Bob "Chef Bob" Branconnir is venturing out on his own and has found a sweet spot for an outdoor bar and grill. Branconnir now owns and operates Sharkies Bar and Grill along Marine Corps Drive in Asan on the patio of Divers Choice dive shop. "We were looking for an authentic Florida-style beach bar and we found this great location " Branconnir said.
According to Branconnir his small venture turned out to be bigger than he had imagined. He credited the government of Guam for assisting him in abiding by all the health code regulations to open his bar and grill. "I did not know the complexities but the government officials at One Stop really helped me out a great deal " he said.
Branconnir said he started the business on a shoestring budget and bought all his kitchen equipment second-hand. "I have six commercial grade refrigerators and freezers. I have ranges grills broilers and fryers. It’s more than adequate " Branconnir said. He said he bought all his equipment for about $30 000 but had he bought it brand new he would have paid more than $100 000.
Most of the work takes place outdoors but the preparation and storage of food items is done in a 20 by eight-foot container. A bar is connected to the container and a tin overhang shelters patrons and Branconnir’s four bartenders from the elements. The bar Branconnir said he proudly designed on a Microsoft Word program. "The drawing plans the diagrams all was done on a regular Word program " he said. "I’ve never built anything in my life. It was a real learning experience."
Branconnir told the Journal Sharkies can accommodate 40 to 50 people under the canopy he has set up. He said he plans to put up an additional canopy to ensure coverage of the grills and the bar. Branconnir said he has a chef work during the day and a different chef working evenings. "They are students of the Guam Community College. That’s a really good program " he said.
"We really love this location " Branconnir said of his decision and his partner’s agreement to set up the business at the old War in the Pacific building. Alice Valencia his partner has 22 years of experience in running an ice cream and hot dog stand. Sharkies sits at the rear of the Divers Choice building and faces towards the ocean with a view of the shore line just behind the hill within the War in the Pacific Memorial National Park in Asan.
Sharkies has themed days. Branconnir said it is a "work-in-progress". Each day is different as customers can hear Jimmy Buffet music playing or jazz cha-cha music and reggae.
In his first week of opening at the end of November the business saw groups of people from the Guam Shipyard the port the veteran’s office the Harley-Davidson dealership military and divers. "Speaking with the people from the dive shop we just thought it would be great for divers to unwind and tell "˜lies’ about what they did " Branconnir said.
Sharkies serves breakfast lunch and dinner with prices starting at $3.50. Customers can find chicken adobo wraps hamburgers a smoked pork dish and a grilled sausage sandwich on the menu.
Branconnir was a chef for the Marriot chain of hotels for 30 years and came to Guam seven years ago on a military contract. While here Branconnir had a one-year stint with the Sandcastle and a one-year contract with the Fiesta Guam Resort and Spa. MBJ