At around 11:00 a.m., on Friday, January 28, 2011, two weary road travelers pulled into the Fish House, located on Pensacola Bay, looking for some fresh local seafood for lunch. Those travelers were none other than Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz of the History Channel's "American Pickers" national television show.
The "pickers," known to their fans as Mike and Frank, were treated to a great day in Pensacola, spending all day filming at the Fish House with restaurant owners, the Merrill brothers: Will, Burney and Collier. Since the summer debut of the episode "Frank Bears All," the Fish House has received an outpouring of fan support, inquiries and enthusiasm for "American Pickers" and the Fish House.
It seems as if the pickers and their producers enjoyed Pensacola just as much as we enjoyed their visit. We received a phone call from one of the producers of the show. They were looking for our help to get the word out regarding a new reality "picker" show, "Picked Off," a reality contestant show, similar to a blend of "American Pickers" and "The Amazing Racing." In December, the Fish House hosted a casting call for the program. We had over 200 contestants drop off their applications and vie for a spot on the show. In fact, one of the interviewees from the Fish House casting call did make it to the show; look out for Tyler and his cowboy hat!
After the casting call, we received another call from the producers. They were planning to feature Pensacola in two of the episodes and asked for our help in arranging for a community garage sale to take place in East Hill and a list of contacts for area estate sales and collectors. We had a number of community members pull together to help showcase Pensacola, including Elodie Cardon and David Alexander of La Maison d'Elodie, East Hill's Bayview Park neighbors, and a bunch of local collectors, including Dan Lindeman of A & J Mugs, Ellen Vinson, Randy McKenzie and Guy Gascard.
According to Collier Merrill, president of the Great Southern Restaurant Group, "It was great to have the "American Pickers" and "Picked Off" producers back in Pensacola featuring our area for broadcast on a national television show."
In early March of this year, we were on hand for filming of each of the Pensacola-based episodes. It was a great opportunity to showcase Pensacola and all that our great community has to offer. Wednesday, July 18, at 9:00 p.m., the Florida episode will air, featuring picks in Pensacola, and then on Wednesday, July 25, at 9:00 p.m., the East Hill garage sale episode will air. Be sure to tune in and watch as Pensacola once again takes the national spotlight on the History Channel.