Safeguard Your Property with a Home Security System from Prime Protection

Learn More About the Top Home Security Company in Cortez, FL

If there's one thing that homeowners in Cortez can agree on, it's that security and safety risks are part of life. You assume some risk - even if it's small - every time you walk out of your front door. Fortunately, there are many procedures and processes in place to protect us from being victims of crimes, especially in public areas like grocery stores. But what about when we're at home? According to the FBI, property crime accounts for more than 85% of all crime in the U.S. In fact, almost 4.8 million cases of property crime were reported in 2021 alone, with 50% of people reporting that they believe a property crime could happen to them.

If you live in Cortez, chances are you've heard of or know someone personally who has been affected by a break-in or robbery. Property crimes and package theft are higher than the national average, at 53% and 61% respectively. Could you imagine coming home from dinner out with your family, only to see your front door smashed in and your belongings gone? Of course, being the victim of a home break-in is about more than disposable items like TVs and electronics. When the sacred space of your home is violated, you lose peace of mind. What's stopping the criminals from coming back and robbing your home again? Will they tell other criminals that your home is an easy target? Will your children be able to sleep at night knowing that their home has been broken into?

If you're like other Cortez homeowners and believe that peace of mind and safety is priceless, ask yourself this: "What am I doing to make sure my home is protected from burglars?" For most, the answer to that question begins by installing a home security system in Cortez, FL. When you have a burglar alarm installed, you'll have more peace of mind at home or when you're away, knowing that a home security system company like Prime Protection has got your back.

Security Camera Systems Cortez, FL

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Prime Protection: Changing the Face of the Home Security Industry

Prime Protection LLC was founded to change the face of the home security industry. We operate on the Golden Rule standard: "Do unto others as you would want done unto you." When you trust Prime Protection, you can have confidence that we will treat your home as if it were our own. Our technicians will go above and beyond to make sure your family is protected and that all of your questions are answered. Because, at the end of the day, that's how we'd like to be treated.

We're known locally as the "ADT home security company in Cortez, FL" to homeowners, business owners, and even Realtors. Regardless of your home security needs, our goal is to take great care of you and your ADT home security system. That way, you know your home, belongings, and family members are protected.

To provide the best home alarm system services, we partnered up with ADT Security. Why? Their facility is state-of-the-art, their customer service is unmatched, and no other monitoring company is approved by the Department of Defense. They're trusted with monitoring the White House - which lets you know that there's no other choice when it comes to protecting your home.

 ADT Home Security Cortez, FL

We provide a variety of home security camera systems and accessories, including:

  • Burglar Alarms
  • Home Alarm Systems
  • CCTV Camera Systems
  • 24/7 Alarm Monitoring
  • ADT Home Security Systems
  • ADT Monitored Doorbell Cameras
  • ADT Monitored Security Cameras
  • ADT Monitored Home Automation
  • Systems
  • Smart Home Security
  • Fire Monitor & Detection
  • Live Streaming
 ADT Home Security System Cortez, FL
 Home Security Near Me Cortez, FL

What Makes Prime Protection Different from Other Home Security Companies?

Simply put, your family's safety is our top priority. We offer the most up-to-date ADT home security products, and our technicians use the most current technology and methods to install our products. As an ADT-authorized dealer, we have the tools, training, and home security system products to help keep your home safe.

From start to finish, our team of professionals is happy to help explain the highlights and advantages of our products, so you can make an informed decision about protecting your home. Our flexible options allow you to pick what products you want and what services you need. It's easier than DIY!

When you trust Prime Protection for a home alarm system in Cortez, FL, you're not only treated to a professional, efficient experience. You also benefit from:

Lifetime Warranties

As long as you're subscribed to our monthly monitoring agreement, all ADT equipment you purchase from Prime Protection is covered by a lifetime warranty.

24/7 Support

ADT's customer service is available 24/7, while Prime Protection's is open from 9am to 8pm. You can reach them both by phone.

11+ Years of Experience

We've been serving homeowners and commercial clients in Cortez for more than a decade. As locals in our community, we prioritize qualities such as hard work, transparency, and reliability. We know that money doesn't grow on trees, and as such, make every effort to keep our prices reasonable for hardworking people in Cortez.

