Sunday night at Owens and the tables are aturning. We are early, seated just after opening. The feel is of the start of a race, a race to get everyone who wants to eat, eating, and then out the door for a repeat.

That’s the way with successful restaurants. Popularity breeds patrons and patrons bring money. In a town with a hunger for even the most ersatz “Floridian” experience, anyone feeding that desire cleans up. A little history goes a long way, especially when well spun.

Unfortunately, with all the adulation comes a shift of focus. Servers miss opportunities to allow customers to think. It’s hard to avoid feeling that more expensive dishes are recommended not for their quality or taste, but for the larger consequential tip. Smart local owners usually see the value in cultivating a returning clientele, and invest accordingly – today they order salads and soup, tomorrow they’re a big free-spending birthday bash.

None of which need worry OFC. Clearly folks come back, and so they must be doing something right. Undercooked rice in the jambalaya and soggy fries in the fish and chips clearly worry no-one.

Gosh, aren’t the decorations cute?