DRIFT | Our Story

Our Story

Dear DRIFT Guest,

I’m Matt LaFon, Founder and Owner of DRIFT, and I’d like to welcome you to THE DRIFT EXPERIENCE.

My journey in the restaurant and bar industry began in my early 30s, when I co-founded & owned the first World of Beer establishment in Tampa, FL. From there, I co-founded & owned World of Beer Franchising, Blend Lounge, Taco Agave, Graffiti Pizza, and Casino Beach Bar & Grille. After developing these concepts, I wanted to create something different that mirrored my current interests.

As Gulf Coast Florida Locals, I was born and raised in Gulf Breeze, FL, and my wife and I currently reside here with our two children. As a local, I wanted to honor my Gulf Coast upbringing by creating a place where people could enjoy the finest culinary delicacies of the Big City, but offer it in a more laidback Gulf Coast Village like Pensacola Beach, FL. 

I began my love for the Gulf Coast, fishing as a child and it only grew stronger when I worked during my early college years at my family’s fish market ‘The Fish Peddler.’ After graduating from college, I continued my love for the salt air by fishing any chance I got and going on several fishing trips around the world. 

My Gulf Coast upbringing and love for fishing has greatly influenced my desire to create DRIFT, but the true inspiration behind DRIFT was directly spawned from my wife and I’s many travels and from family vacations with our kids. But my vision for DRIFT could not have been made possible if it weren’t for my entire DRIFT TEAM and our Vendor Partnerships, who all helped bring my vision to reality.

My family’s past experience is what brings YOU this new DRIFT EXPERIENCE.


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