Our technicians install and maintain home security systems for many different types of clients, including:

  • Homeowners
  • Renters
  • Apartment Complexes
  • Townhomes
  • Grocery Stores
  • Offices
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Government

Prime Protection has the home and family protection you need. We provide everything you need to feel safe at home, from basic burglar alarms to ADT-monitored smart home security systems that offer total home protection. Contact our office today for help finding the right security system package for your family.

Why Should I Invest in a Home Security System in Cortez, FL?

Whether you live in a gated community miles from a metropolitan area or you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city, having a home alarm system is a smart investment. Modern home security systems do more than sound an alarm if someone breaks in - they can include home automation features that make your life easier and can even help reduce energy consumption. But that's just the start. Let's take a look at some of the biggest reasons why you should consider investing in a burglar alarm for your home in Cortez.

 ADT Alarm System Cortez, FL

The top reason to buy a security system for your home is for the protection it provides. From home intrusions and burglaries to fires and even natural disasters, today's residential home monitoring systems work even when you're not there. They can also help in the event of a medical emergency. Buying a robust alarm or camera system for security is an investment.

However, when you discover that the average burglary costs homeowners more than $2,600 per victim (according to the FBI), the cost starts to make a lot of sense. When you're the victim of a home break-in, the damage goes beyond fiscal. There's long-lasting psychological damage that occurs, too, and having a home security system can help prevent that trauma.

 ADT Security Systems Cortez, FL

Research conducted by Professor Joe Kuhns of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at UNC Charlotte found that nearly 60% of burglars planned their break-ins less than 24 hours before attempting them. Additionally, 83% of burglars surveyed reported that they looked for signs of an alarm system, and over half of them stated that they would abandon their plans if they saw one. This research underscores the effectiveness of visible alarm system indicators such as ADT stickers, yard signs, and outdoor cameras in deterring potential burglars, as their crimes are often opportunistic in nature.

 Smart Home Systems Cortez, FL

By installing a home security system, you can have peace of mind, knowing that your home is protected whether you're away or asleep. Plus, modern wireless security systems from ADT that are connected to the internet also allow you to check on your home from anywhere in the world. So, if you're on a business trip in Dubai and want to check on your home, you can do so in a moment's time.

 ADT Home Automation Cortez, FL

When you have a professionally installed home alarm system from a company like Prime Protection, many home insurance companies offer you a discount on the price of your premium. More substantial discounts typically apply to systems that include environmental monitoring for smoke, water damage, fire, and intrusion monitoring. While a discount on your home insurance may not cover the total home security camera system in Cortez, FL, it can make having one more affordable over time. Plus, if you need to file an insurance claim for a break-in or other event, having high-def, reliable video footage can be incredibly beneficial.

 Home Security System Cortez, FL

Safety products like ADT-monitored home automation systems can include home automation features that provide convenience and energy savings, making it easier to save time and money. Smart lights and thermostats, when paired with a security system, can adjust themselves to save energy when the system is armed. Additionally, smart door locks and connected garage door openers can offer a secure way to allow friends and family into your home.

 Home Security Company Cortez, FL

In case of an emergency, home automation security systems can offer fast and efficient response times. Whether it's alerting you to a potential threat at your back door or contacting emergency services or the police automatically, these systems help ensure that help is nearby when you truly need it most.

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Security Camera Systems Cortez, FL

Prime Protection Pro Tip

Many wireless home security systems from ADT work with a smartphone app. This makes keeping up with your pets and family much easier. For example, motion and door sensors will alert you if someone is sneaking around your property. But they can also alert you when your child walks in the front door after school, if an older adult in your home gets out of bed.

Popular Products from Our Home Security System Company in Cortez, FL

Want to learn more about the products and services offered at Prime Protection? We offer a wide range of home security alarm products, from affordable security cameras to fully monitored home protection plans that include automated features. Here are just a few of the most popular products we provide to homeowners and commercial clients in Cortez:

 ADT Home Security Cortez, FL
 ADT Home Security System Cortez, FL

ADT Monitored Home Automation

By integrating a home automation system, you can turn your house into a futuristic living space. Automating your home provides you with control over various aspects such as lighting, energy efficiency, home security, and video doorbells. A few features of ADT's monitored home automation package include the following:

  • Smart Plugs
  • Monitored Smart Door Locks
  • Smart Thermostats
  • Monitored Garage Door Security
  • Monitored Security Cameras
  • More

ADT Monitored Doorbell Cameras

When it comes to home robberies, almost 34% of criminals come through your front door. Doorbell cameras with motion detection from ADT can help you keep unwanted guests away from your home. When your doorbell camera detects someone at your front door, you'll get an alert on your smartphone. When you're not at home, you can see and communicate with anyone who happens to be at your front door, from delivery drivers to neighbors.

