In 1936 a young Midwestern couple came to Anna Maria Island on their honeymoon. They vowed to come back someday and build a little restaurant on the beach. They returned in 1952 (after Grandpa served in WWII) with their 2 young children, bought this piece of land and built this place.
Carl (Skinny) Freeman & his wife, Janice, ran the little beach place they named "Mid-Island Drive In". The Manatee Ave bridge did not exist
and there were few businesses here. Grandpa & Grandma "Skinny" envisioned the uniqueness of this island and knew one day it would be "one of a kind".
Their daughter Jan and grandson Clark are continuing to preserve this "Old Florida Original". Thank you to Estella, Maggie and our
family in CA..... Gary, Patty, Jennie & Laurel. Many thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged us over the years!
Grandpa "Skinny" was born 1916 in a small farming town Ogden, IL. His parents owned and operated a roadside restaurant/tavern/gas station in the early 1900's (Freeman's Station). He worked there as a child and took over the responsibility of running it in 1936, at the age of 19. The same year he married Janice Virginia Clark (Grandma) and they discovered the Island. Grandpa "Skinny" was a WWII veteran, serving in Europe during the war as a Medic. He was a race car owner and driver. The picture you see on our menu, T-shirts etc., is a photograph of him in his midget race car in the late 1940's. He was an avid fisherman. His favorite fishing holes were in Canada, Minnesota, Mexico and of course Florida! He was an adventurer and successful businessman. Above all he was a beloved Husband, Father and Grandfather. Grandpa passed away October 13,2001 at the age of 84. In his honor, we welcome you to "Skinny's Place". Janice Virginia Clark Freeman celebrated her 96th birthday April 30, 2013. She passed away on Sept 1, 2013. Grandma Skinny loved it here and loved her burger with extra tomato, onion rings & little bottle of Classic Coke! We miss her (Mom, Grandma & GG) and will never forget her courage, patience, wisdom, sense of humor and faith in us!