Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille

975 Rabbit Rd., Sanibel, Florida, United States, 33957 | Directions
Opening hours
10:00am 1000pm
Cuisine Type:
  • Bar & Pub
  • Seafood
  • Surf n Turf
  • Live Music

Welcome to Doc Ford’s

Just as my novels are inspired by these islands, my days on the water, and the people I came to know, the spirit of this fine sports bar was inspired by the marine biologist who is the main character of those novels.

Doc Ford is the baseball-loving, tropical adventurer who - not so surprisingly - has spent a lot of time in the same far flung places that I wrote about when I was monthly columnist for places such as Cuba, Cambodia, South Africa, Australia, Vietnam, Borneo, and all over South and Central America. It was while traveling for that I came to know and love the superb cuisine of the rural tropics.

I loved the sauces, the spices, and the passion that went into the food preparation. We hope that spirit is part of Doc Ford’s Sanibel Rum Bar and Grille, too. But the real hearts, heads and souls behind this establishment, though, aren’t fictional. They are real people; people savvy enough to envision a whole new concept in bars. “A rum bar? What’s a rum bar?” We were asked.

They are people creative enough to design an entirely different kind of sports bar concept. “You’re gonna have gourmet finger foods? Sports bars don’t serve great food,”we were told.  Well, this one does.

So credit Marty and Brenda Harrity, and Mark Marinello, along with Chef Greg Nelson for having the vision, and then finding the energy, taste and chutzpah to make that vision reality.

Being with them reminds me of my old marina family, back when I was a fishing guide at Tarpon Bay. They’re quirky and fun and gifted. They’ve made it work, and I’m proud to have played a small part.

--Randy Wayne White

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