Doorbell camera features include:

  • Weatherproof
  • Two-Way Audio
  • HD Imaging and Video
  • Wide Viewing Angles
  • Wireless
  • Compatible with Android and Apple Devices
  • Infrared LED Night Vision
 Home Security Near Me Cortez, FL
 ADT Alarm System Cortez, FL

ADT Monitored Home Alarm Systems

These days, having a reliable alarm system for your home in Cortez is essential. Aras like Sunny Isles Beach has seen an increase in property crime at more than 12 incidents per 1,000 people in 2024 alone. With hurricanes and other natural disasters occurring often, it's normal to be concerned about your property.

Fortunately, ADT's home alarm system covers various aspects of home protection, including monitoring for burglaries, fire, flood, and carbon monoxide. Prime Protection LLC offers additional features like video monitoring, door lock and unlock, thermostat adjustment, garage door control, light control, and even the ability to see and communicate with visitors at your front door through home automation options.

Features of our monitored home alarm systems can include the following:

  • Burglar Alarms
  • Command Panel
  • Monitored Glass Break Detectors
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Window & Door Sensors
  • Key Fob for Alarming & Disarming

Is Signing Up with Prime Protection Easy?

Now that you know a little more about our company, our products, and why you should invest in a home security system in Cortez, FL, you may be excited to learn more or sign up for ADT monitoring services. We make it as easy as possible so you can get the protection you need in as little time as possible. Here's a quick snapshot of our working process:

 ADT Security Systems Cortez, FL

Get Your Quote Today!

Whether your home security system is underperforming, outdated, or non-existent, Prime Protection is here to help. Our home alarm systems do more than make noise - they make your life easier and provide peace of mind, even when you're away.

If a worst-case scenario happens and your home is burglarized, you'll have the right protections in place to keep your family safe. Contact Prime Protection today and take the first step toward a safer, more enjoyable home life in Cortez.

 Home Security Company Cortez, FL

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Latest News in Cortez, FL

Is this new Bradenton storefront an Amazon Fresh grocery store? Here’s what we found

There could be a new national grocery player coming to the Bradenton market, even though the parent company won’t say one way or the other.Amazon Fresh seems to have earmarked the Cortez Commons shopping center, 5630 Cortez Road W., for a future store. The grocery would be among the first Amazon Fresh stores in Florida.For...

There could be a new national grocery player coming to the Bradenton market, even though the parent company won’t say one way or the other.

Amazon Fresh seems to have earmarked the Cortez Commons shopping center, 5630 Cortez Road W., for a future store. The grocery would be among the first Amazon Fresh stores in Florida.

For several years, Cortez Commons has been billed as the future home of a “new national credit grocery chain.”

Work on the grocery space in recent months has all the trappings of an Amazon Fresh store, including the design of the 12-panel windows, the dark gray facade and the green paint on the entrance overhang. All that’s missing is the company’s official badging.

The Tampa Bay Times found a similar storefront that matches Amazon Fresh’s unique design but remains unopened. That store is in Safety Harbor, the newspaper reported in November.

But we didn’t want to just speculate about whether an Amazon Fresh was coming to Bradenton, so we reached out to those who know.

A landlord for the shopping center previously told the Bradenton Herald that he can’t divulge the grocer, leaving that to the tenant to make the announcement when ready.

Recent building permits filed with the city of Bradenton also revealed few details about the grocery store.

Jessica Martin, an Amazon spokesperson, responded in an email that she didn’t have any information to share on specific stores but offered a statement.

“We’ve invested a lot of time redesigning a number of our Amazon Fresh stores over the last year, offering a better overall shopping experience with more value, convenience, and selection — and so far we’ve seen positive results, with higher customer shopping satisfaction scores and increased purchasing,” Martin said.

“We’ve also heard from customers that while they enjoyed the benefit of skipping the checkout line with Just Walk Out, they also wanted the ability to easily find nearby products and deals, view their receipt as they shop, and know how much money they saved while shopping throughout the store,” she added.

