In 1978, the first Dybdal-family owned business venture sprouted on Highway 77, one block north of the Panama City Mall, with the opening of 77 Seafood Market & Oyster Bar. Soon after, the family began to negotiate large wholesale contracts with local businesses, the first being Captain D’s Restaurant.
The family continued to grow their business, along with their list of wholesale customers, to include clientele such as Captain Anderson’s, and other big names. At the urging of their customers, next the family added Pappa’s Seafood Restaurant on Highway 77 in Lynn Haven. This location specialized in family-style cuisine and offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The fresh seafood, signature dishes, and great hospitality made Pappa’s a hot spot for both tourists and locals alike.
Since Highway 77 was one of the main Beach routes, the Dybdals purchased additional land and then built 77 Seafood Market & Restaurant. They further expanded their cuisine and created some of the specialty dishes that still exist on this menu to date. Oysters Sandra, a popular menu item named for daughter Sandy, continues to be one of the most widely-sold items offered. A trip to Panama City Beach would not be complete without fresh local seafood.
The Dybdals and Arnolds saw this need and in turn founded Pier 77 Restaurant in 1982, at 3016 Thomas Drive. With this location, ran by the daughter Sandy Arnold, they provide their infamous family recipes to the public at affordable prices in a casual and friendly atmosphere. Shortly after Pier 77 opened, the relatives saw yet another gap in the market and constructed Shrimp City next door.
This marketplace, ran by the son Hal Dybdal, Jr., began offering a wide variety of fresh seafood to its customers and to Pier 77 as well.
Presently, Shrimp City is still in operation daily, and will even steam and season shrimp for free and pack it for travel. From these humble beginnings, the family father (Harold Dybdal Sr.), daughter, and son team has developed five family seafood businesses spanning several decades. On any given day, you may find four generations actively involved in the operations, with Mr. Harold Sr. (aka Mr. H) as the captain of the crew. We hope our restaurant and market gives you as much joy as it has given us over the years!