The Linger Lodge: An Old Florida Adventure on the Braden River

The Linger Lodge is a time capsule of Old Florida, located on the Braden River.

The Linger Lodge Restaurant is housed in a cottage building with a screened porch that offers beautiful views of the Braden River. It’s accessible by car, bike, or boat and they have a courtesy dock for those arriving from the river. 

Inside the cottage, you will find a main dining area, a bar area, and the screened porch. The main dining area (and almost every other part of the building) is adorned with a huge collection of preserved local wildlife including elks, snakes, armadillos, and more.

This was the contribution of the lodge’s second owner, Dr. Frank Gamsky, who was a veterinarian from Milwaukee and practiced taxidermy. The bar area also has quite a unique collection of vintage beer cans displayed on the back wall. When the weather is nice, I recommend dining out on the screened porch that overlooks the river. Not only does it offer the perfect atmosphere, but there’s also a good chance you’ll get to enjoy some live music while you’re there. 

Seafood Bloody Mary
Live Music on the Screened Porch
View of the Braden River

The menu is mostly southern grub and includes a few uncommon menu items such as Fresh Frog Legs and Alligator Bites. Don’t forget to order their colossal Seafood Bloody Mary if you’re there for brunch. They will ask you if that’s your meal or a drink – it’s that big. The one we tried came out with three skewers, one with gator, chicken, and catfish. The second is grilled shrimp, and the third has fried vegetables. 

Some other popular appetizers include the Fried Green Tomatoes and Hush Puppies. I suggest getting the River Sampler Platter if you want to try a bit of everything, but if you want to do this, you must arrive hungry. 

Frog’s Legs
Seafood Scampi
Baby Back Ribs

There are a few selections for salads and soups. Both the Linger Lodge Gumbo and the Alligator Chowder are served by the cup or bowl. Among the sandwiches and burgers, you will find a Gator Burger with a 100% wild alligator patty and roasted red pepper sauce; the Linger Burger which is a half pound of their special blend of ground brisket and short rib; and the Catfish Reuben which is fresh Louisiana catfish with sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing. 

Entrées like Florida Gator, Louisiana Catfish, New England Crab Cakes, and N.C Cheshire Pork Baby Back Ribs are served with two sides. On the dessert list, you can choose from the River Bottom Pie, Florida Key Lime Pie, or Peanut Butter Pie. The River Bottom Pie is their signature dessert and consists of coffee ice cream topped with Oreo crumbles, fudge sauce, and chopped walnuts. 

The restaurant is very busy with good reason! I recommend making a reservation if you can. Large groups gather there and the dining rooms fill up quickly. 

The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 am – 9:00 pm and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. You can reserve a table via email or by calling 941-755-2757 . 

History of the Campsite

The Linger Lodge is a newly renovated RV park with all the modern facilities for utilities and 77 years of history. The property consisted of over 100 acres when it was first recorded in 1945 by the Parvin family. At that time, the park included amenities like fishing, canoeing, and camping. 

The cabin served as a lodge and served food on the ground floor (see historic pictures below). The second owners, Dr. Frank and Elaine Gamsky, purchased the property in 1968. 

It was not until 2016 that the Hartl Family from Austria fell in love with the park and purchased it. Their commitment since that day has been to preserve and enhance the Old Florida character of this site. Today’s RV park offers many of the same amenities as the original campgrounds plus an indoor pool, a clubhouse, laundry facilities, and RV pads. 

The Linger Lodge is located at 7116 85th Street Court East Bradenton, FL 34202. Check out their menu and be sure to follow them on Facebook so you can keep up with all the specials, live music schedule, and more! 

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One thought on “The Linger Lodge: An Old Florida Adventure on the Braden River

  • Deb 1 year ago

    Thank you for this update. In the last few years, with the sale and purchase of the lodge, remodel, covid, etc. it was hard to tell when LL is open. A group of us will go soon! I so enjoy your articles on new and old restaurants, especially ones with music or dancing. Maybe a list someday of ‘not spectacular’ but worthy of a visit and locations…querky, fancy, highlight GF options, tucked away? You have a cool job! (44yrs ICU RN…not so fun a career but worthwhile).

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