“To deliver even more convenience to our customers, we’re rolling out Amazon Dash Cart, our smart-shopping carts, which allows customers all these benefits including skipping the checkout line,” Martin said.

There are Amazon Fresh stores in California, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, New Jersey and Washington, DC.

Amazon Dash Cart is replacing Just Walk Out in U.S. stores but will continue to be offered in Amazon Go stores, the smaller format Amazon Fresh stores in the UK, as well as third-party retailers.

Amazon Dash Cart lets customers skip the checkout line. Shoppers scan the QR code on their Amazon app. A combination of computer vision and sensor fusion helps identify items placed in the cart. Shoppers grab an item, scan it on one of the Dash Cart cameras, and place it in the cart like they normally would.

Customers can scan, shop, and see how much they are spending in real-time. When done shopping, they can skip the checkout by going through the Dash Cart lane.

Amazon is also installing self-checkout. Assisted checkout will continue to be an option as well.

“Our goal is to build a best-in-class grocery shopping experience—whether shopping in store or online—where Amazon is the first choice for selection, value, and convenience. We already have a large online grocery business and millions of products available for fast delivery, and the next step is to continue building out our physical presence—which will require significant innovation and persistence,” Martin said.

“We’ll continue to open new Whole Foods Market stores, and will do so selectively with Amazon Fresh as we see results we like. We’re encouraged by early signs of our new store design in Chicago and Southern California, and will proceed adaptively,” Martin said.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy addressed grocery sales during the fourth-quarter earnings call on Feb. 1.

“On grocery, we’re pleased with the progress we’re making there. If you want to serve as many grocery needs as we do, you have to have a mass physical presence. And that’s what we’ve been trying to do with Fresh over several years,” Jassy said.

We’ve been testing version two of our Fresh format in a few locations near Chicago, in a few locations in Southern California. It’s very early, it’s just a few months in, but the results thus far are very promising and on almost every dimension. And so we need to see it for a little bit longer time, but the results appear like we have something that’s resonating. And if we continue to see that then the issue becomes how fast and what’s the best way to expand,” Jassy said.

The Bradenton area has been a growth hot spot for groceries, including Publix with 20 stores, Aldi with six stores, home-grown Detwiler’s with six stores in Manatee-Sarasota, and The Fresh Market, which will open its third Manatee County store in Lakewood Ranch on Wednesday.

Winn-Dixie, which was acquired by Aldi in 2023, has five stores in Manatee County.

A newcomer to the area, Sprouts, Farmers Market opened its first Bradenton store in 2023.

In addition, two new Target stores are coming to Manatee County, along with the county’s first Whole Foods store.

This story was originally published April 18, 2024, 5:50 AM.

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When will FDOT replace an Anna Maria Island bridge? Public workshops set for feedback

The three bridges serving Anna Maria Island are all low-level drawbridges built in the 1950s, and two — the Cortez Bridge and the Anna Maria Bridge — are scheduled to be replaced by high-rise bridges.The future of the third span, the Longboat Key Bridge, could include rehabilitation or replacement by either a high-level fixed bridge or a movable bridge.The Florida Department of Transportation has announced workshops this week to gather views from the public on the Longboat Key Bridge. See below for more information ...

The three bridges serving Anna Maria Island are all low-level drawbridges built in the 1950s, and two — the Cortez Bridge and the Anna Maria Bridge — are scheduled to be replaced by high-rise bridges.

The future of the third span, the Longboat Key Bridge, could include rehabilitation or replacement by either a high-level fixed bridge or a movable bridge.

The Florida Department of Transportation has announced workshops this week to gather views from the public on the Longboat Key Bridge. See below for more information about the workshops.

Whatever steps or decisions are made are sure to be met with criticism and in some cases outright opposition, as was the case with the Anna Maria and Cortez bridges.

Judy Titsworth, mayor of Holmes Beach, where the Anna Maria Bridge (also known as the Manatee Avenue Bridge) lands, would like to see a designated trolley lane and pedestrian/bike paths physically separated from vehicular traffic, like the Green Bridge connecting Bradenton and Palmetto.

“The Green Bridge is so safe,” she said.

That would be a big improvement to the existing Anna Maria Bridge, especially after one sidewalk was closed because of water main pipe support repair. The remaining sidewalk is not wide enough to allow bicycles approaching from opposite directions to pass, she said.

