“the last great American hangout”
Waldo's has been called "the last great American hangout." Built in 1937, Waldo's offers diners seating both inside or outside with a view of the ocean. Entertainment is offered. Bar hours extended to 11:30 p.m. nightly, 12:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. What began in 1937 as a kitchen in the Sexton family’s beach house evolved by 1947 into the beachfront restaurant named after Waldo Sexton. Like other Sexton-built properties, the airy and open Waldo’s restaurant is paneled in wormwood and decorated with objects d’ architecture – wrought-iron grates and gates, hundreds of sometimes quirky, hand-painted tiles, found objects, collections and bells from ships and other modes of transportation. “Everything is like his wife told him to clean out the garage and it ended up here, but it’s not messy; it’s quaint and welcoming. Waldo used to take off with his pickup truck and come back a few days later with it full of architectural pieces he would find all over,” says Jean Radlet, manager of The Driftwood Resort, where Waldo’s is located. When the family began renting guest rooms as The Breezeway, the area lacked restaurants. Waldo’s wife, Elsebeth, cooked for guests from her family kitchen. When the existing restaurant was built in 1947, guests dined together at 25-foot-long tables, reminiscent of roadside inns from the time when the United States was being settled. If you asked where he got them, even he might not remember, Radlet says. In an old Waldo’s menu, the author hinted that you might see the ghosts of Amazon tribesmen or Sir Henry Morgan. But you might certainly see a few celebrities from the era. Pilot Eddie Rickenbacher, conductor Leopold Stokowski, author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt were among the more famous guests.
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Waldo’s at the Driftwood
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