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BRADENTON – Council's Recreation in downtown Bradenton has consistently held the title of best burger among TBT readers since we first started the poll in 2010. But this year, the crown leaves the mainland for the sandy shores of Anna Maria Island and the iconic, family-owned burger joint whose history dates back 55 years.
The original Duffy's was a “two-story cracker shack” across the street from the Manatee Public Beach, opened by Claude "Duffy" Whiteman in 1958. In 1971, Pat "Miss Duffy" Geyer bought the business from Whiteman "to keep her five daughters off the streets and out of trouble."
Her and her husband Ed built it into an island icon that was even named one of the 10 best hamburger heavens in America by USA Today.
In 2002, Duffy's Tavern lost its lease and began searching for a new place to call home. Nine months later, the Geyers reopened across from Holmes Beach City in the former Island Body Shop. Not only does the new location have both air conditioning and a fireplace, but there's an expanded menu as well.
Ed Geyer passed away in 2009 and in 2010, his wife Patty followed. However, the Duffy daughters continue the tradition.
If you've never been to Duffy's, it's certainly worth the trip. Just remember, it's cash only and don't ask for french fries (Duffy's only serves chips). Those are small prices to pay, however, for world-class burgers and "the coldest beer south of heaven."
5808 Marina Drive
Holmes Beach, FL
Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: noon to 8 p.m.
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