The historic and iconic Rusty Pelican Waterfront Restaurant turned 50 this month and celebrated its golden anniversary with a grand invitation-only gala on August 26th that transported guests to a tiki-inspired oasis. Famous for its sparkling views of the Miami skyline, impressive contemporary American cuisine and fresh locally sourced seafood, the acclaimed restaurant celebrated its long-standing legacy in the City of Miami with a fun-filled evening. 

Taking place at the Rusty Pelican’s second-floor event space, upon arrival, guests were welcomed with live electric violinists, ice sculptures, handcrafted specialty cocktails, a grand charcuterie board, fresh seafood and more. As the evening progressed, doors opened to a beautiful and colorful event space framed by the sparkling Miami skyline and was equipped with a live band, 360 photo booth and two cocktail stations. Second-generation owner and Rusty Pelican President and CEO John Tallichet, was awarded the Key To The City and a Proclamation from former Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, officially making August 26th Rusty Pelican Day in the City of Miami. 

Following its long history in the City and its impact on the community, the restaurant celebrated with a “Throwback Menu” that was available for a limited time honoring the original dishes found on the menu when the restaurant first opened its doors in 1972. The proceeds raised from the exclusive menu were presented at the gala as a check to NBA Hall of Famer and philanthropist Alonzo Mourning, founder of the Overtown Youth Center. The $19,720 in funds raised are intended to further support the organization’s mission to create a safe haven for children following the restaurant’s long-standing partnership with the Overtown Youth Center. To wrap up the evening, hora loca dancers and musicians filled the dance floor as spectacular dessert towers equipped with sparklers were delivered to each table, bringing a close to the restaurant’s golden anniversary celebration. 

Since opening its doors in 1972, the Rusty Pelican strikes the perfect chord between sophistication and glamorous nightlife. With one of Miami’s most picturesque locations, the restaurant’s top-notch service, handcrafted cocktails developed by master mixologists and delectable dishes made with high-quality ingredients ensure that each guest has an unforgettable experience. An epicenter for the City, its 50th anniversary highlights the restaurant’s impact on the local community. From its impressive wine wall to its lush greenery transporting guests to a tropical escape, the Rusty Pelican gives guests the ultimate taste of Miami. Situated on the Rickenbacker Marina, the Rusty Pelican Waterfront Restaurant is located at 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149. For more information or to make reservations at the Rusty Pelican, visit or call (305) 361-3818. For the most up-to-date news and information, please follow the restaurant on Instagram @rustypelicanmiami.

Casual Dining, Industry News