In case you missed this spring’s round of restaurant roulette, let’s catch up. In April, Scott and Jill Hemmes, owners of Beach Road Wine Bar and Bistro on Beach Road, bought The Gulf View Grill from long-time owners Marge and Keyes Elmore. Meanwhile, Rocket and Susan Atamanchuk, owners of The Lock ‘N Key on Englewood Beach, bought Flounders, just across the beach roundabout, renaming the popular eatery The SandBar Tiki & Grille. The timing of the transactions, purely coincidental. A planned renovation at the Lock N’ Key that was supposed to begin this summer, was put on hold due to Hurricane Irma. However all the restaurants recovered relatively quickly from the hurricane.
The Lock ‘N Key and the SandBar offer a free shuttle service with two street-legal golf carts, picking up customers within a two-mile radius of the restaurant and then driving them home. Six months into their new venture, Susan Atamanchuk says “Things are going great.” She added that the SandBar’s new smoker and barbecue menu and improvements to the patio have been big hits with customers. The Gulf View Grill is being renamed The Waverly Restaurant & Bar, and the Hemmes have brought a new sophistication to dinner menu, adding dishes like Fresh Black Grouper with tomato bacon relish, Florida Citrus Sea Bass with Peruvian peppers and orange butter sauce and Bacon Wrapped Barrel Cut Filet Mignon. What all this means to you is that there’s a lot to discover dining on the Key this season.
There are very few places in the area that have the Old Florida charm of The Manasota Beach Club. Add a kitchen that turns out gourmet prix fixe meals in a setting that’s steps from the beach and you understand why visitors travel there year after year and locals from Boca Grande to Nokomis, pay to be members.
Just this month, the Manasota Beach Club added a new membership opportunity. General manager Sidney “Buffy” Crampton, said that the resort will now offer Beach Access Membership, a year-round family plan that will allow members to dine at the club, park and use the private access to the beach and bay, as well as the pool, facilities and tennis courts. Members simply check in at the office, bring their gear to the beach, then buy lunch at the club if they want to, play some tennis, and head out before the office closes. If they want, they can come back for dinner.
The memberships are priced at $2500 a year and only a limited number will be available, in part to assure Manasota Beach Club guests, many who have been staying at the Club for generations, maintain the experience they are accustomed to. To find out more, visit manasotabeachclub.com.
As always, while some restaurants thrive and reinvent themselves, others struggled. After about 45 years in the Englewood area, Angelo’s Pizza in Grove City, closed its doors this summer when the owners retired. Also just closing earlier this month, Zydeco Grill, a long-time popular spot for Cajun Cuisine. The Manasota Key Coffee House closed this summer as well.
There’s good news if you live or work in the Old Englewood area. This summer, Zeke’s Uptown Bar & Grill began meal delivery via motorcycle. Currently they’ll deliver breakfast and lunch on weekdays within two miles of the West Dearborn street location. They hope to expand both the hours and the delivery radius soon.
We love the name but haven’t had the chance to try Flour Your Buns Cafe at 3384 N Access Road. Coming to Englewood, another Burger King on South McCall Road next door to SunFresh Produce. And at press time, the owners of Placida Grill announced that restaurant would be moving into the Zydeco Grill location before the end of the year.
The Real Englewood Area Dish is a monthly column by
Sharyn Lonsdale. If you have a dining special, community event focused on food, restaurant or chef news or other news you’d like to share, please email Sharyn at Sharyn1111@gmail.com with the subject DISH.