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The building Golden Apple Dinner Theatre formerly occupied will include a mix of retail, office and restaurant space. Courtesy rendering
Sarasota Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 3 years ago

Core Strength

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

Golden Apple building receives a facelift
It’s curtains for the facade of the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre building, as construction crews have begun demolishing the front of the property in anticipation of new tenants.

The Golden Apple, located at 25 N. Pineapple Ave., closed in March 2013. Property owner Great Lakes Developments Inc. plans to turn the building into more than 12,000 square feet of a combination of retail, restaurant and office space.

As part of the transition, the building is being renovated — including the installation of a new storefront. John Harshman’s real estate brokerage firm, Harshman and Co. Inc., is marketing the property.

According to a site plan, the new building is slated to feature a 6,535-square-foot restaurant space, a 2,360-square-foot retail space and 1,788 square feet of retail along Pineapple. An additional 1,100-square-foot space, which lacks frontage on Pineapple, is also available.

No tenants have signed a lease for the new property. Despite that site plan, Harshman said there is still flexibility depending on the a lessee’s needs.

“We have a plan that makes sense for us, but if we have a tenant that needs some different space, we should be able to accommodate that,” Harshman said.

Barring delays, Harshman expected construction to be complete within 60 to 90 days.

“It’s a phenomenal location right on Five Points Park,” Harshman said. “It’ll be a tremendous asset to downtown once it’s finished.”

Boca Grande clothing store moves north
A popular Boca Grande boutique island wear shop is moving onto Main Street in Sarasota, but it’s a homecoming of sorts for owners Scott and Jennifer Allen.

Their firsthand knowledge of the area assured them that bringing Fugate’s, a store with almost a century of history in Boca Grande, to Sarasota was the right move.

“We actually live on Longboat Key and we love the clientele, the people, the growth of Sarasota,” Scott Allen said. “Downtown seems to be upticking with the condos and the cranes up in the air.”

Fugate’s will be opening its Sarasota location in the 1400 block of Main Street, near Gator Club, later this year. A soft opening is scheduled for September, with a planned grand opening date Oct. 30.

For most stores, moving to a new market is a risky proposition. Even before that opening date, Fugate’s has some assurances that Sarasota shoppers will be interested in patronizing the store thanks to the traffic they see at their Boca Grande location.

“That’s another reason we were wanting to come here,” Allen said. “Our friends from Longboat Key and Sarasota, they do travel down here. They said, ‘We’d love to have more of your merchandise; we’d like to see you guys in Sarasota.’”

New bar on the block
Mark Sherman, the owner of The Famous Tavern, is seeking to fill a void he’s noticed in the downtown bar scene.

His bar is slated to open Labor Day weekend at 1537 Main St., the former home of Yume Sushi. His background is in finance and insurance, but he and his wife wanted to embark on a business venture that allowed them to control their own destiny.

His idea was for a craft beer bar that offered good food and had an emphasis on music — a simple-sounding concept but one he felt was lacking along Main Street.

“We’ll help fill that niche,” Sherman said. “And we’ll definitely appeal to music-lovers.”

Although he wants the bar to stand out as a more casual option compared with expensive bars or noisy clubs, his focus on food is fairly refined. He plans to offer gourmet sandwiches and appetizers, including during late-night hours.

“Everything is so processed these days, so I wanted to do something where we baked our own bread and prepare our own meats here,” Sherman said.

He’s already sketched out plans for entertainment at the bar, which includes live DJs, theme nights and trivia events.

Sherman, who had been a frequent visitor to the area for more than 30 years before moving here a year and a half ago, says he’s noticed Sarasota change a lot during that time. He hopes that his bar will be a part of the continuing evolution of the city.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know all my neighbors here and bridging that gap in options downtown,” Sherman said. editor Nick Friedman contributed to this report.


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