Photo: HT Productions

Palm Coast, FL – Ready to feed people and let them listen to good music, Chris and Geri Fragette cut the ribbon and kicked of their official grand opening with a hearty welcome and a weekend full of entertainment.

As the European Village’s newest hot spot, the Red, White & Blues Bar & Restaurant is lil’ bit of everything we love about America.

From left: Flagler County Commissioner Greg Hansen, Chris Fragette, Geri Fragette, Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin. Photo: HT Productions

“Today is a 36 year old dream that came true,” said Chris Fragette, affectionately known as Brother Chris.

“I’ve been trying to open up this blues club since I was a kid and today is the grand opening and I am just so happy that everybody’s here,” he said.

Coaxing the New York band ‘Sundown’ out of retirement for the special event, the weekend’s lineup of music included NYC Blues band ‘Little Mike and The Tornadoes’ and Florida-based country rockers ‘Southern Chaos’.

‘Sundown’ reunited after 7 years to play the grand opening event on February 18, 2022. Photo: FNW 

“I just want everybody to have fun and appreciate that this is All-American. There’s no foreign booze, music or food. We don’t sell French fries, we sell Freedom fries, and it’s all about America and Blues music,” he said.

Drawn to Palm Coast just over five years ago by lifelong friends – and lucky for them, real estate agents to boot, the couple knew they had found the place they wanted to put down roots according to Fragette.

“You can thank Danielle and Mark Pierro, my friends from New York that are retired cops for bringing me down here to check out this little city. I was hooked. I bought a house, and then I bought a unit here,” said Fragette.

Friends from New York flew down to celebrate the grand opening with Chris Fragette (center). Photo: HT Productions

Surrounded by well-wishers on Friday night for the ribbon cutting, Chris says he wants two things.

“I hope I beat the cancer I just got – Stage 4 kidney, liver and lungs,” he shared of his November 2021 diagnosis. “I want all my friends and prayers, I have 30 friends that flew down from New York for this, I just want it to be beaten and to succeed.”

Watching happily as Chris made the rounds through the overflow crowd, jammin’ out and capturing the moment on video, his wife Geri was all smiles and grateful for the support.

“It’s my dream as well, to see his dream come true,” she said.

Chris Fragette (center) joined by friends from near and far for the grand opening celebration on February 18, 2022. FNW

“I have to say it’s all his. This is his baby. I’m just supporting it all along the way. Behind every successful man is an exhausted woman,” she teased. “I’m doing my share to help him. I’m very happy that we could do this and it’s been a wonderful ride, and road so far, and we hope to keep it going.”

Located in what had been Farley’s Irish Pub for many years, it was a boisterous evening and judging by the size of the crowd, Palm Coast’s business community was as excited to welcome the new business to town as the owners were to be there.

On hand to help cut the ribbon were Flagler County Commissioner Greg Hanse and Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin, alongside the location’s previous owner as Farley’s, Mort Duggan.

An overflow crowd marks the grand opening of Red, White & Blues Bar and Restaurant on February 18, 2022. FNW

“One of the things I noticed, I went inside the bar, sat down and had to leave. My New York accent was coming back there were so many of them in there,” joked Duggan. “I’ll guarantee you if you come to one of these affairs, you’re going to see somebody you know.”

Alfin sees the continued interest in the European Village as part of a larger opportunity to breathe new life into Palm Coast’s economy.

“This is very exciting because this is the grassroots of economic opportunity. These are entrepreneurs that come forward, help us build up European Village. You know, the traffic’s been low here over the years, it’s starting to build back now and this gives me the inspiration and courage to move forward and redevelop the marina area so this whole area will be a booming entertainment district in the future,” said Alfin.

Kathy and Dominic Austrino join Flagler County Commissioner Greg Hansen and Linda Hansen at the grand opening celebration for Red, White & Blues Bar and Restaurant in European Village on February 18, 2022. FNW

For Trademark Realty Group agent Danielle Pierro, helping her friends make their dream into a reality has been an amazing and rewarding personal journey.

“My friends for over 30 years had always dreamed of having a bar. They came down to visit and fell in love with Palm Coast, and we were on a mission. He bought a house down here and fell in love with the European Village, and now he has the dream of a lifetime,” said Pierro.

George Hanns, Elizabeth Oros and Nina Dessner enjoy the grand opening celebration of Red, White & Blues Bar and Restaurant on February 18, 2022. FNW