Safer sidewalks would encourage more people to ride bicycles across the bridge, she said.

Although the Anna Maria Bridge does not land in his city, Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy says a replacement can’t come fast enough.

“Whether they do a drawbridge or a mega bridge, we need something better,” Murphy said, citing congestion and the need to evacuate residents and visitors from the island in advance of a storm emergency.

Here’s what’s next for the three bridges.

The first of the bridges scheduled to be replaced is the Cortez Bridge, built in 1956.

▪ Planned: A 65-foot-high fixed bridge to the north of the existing bridge with two 12-foot travel lanes, one eastbound and one westbound. Each travel lane would be bordered by a 10-foot shoulder, allowing the passage of emergency vehicles, and a 10-foot sidewalk.

FDOT studies show that replacing a drawbridge with a high-rise bridge would allow 98% of boat traffic to pass.

▪ Length: The project, including road improvements, spans 0.9 miles from Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach to 123rd Street West on the mainland.

▪ Schedule: Design completion is forecast for spring 2025. A date for the start of construction has not been announced.

▪ Cost: FDOT projects that it will cost roughly $94 million. But the actual cost could be higher.

▪ For more information: visit FDOT’s Cortez Bridge project web page at https://www.swflroads.com/project/430204-2.

▪ Planned: A 65-foot-high fixed bridge approximately 14 feet south of the existing bridge with two 12-foot travel lanes — one in each direction. Each travel lane would be bordered by an 11-foot shoulder to allow emergency vehicles to pass and a 10-foot sidewalk.

FDOT studies show that 98% of boat traffic will be able to pass under the planned 65-foot bridge.

▪ Length: The project, including road improvements, spans 1.94 miles from East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach to Perico Bay Boulevard along Manatee Avenue.

▪ Schedule: The Anna Maria Island Bridge replacement is forecast for construction in 2029.

▪ Cost: $138 million. Currently unfunded.

▪ For more information: visit FDOT’s Anna Maria project web page at https://www.swflroads.com/project/408185-3.

Planned: FDOT has initiated a study for Gulf Drive South from the entrance of Coquina Park to North Shore Road. The study will evaluate alternatives to replace the existing Longboat Key Bridge over Longboat Pass. The bridge was built in 1957.

Alternatives to be evaluated include rehabilitation of the existing bridge, a new high-level fixed bridge and a movable bridge.

Length: 0.75 miles.

Schedule: The design phase is planned for fiscal year 2026. Right of way and construction are unfunded at this time.

Cost: Estimates for the project are $93 million to $134 million, depending on the alternative chosen.

For more information: FDOT has announced two public workshops, one online and the other in person, to allow the public to express their views about the project.

USA TODAY named its Restaurants of the Year. This Sarasota area favorite made the list.

Wade TatangeloStar Fish Company, located on north Sarasota Bay in the historic commercial fishing village of Cortez, made ...

Wade Tatangelo

Star Fish Company, located on north Sarasota Bay in the historic commercial fishing village of Cortez, made USA TODAY’s list of best restaurants in the country.

The USA TODAY Restaurants of the Year 2024 list, released today, features 47 restaurants from fine-dining establishments to counter-service seafood shacks.

“To me, it’s almost shocking,” Star Fish Company owner Karen Bell said. “I know we do a good job with seafood, but we’re such a tiny place in this little village; it seems incredible to be recognized."

How many have you been to?Check out USA TODAY's 2024 Restaurants of the Year

USA TODAY Network food journalists from across the country pooled their expertise to select the list, which includes the places they know, love and recommend.

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Star Fish Company was chosen for its fresh Gulf of Mexico seafood in a genuine Old Florida setting. The ultra-casual restaurant serves expertly prepared Florida favorites like grouper, shrimp, and oysters, but is best known for its mullet — a fish best enjoyed fried or blackened with a side of cheese grits.

Here’s the full list, and more about Star Fish Company.

USA TODAY Restaurants of the Year:Sarasota area restaurant named one of the best in U.S. Everything to know before you go

Sarasota area waterfront restaurant named one of best in U.S.

Wade TatangeloOne of the best restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton has earned national honors.Among 47 dining destinations from across the country, with onl...

Wade Tatangelo

One of the best restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton has earned national honors.

Among 47 dining destinations from across the country, with only three others from Florida, Star Fish Company has earned a spot on the 2024 USA TODAY Restaurants of the Year list.

