By Anna-Marie Menhenott
PORT ST. LUCIE -- Most people dream of retiring to Florida. The sunny weather and relaxed environment is a dream come true, however, for Walter Pietrzak, a relaxing retirement to Florida took a turn six years ago.
After spending some time in the sun, the stars aligned and Mr. Pietrzak found himself in the perfect situation to take on the responsibility of owning a restaurant... something he'd spent his life in New York doing.
After mulling over the decision, the deciding factor was becoming partners with one of his favorite people; his daughter. Mr. Pietrzak and his daughter, Kristie Jocelyn, decided that teaming up to run West End Grill in St. Lucie West was the perfect way to spend their days... even if this was supposed to be Mr. Pietrzak's time spent quietly enjoying retirement.
"I knew this would be a great opportunity to work with Kristie," Mr. Pietrzak said. "She's really my right arm. She basically runs this place and the more I phase out from being here, the more she'll take over."
The high-end spot for lunch and dinner has everything a diner could desire. There is an outside area for those who want to appreciate the gorgeous south Florida weather. Outside fans keep the area cool, and umbrellas keep the sun at bay.
Inside, the warm décor is reminiscent of a upscale deli in New York. With flat screen televisions and a bar, sports enthusiast are at home watching a game while enjoying one of the many craft, domestic or import beers and delicious appetizers. Those who are in the mood for wine will find everything they desire. From glasses of whites and reds to bottles of champagne and wine tasting flights, wine-lovers will find the perfect accompaniment for any dinner or dessert.
"There's no end to what is served here," Mr. Pietrzak said. "We change the menu all the time and offer specials every day. We don't treat the early bird crowd any different than the dinner crowd. Everyone gets the same service and the same pride goes into every meal."
The menu offers appetizers such as their signature Calamari Fra Diablo, lightly fried calamari served with a spicy marinara sauce; Mozzarella Alla Marinara, fresh mozzarella, breaded and fried served with tasty marinara sauce or fresh mozzarella and tomato.
The lunch menu, which is served daily from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., includes charbroiled burgers, wraps, salads, New York style sloppy Joes, baby back ribs, fish and chips and a menu for children.
There are always different daily specials which include items that are not found on the menu.
"I like to think that we're two restaurants in one," Mr. Pietrzak said. "In the day time, we're more like a deli you'd find in New York. That's the environment you'll find. That's the crowd that's here. In the evening, the deli turns into an upscale restaurant. It's quite a transformation."
At 4 p.m. the entire menu changes for dinner, with items such as New York strip steak, pork chops, shrimp scampi, pasta, Tuscany chicken, jumbo lump crab cake and pan-seared tuna, just to name a few. Dinner is served until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The outside area comes alive Tuesday thru Saturday evenings with music and drink specials, like one of the most popular events, the 'bring your own wine' night. On Tuesday and Thursday evening, patrons can bring their own bottle of wine, (no corking fee) enjoy live music and delve into some of the delicious entrees offered.
On Sundays, brunch is offered from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. A full breakfast menu is available, as well as Mimosas and Hibiscus.
Early bird specials are available daily from 4- 6 p.m.
West End Grill is located at 1680 St. Lucie West Blvd, Suite 107, in Port St. Lucie. For more information, call (772) 343-1146 or visit them at www.pslwestendgrill.com.