By Tonya West
For Hometown News
It can be disputed who the hardest working person in show business is.
However, anyone who knows Sharon Manning, who has bartended locally since 1984, wouldn't disagree she has to be the hardest working bartender in the restaurant business.
After years of bartending at Marker 32, Carmichael's, then Whiskey Pete's and Shakey Jake's, Sharon opened the doors of her first DiamondBacks in Holly Hill in 1998. She opened another in 2001 and ran both until 2011. Today, there's just one -- DiamondBacks Pub & Grub in South Daytona that she runs along with her husband, John Manning, business partner, Tom Cates, and "all my kids help out, too."
"Everybody just calls it DBs," Ms. Manning said. "People come here for the food and the friendliness. Everything about this place is family-friendly oriented."
It's hard to talk just about the food without mentioning the family. Sharon's son, TJ Phillips, 35, of Port Orange, grew up in the kitchens where his mother worked and today is her head cook and certified kitchen manager. Her daughter, Stacy Woodham, helps out part-time as does her youngest son, John Manning III.
The Saturday lunch rush are all folks who've followed Sharon for years and now keep a Wednesday night tradition by bringing their own families and children to the pub. Even the coleslaw is a family recipe from Sharon's sister, Jackie.
"We try to make it so people can come out to eat and visit with no gimmicks," Ms. Manning said. "It's not about profit, it's about maintaining, just like our customers are doing. We let the locals know we feel their pain."
That being said, all draft beers from Budweiser to Yuengling OktoberFest are priced an even $1.75 and the pub menu features "four pages of affordability":
Twelve starters, including Buffalo shrimp, fish or chicken bites, for $7.49 or a half-pound of steamed shrimp for $9.99;
Four crocks of soup, including seafood gumbo, for $4.99;
Mixed green salad for $3.50 to which you can add grilled or fried chicken or shrimp for $7.99 and $8.99;
A Pub "Tots" Menu, from $3.99 to $6.99, served with a choice of fries, applesauce or a fruit cup;
Grub Subs from $6.99 and seven All-Day Pub Grub Specials for $7.95, including meat loaf, grilled pork chop, fried fish or smothered chop steak, served with mashed potato and vegetable or fries and coleslaw;
"What everyone comes here for" -- the Wings Your Way, which are "Buy 20 and Get 10" on Wednesdays and Sundays, and half-pound burgers, from $6.49.
Back by popular demand: Grilled Prime Rib (8 or 12 oz for $10.95 and $13.95) to which you can add a crab claw cluster or fried shrimp for $4, Caesar Salads, and from scratch hand breaded Fried Okra and Peach Cobbler.
"The grilled Prime Rib is a huge hit," Ms. Manning said. "It's the only way we serve it. We get the higher end of beef that has no fat on either end. We slow roast it, then grill it to bring it up to temperature."
One of the customers, Scott, was asked how his Meatloaf Pub Grub special was. "On time," he said. "That's Southern for great!"
DiamondBacks Pub & Grub is at 2225 S. Ridgewood Ave., South Daytona Beach
Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Dart League is Tuesday nights, Karaoke is Friday and Saturday nights, and coming soon to Wednesday nights, and a wall of TV's assures customers won't miss game time.