Norwood’s, a well known historic staple in New Smyrna Beach, had its humble beginnings, not as a restaurant, but as a Pan Am gas station in 1929 shortly after being built in 1921. Today this location has catered to our locals needs for nearly 75 years!
A brief history of exchanging hands: Earl Norwood purchased the building in 1946 and transformed it into Norwood’s Seafood Restaurant. He then sold Norwood’s to Mr. and Mrs. Bulchunis in 1953 after 9 years of growth & success. 19 years later the Bulchunis’ sold Norwood’s to Marvin Age, who carried on the tradition of fresh seafood and fine dining. Fast forward to within the last few decades: While attending Daytona State College, Don Simmons worked here as a line cook making $2.73 an hour. He would soon achieve what some would consider “the American Dream.” His story is inspirational. After completing community college, he left to further his education at Florida State University and after graduation returned to Norwood’s as a manager. He would then go on to purchase the restaurant in 1989 & add his own personal touches to make this location truly unique. So many fine details have gone into the building since. “Don hand crafted these beautiful light shades around the restaurant & tree house” Pamela Simmons mentioned to me. The railings were made from one oak tree. The Root Bar added in 2019 has the original glass from the wine bar mixed into the counters. All the wood in the treehouse was local except for the mango wood which is from Disney Vietnam & the roots hanging in the Root Bar are from Bali. The famous Moose Head hanging up in the Tree house is of a moose that died of old age on a preserve in Canada and the Simmons donated twice the amount to bring him to the states. The moose, not named Bullwinkle 😉, was named Billy Bud, which is a clever combination of both owners’ fathers’ names.
Under leadership of the Simmons and their carefully developed team, Norwoods has flourished & become well known in our community. Their daughter, Rebecca, who started off at Norwoods as a hostess at the age of 8, follows in very familiar footsteps. Rebecca left for college to study finance, then returned to the family business, bringing her knowledge, compassion, and expertise in finance to help it grow. She and her partner Dennis are now the new generation of Norwood’s keeping the tradition going & creating a memorable experience for all their guests, local and tourist alike.
Most of the recipes on the menu have been there since the opening. Everyone loves the Seafood Pot Pie! In fact, it’s the number one requested dish on the menu! The captains & admirals Platter has been a staple for 50 years & the fried shrimp hasn’t changed one bit since 1946. The zucchini bread is delicious, as well as the many other vegetarian options offered! The food is fresh from scratch and never frozen. They do their best to source everything locally to support our local economy. Everything from the honey to the seafood.
Response to Covid
In their response to Covid they have taken extreme measure to ensure a clean & safe environment at Norwood’s. From fogging every night with Salt Water Bio Sanitation, to vigorous sanitizing and cleaning throughout the day. Though you can’t see the smiles from the staff’s face because of the face mask, you can still feel the joy & happiness of the team welcoming you to Norwood’s as soon as you walk in.
Where is Norwood’s Located?
Norwood’s Restaurant & Treehouse Bar
400 E 2nd Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
29° 1′ 47.892” N, 80° 54′ 3.6” W
Supporting, Giving & Recycling
Norwood’s should be a model for local restaurants because of their giving and supporting in our community. Here is a list of some accolades & reasons for this statement:
-Contributed close to a million over the years to Southeast Volusia Habitat for Humanity helping complete over 12 homes to families in need.
-Supports local by buying local such as eggs & honey from Sun Splash of NSB, chicken and eggs from Noble Roots Farm in Eustis, crackers & focaccia bread form Armand, Swiss baker of NSB and fresh produce such as arugula and scallions from their own garden.
-They reuse their waste such as sweet tea for pork brine and vinegar, Scallion stalks re-growen in the garden, pinapple pulp for the hot sauce, and much more.
-They’ve switched from plastic to plant-based straws, take-home containers and installed a 4,500 gallon grease trap which greatly improves waste water quality.
-They have implemented perhaps the only wine cork recycling in surrounding counties.
One thing that stood out to me is that their staff pay has increased up to $15 an hour to help with the worries of the pandemic. Not something that you hear going on frequently but is admiral because it shows they not only care about the community, but the well being of their team.
This was a wonderful and inspiring experience to learn about Norwood’s history to be able to tell the community about. From the time I walked in the door to the time I left it just felt like I just belonged there. They make you feel welcomed, the ambiance is like no other and the food is fresh and delicious. If you are a local you should have already been here but if you are new in town or haven’t been here yet, add this to your list. You can thank us later. We hope you enjoyed this blog and will take the time to experience Norwood’s. Like Norwood’s, Florida Life Real Estate supports local businesses because we are one!