Promoted as a place for "ultra-casual outdoor dining," Star Fish is located in the historic commercial fishing village of Cortez on north Sarasota Bay in Manatee County. Karen Bell, a third-generation Cortezian dedicated to preserving her family's commercial fishing heritage, owns Star Fish.

“To me, it’s almost shocking,” Bell said. “I know we do a good job with seafood, but we’re such a tiny place in this little village; it seems incredible to be recognized. Most people don't know Cortez exists. I’m proud of us and the great people I work with and the quality seafood we provide. I’m just really happy and feel very fortunate.”

What's the best restaurant near you?Check out USA TODAY's 2024 Restaurants of the Year.

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10 best Sarasota area restaurantswe wish made USA TODAY's Restaurants of the Year list

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What makes Star Fish Company stand out

Not only does Bell own Star Fish Company, a dockside restaurant, and seafood market, but she's also the proprietor of A.P. Bell Fish Co., a wholesale seafood dealer located next door that her family established in 1940. Bell's fleet of commercial fishing boats deliver fresh seafood to the A.P. Bell "fish house," and it's served next door at Star Fish — or shipped as far away as Asia. While dining at Star Fish, you'll be captivated by the fishermen working alongside seabirds and the occasional dolphin.

For those seeking fresh Gulf seafood in a genuine Old Florida setting, it does not get any better tasting or more authentic than Star Fish. The restaurant has more than a century of history and places guests at wood picnic tables on the working docks of Cortez. It's cash only; you order at the counter, and your food, including expertly filleted fish, is brought to you in a cardboard box. During the tourist season, the wait can be 90 minutes or more, providing ample time to order a cold beer and soak up the scenery.

What to order at Star Fish Company

Mullet. The menu notes that this fish put Cortez on the map and that it's loaded with omega-3 oils and "good for ya!" I'm no nutritionist, but I can attest that Star Fish's mullet is delicious, especially when served blackened or fried.

Cortez Special. Priced at $26.95, this might be the best dining deal in Florida. The special comes with Star Fish's irresistible hush puppies, homemade coleslaw and either fries, broccoli or cheese grits. Get the grits. Next, you choose any two: shrimp (fried or sautéed), mahi-mahi (grilled or blackened), oysters (fried), scallops (fried or sautéed), grouper (fried, grilled, blackened or sautéed), crab cake or clam strips. My go-to order is the grouper (blackened) and scallops (sautéed).

Grouper Tacos. While fish tacos are common enough, the ones at Star Fish are uncommonly good, thanks to the fresh chunks of grouper tossed in spices and tucked inside two soft flour shells along with shredded lettuce, tomato, pepper jack and a smartly balanced sauce with a nice kick.

Florida Pompano. While the tourists and snowbirds gobble up the grouper and shrimp, true Floridians will want to opt for fish like mullet and pompano, with the latter boasting a rich, buttery taste best realized when grilled.

Po' Boy Sandwich. How good is Star Fish's fried shrimp or oyster po' boy? When Emeril Lagasse visited the restaurant in 2016, he requested the recipe for their New Orleans-style remoulade sauce.

Karen Bell's Key Lime Pie. Karen's namesake rendition of Florida's favorite dessert offers the perfect sweet ending to any feast at Star Fish.

See the full menu.

Did you know?

Located a short walk from Star Fish Company is another exceptional seafood restaurant, Tide Tables, which Bell co-owns with the local couple Bobby and Gwen Woodson. At Tide Tables, they cut their fish right on its Cortez dock on the Intracoastal Waterway, overlooking Anna Maria Island, and use it for delightful dishes such as Thai chili grouper bites or a blackened grouper sandwich.

In addition, Bell and her longtime employee, Josh Wilkinson, are reviving a local comfort food favorite called The Boiler Room, which she said should open in March. The Boiler Room, which will specialize in the cheesesteak sandwiches that made the restaurant famous before it closed a few years ago, is located in west Bradenton, about seven miles from Star Fish Company.

Who lives here?Most famous celebrities with homes in Sarasota and Bradenton area

Wade Tatangelo is Ticket Editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and Florida Regional Dining and Entertainment Editor for the USA TODAY Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. He can be reached by email at wade.tatangelo@heraldtribune.com. Support local journalism by subscribing.

Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival to celebrate 42 years

CORTEZ – The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) is gearing up for the 42nd Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival.The first festival in 1981 drew just 500 people, but an average of 15,000 people are expected to come to the fishing village this year the weekend of Feb. 17-18 to enjoy live music, food, arts and crafts vendors and a celebration of commercial fishing.This year’s theme, “Cortez Commercial Fishing, It’s A Way of Life,” reflects the importance of commercial fishing to the history...

CORTEZ – The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) is gearing up for the 42nd Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival.

The first festival in 1981 drew just 500 people, but an average of 15,000 people are expected to come to the fishing village this year the weekend of Feb. 17-18 to enjoy live music, food, arts and crafts vendors and a celebration of commercial fishing.

This year’s theme, “Cortez Commercial Fishing, It’s A Way of Life,” reflects the importance of commercial fishing to the history and future of Cortez.

“FISH exists to support the commercial fishing industry in Cortez and throughout Florida. During the early years of the festival, the majority of the seafood we served was from the Cortez commercial fishing industry and we desire to return to our roots,” Carol Kio-Green instructed potential food vendors last year on the FISH website. “We are asking all vendors who serve seafood to indicate the source on their menu and make an effort to serve commercially wild-caught seafood from Florida. Our goal is that 25% of all seafood served at the festival will be from the Florida commercial industry.”

Proceeds from the festival are used to fund the FISH Preserve – 98 acres of undeveloped habitat bordering Sarasota Bay along the east side of the historic Cortez fishing village.

“Habitat restoration throughout the preserve is creating coastal habitat for the public to enjoy, complete with trails and educational signage,” according to the FISH website. “Grant money assists our efforts, but our most important partners are our members, neighbors, participants and volunteers. FISH has also purchased significant historic buildings within the village for preservation and community use.”

The festival is planned and run solely by volunteers, who incorporate an educational component into the festival.

The University of Florida and Florida Sea Grant have partnered with this event to present “Dock Talks” each day at the Fulford Fish House, to educate the public on local marine life and commercial fisheries. A touch tank in the Kids Zone gives children a close-up view of local marine life.

The festival also will feature arts and crafts and a photo contest gallery show at the A.P. Bell Fish Co. fish house.

A few slots are left for those who would like to volunteer at the festival. Sign up at https://fishcortez.org/get-involved/.

The festival will be held on 46th Avenue West at the end of 123rd Street West in Cortez.

Admission is $5, with kids under 12 free.

The Boy Scouts, in partnership with FISH, will offer on-site parking at the FISH Preserve, one block east of the village off Cortez Road, for a $5 donation. Golf cart transportation to the festival entrance at 123rd Street Court West will be provided.

Free MCAT bus service between Coquina Beach and G.T. Bray Park on 59th Street West in Bradenton to and from the festival will be available.

Off-site parking will be available at Cortez Road Baptist Church (between 99th and 100th Streets on Cortez Road) with free shuttles to and from the festival provided by The Monkey Bus.

CORTEZ – The historic net camp just offshore of the fishing village is being refurbished thanks to the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) and some local commercial fishermen.

Nathan Meschelle, FISH board member and vice-president of the Cortez chapter of the Organized Fisherman of Florida (OFF) and FISH board member Lance Plowman gave an update on the net camp repairs at the FISH board meeting on June 3.

“We’re getting the roof on there and that front deck before the hurricanes start,” Meschelle said. “We’ll be working on it the next few weekends and try to get that roof on there.”

The net camp, known as the Curt Johns net camp, had fallen into disrepair, and until recently, had a hole in the roof, debris on the back deck and an unnamed person living in it.

OFF members conducted a coastal cleanup in April and brought back boatloads of debris from the net camp to be discarded. The net camp occupant was trespassed and renovation began.

The structure is owned by John Guthrie. FISH undertook the renovation to maintain the historic building.

Net camps are wooden structures built in the water on stilts that were used by fishermen to hang hemp and cotton fishing nets to dry before the advent of modern materials. According to historic photographs, there were once dozens of net camps on Sarasota Bay off Cortez.

The historic Curt Johns net camp is one of two off Cortez. It is next to the 2017 net camp owned by Raymond “Junior” Guthrie, which Florida courts have ordered to be removed at the request of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection due to its non-historic status and the state’s ownership of the submerged land upon which it was built.


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