About the Historic Mar Vista Restaurant
Beginning in about 1912, early developer and major Longboat Key landowner Rufus Jordan used a block making machine to construct many of the early residences on the North end Longboat Key. Utilizing rusticated stone blocks made on or near the construction, Rufus Jordan constructed all but one of the rusticated concrete block historic structures making up the original area of Longbeach. Mar Vista is one of these structures.
The Rufus and Annie Jordan House "Mar Vista" is one of the twelve oldest surviving structures on Longboat Key. Although the Room House has received some modifications over time, it continues to maintain its historic significance as the former residence of Rufus Jordan, who played a significant role in the early development, settlement, and construction activity on Longboat Key during the 1910’s. It continues to retain its original integrity of location, materials, feeling, and association, to a high degree.
A hurricane struck the west coast of Florida and Longboat Key in 1921. The docks and most of the island’s dwellings were destroyed but not Mar Vista.
Eventually Mar Vista was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Sipes, relatives of the Jordans, in 1940. In 1942, the Sipes turned the house into five rental apartments.
The property was sold in 1947 to their business partners, Captain Don Nimmo and Ray Smith. They built the Pub Cocktail Lounge(on the site of Mar Vista restaurant) and designated it as a fish camp, selling bait, tackle, and beer. Hartig said it was probable that the Jordan House was used for lodgings for out of town fisherman.
Charlotte and Edward Sibole bought the property in 1950. They added a room to the rear building, The Pub, and relocated the bait shop. They continued to lease apartments in the Jordan House. It soon became one of the most popular restaurants and watering holes on the Key.
The former Jordan House continued to be used as apartments until the 1980’s when the Chiles Restaurant Group with Ed Chiles as owner bought the property. It is Mr. Chiles intention to retain the "Old Florida" feel of Mar Vista preserving its history and charm.