The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 32 - May 11, 2011


Enjoy the view and the food at Bridge Tender Inn

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Sue Shinka is the manager of the Bridge Tender Inn, which
was built as the Bayside Inn before the first bridge to
the Island was built in 1922.

Why is it that food always tastes better when eaten near the water? Is it the food, is it the view or is it the relaxed tranquility we seem to get lulled into. Whatever the reason, The Bridge Tender Inn on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach has been making sure their customers are relaxed and tranquil for more than 24 years.

In 1917, Bradenton Beach was nothing more than a small settlement of hearty folks living near the water. One of these first settlers started the area's first commercial enterprise by building the Bayside Inn, which eventually became today's Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar.

In 1922, when the first wooden bridge was built to the Island, it ended at the doorstep of the Bayside Inn, the hub of Bradenton Beach. Decorating the walls of the main dining room at the Bridge Tender are pictures of those early days donated by customers throughout the years, enhancing the nautical theme.

Although Bridge Street has evolved through the years with the addition of new buildings, shops and pier renovations, the one thing on the street that hasn't changed in more than two decades is the Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar. The establishment still offers the same high quality fresh food that keeps locals, and what Manager Sue Shinka calls vacationing locals, coming back year after year.

General Manager Johnny Maschino credits the Bridge Tender's long-term, consistent staff as part of the restaurant's popularity. He, Sue Shinka, Chef Marcus Vega and most of their wait staff all have more than 10 years with the Inn. Returning customers frequently ask to be seated at their favorite waiter or waitress' table.

The Bridge Tender's menu encompasses everything from light bites like grouper fingers, mussels and coconut shrimp, to complete dinner specials and entrees including beef, chicken and Fish Your Way, where you choose your fish and how you would like it prepared with one of the Bridge Tender's signature sauces. There are also sandwiches for lunch and dinner, side dishes, soups and salads, pasta and a kids' menu. Prices are moderate and everything on the menu is available in either the main dining room or in the Dockside Bar.

And speaking of the Dockside Bar, it's a hopping place seven days a week with entertainment by local performers like Doug Bidwell, Larry Stokes and Larry Rich, as well as big screen TVs for sporting events. Of course the whole point of having a Dockside Bar is to be able to bring your boat right up to the dock.

The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar invites boaters to come by sea where they will find two docks available for their vessels. Just turn at Intracoastal Marker 49 and follow the channel markers in. Remember not to boat too close to the end of the pier because it usually is jammed with fishermen. And if you're coming by land, the Bridge Tender has ample parking on its premises.

Johnny Maschino says the secret to the Bridge Tender's success is not that complicated, "Good food, good product, and good bang for the buck." That combined with a Dockside water view that puts us under the spell of the sea and the salty air makes for a delicious and irreplaceable dining experience.

Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside BAR

135 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach


11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Friday & Saturday
11:30 a.m. to midnight

All major credit cards accepted


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Some say, 'Sell in May and go away'

Investment Corner

Investment lore has a lot of sayings meant to pass long wisdom from one generation to the next, usually after some calendar or valuation pattern becomes obvious, but may not prove to be everlasting when viewed with the benefit of hindsight a few years later.

One popular calendar based prognostication is upon us now. Some call this the "Sell in May and go away indicator." Others call it the "Halloween indicator." The theory behind this market pattern is that over time, the bulk of the stock market's return is delivered from the end of October through the end of April, the most favorable six months of the year to invest.

The chart below, prepared by Plexus Asset Management, shows the long-term monthly average returns for the S&P 500 over the 60 years ending April 2009. It becomes evident that the 7.9 percent return in the favorable November through April period is over three times that of the 2.5 percent returned on average in the May through October half of the year.

One could easily conclude that selling on May Day and buying back into the market on Halloween would deliver the bulk of the returns and help avoid risk during half the year, leading to greater risk-adjusted returns. However, it's not quite that easy. As I've highlighted in previous articles, historical returns averaging data over many years may reveal tendencies, but they are rarely rock solid in their future repetition.

For example, entering the market the on October 31, 2008, would have caused a loss of about 9 percent to May 1, 2009. The supposedly favorable period did not materialize in 2008–2009 due to the panic surrounding the unfolding financial crisis. Selling on May 1 of 2009 would have caused you to miss out on large returns achieved between that date and Oct. 31, when the S&P 500 rose over 17 percent as the recovery began. Obviously, events like this shake the confidence of someone buying into this sort of mechanical methods.

Some further research has also revealed that buried in the very long-term average data, there are patterns which exist during shorter periods of time – the time in which we as investors are actually investing and reacting. Mark Hulbert, of the Hulbert Financial Digest, recently pointed out that since 2002, the return of the S&P 500 was 6.5 percent annualized on a buy and hold basis, while the timing efforts of the Halloween Indicator would have produced a lower return of 6.3 percent, albeit with lower volatility due to spending half the year out of the market.

I believe part of this skewing of the results is due to the tendency of the stock market to perform especially poor in September and October in years where there is already a negative bias unfolding. In more normal, less chaotic years, May through October half of the year may well provide better results. Unfortunately, it is hard to make that assessment in the heat of battle in any one particular year, but obviously easy to assess in hindsight.

In summary, I'm not a fan of a fixed calendar pattern system. I am in favors of rules based investment plans however. When using a system of some sort I suggest you follow the rules and not be swayed by the feel of the market. Rules based investing works, but not perfectly. It should be approached with the expectation that there will be periods of time where your rules may not work. Altering the plan, however, is likely to be a bigger mistake as you then subject yourself to emotional decision making or guessing. Also, we must acknowledge the tax consequences of a system of managing investments that creates more frequent trading activity in non-qualified accounts.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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