Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

Our Story

We, Jack and Julie, along with my husband Keaton and myself, extend a warm welcome to you at Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill. Established in June 2005, Rusty Bellies is a realization of goals spanning three generations over thirty years. As a family-owned and operated establishment, our roots in Tarpon Springs date back to the 1970s. The business began with my grandparents, Joe and Sue Reis, who purchased boats, including a shrimp boat, eventually acquiring the boatyard and developing the seafood business. In 1985, operations were passed to Jack and Julie, with Jack undertaking boat refurbishments. In 2002, the Julie Ann shrimp boat was launched, contributing fresh gulf shrimp to Pelican Point Seafood and Rusty Bellies. Jack has also refurbished the Redman, a grouper fishing boat, and the Bad Ginger, a stone crab boat. To this day, the Julie Ann, Redman, and Bad Ginger remain family-owned and operated by the Russells.

Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill derives its name from our family's passion for fishing, especially gulf grouper fishing. The "Rusty Bellie" is the nickname for the large male gag grouper, typically ranging between twenty and sixty pounds and often caught by dedicated fishermen. As you explore our restaurant, you'll encounter photos of family, friends, and local fishermen who contribute the freshest seafood to our dock. The menu honors fishermen by naming dishes after their beloved boats, recognizing their dedication to providing fresh Florida wild-caught seafood. Continuing our family's legacy is an honor, and we greatly value our guests, feeling honored to have you dine with us. Relax, enjoy the view, and let us prepare the freshest seafood for you.

Warm regards, Jacquelyn, Keaton, Julie, and Jack