GATES Construction has been awarded construction of Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, the first restaurant in the new St. Pete Pier District. The 10,000 square-foot Old Florida style restaurant will provide seating for 250 patrons. 4,000 square feet will be air-conditioned and the remaining space will be covered outdoor seating overlooking downtown St. Pete’s scenic waterfront. The new restaurant is the fourth Doc Ford’s in southwest Florida. Other locations include Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and Fort Myers Beach. The restaurant’s name and Florida theme, based on the novels by New York Times best-selling author Randy Wayne White, will appeal to both residents and visitors. Restaurant guests will have access to all of the other amenities along the pier as well, including a marketplace, fishing deck with bait shop, walking area, picnic spaces and family park with kid’s play zone. This project is slated for completion early 2020. Design Services will be provided by WJARC Architects.