If you’re feeling a little under the weather, make a beeline to The Doctor’s Office on Anna Maria Island—the area’s new go-to destination for inspired craft cocktails. After trying a couple of The Doctor’s Prescriptions, like the Corpse Reviver #2 (gin, lemon, kina l’aero d’or, Cointreau and atomized Absinthe) or the Dr. Feelgood (VSOP cognac, strawberry shrub, orange bitters and Prosecco) you’ll be, well, feeling good.  This sophisticated cocktail bar has a retro-vibe; you’ll think you walked into a doctor’s office from the 1950s, and you actually did. Since mid-century, the space formerly housed the island’s sole doctor, so brilliant restaurateur Sean Murphy (proprietor of the island’s top-notch eateries, Beach Bistro and Eat Here) chose to stick with the medicinal theme. The lounge’s updated design and menu smartly follow suit. Eye charts hang alongside contemporary art and light bites are served on metal laboratory trays.

Murphy is not only a food and beverage visionary, he’s also a very clever wordsmith—reading his menu is almost as much fun as munching on a piece of the bar’s Maple Bacon (and this is not a normal piece of bacon, we are talking about bacon glistening with locally-sourced truffle honey). On the “Bar Snacks” portion of the menu, the bacon is joined by warmed olives and spiced nuts, deemed “for the peckish.” Also offered are several “Sammiches,” “Hippie Heaven” (the “green stuff”) and “Staff Meal,” which is what the nearby Eat Here staff will be eating that evening. The Doctor’s Office has a small behind-bar kitchen that is staffed by rotating Beach Bistro chefs, like talented island-native Ian Fairweather. On the evening we visited, Fairweather whipped up a few mouth-watering upscale specials like crab mango ceviche served with plantain chips and grilled Riptide oysters—briny and light for a hot summer night.

Dr Feelgood cocktail. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.


Also nice on a summer night (or any night, really) are the inventive cocktails composed by bartender Chris Galdamez. He avoids using anything fake in his creations. Here, fresh is best. “People come in and ask for a Stoli Raspberry and soda,” says Galdamez, “and I tell them, we don’t have that but we do have fresh raspberries…I can mix it up for you!”  Make sure to ask for his popular fresh concoction (off-menu), the Banana Old Fashioned, which features banana-infused Old Forester whiskey. “I love to create things,” says Galdamez. “The other night, a guy wanted something different, so I made up a new drink with Bitter Truth pink gin and called it the German Flamingo.” You never know what special concoction he’ll dream up next, but, whatever it is, you can be sure it will be exactly what the doctor ordered. 

Shown: Dr. Feelgood cocktail with VSOP Cognac, strawberry shrub, orange bitters and prosecco. The Doctor’s Office: Craft Cocktail Bar Anna Maria Island, 5312 Holmes Beach Blvd., Holmes Beach, 941-213-9926.