Patty's on Main closes, ending restaurant feud

 

Patty's on Main closes, ending restaurant feud

 

Date: November 10, 2011
by: Kurt Schultheis | City Editor

 
 

 

The feud between two downtown restaurants with similar names and menus didn’t last long — about three months to be exact.

Last week, brown paper covered the walls of Patty’s on Main restaurant and a new sign appeared, stating that the Five Points Restaurant & Lounge, complete with dueling pianos, would be opening soon in Kress International Plaza at 1440 Main St.

Harry Walia, owner of Kress International Plaza and a partner in the Patty’s on Main eatery, said the new restaurant would hold a soft opening Nov. 14 and a grand opening Nov. 16.

Walia declined to discuss why Patty’s on Main, which he helped open more than three months ago, after former tenant Jim Sullivan relocated his Patrick’s Restaurant and Tavern down the street, closed.

“We’re looking ahead,” said Walia, who said he is not a partner in the new restaurant. Walia declined to disclose more information.

The announcement marks the end of a food war that erupted when Walia decided to open a restaurant in the former Patrick’s location and name it after restaurant manager Patty Ridings (a former Patrick’s employee who Sullivan claims was stolen away from him). Ridings quit just two weeks after the restaurant was named after her.

Sullivan said in July he was upset with the name and a menu that was similar to Patrick’s, a downtown Sarasota staple for American cuisine for the past 25 years.

Walia said the name and menu choices were “purely coincidental.”

Walia and Sullivan exchanged barbs in July over why Patrick’s moved and what led to the erosion of their relationship over time.

“To be honest, I counted down the days and couldn’t wait to get away from that old building,” said Sullivan at the time.

Now, Sullivan says his restaurant revenues are up more than 20% and his rent has decreased $10,000 since he opened his new location May 7 and signed a 25-year lease.

Sullivan said the closing of Patty’s didn’t surprise him.

“I said all along the restaurant wouldn’t last,” Sullivan said. “The residents of Sarasota knew what Walia was doing and supported me with their business all along. That other restaurant never had a chance.”

 

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