, and I think my largest complaint was that we had an open bar for guests and I found myself having to police beach stragglers from time to time. The bar tenders were a good, they kept everyone happy and the drinks flowing. I was pleased that they were able to accommodate my request for a couple of out of the ordinary requests for alcohol (Chimay and Cachaca). The food was very good - the boursin cheese wrapped grapes were out of this world. Everyone was quite happy with the food. The wedding coordinator was for the most part "Johnny on the spot". He helped us configure the Tiki to accommodate the DJ, the cakes, the food and the photo booth. Overall, I'd definitely recommend the Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki. The pictures after the sunset with the table lighting and the subtle area lighting were very soft and glowing.
Wedding: 05/07/2011
Services Used: Ceremony & Reception Venue
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4.3 out of 5.0
4.3
out of 5.0