Owners plan to re-introduce Libby’s Café & Bar by October.
A mainstay restaurant in Southside Village, Libby’s Café & Bar, is getting a major renovation this summer — kicking off a revival of the decade-old brand.
Libby’s, part of Tableseide Restaurant Group, a conglomerate of several area restaurant brands and a catering business, including Louies Modern and Muse at The Ringling, will close in July, probably for a few months. When it reopens, the name will remain the same, but the concept will be more accessible, with an open rotisserie-style kitchen, new menu and totally revamped interior. “We want to be innovative and ahead of trends,” said Tableseide CEO Joe Seidensticker, whose father, Steve Seidensticker, opened Libby’s in November 2008. “When people come back in here, it will be a whole new Libby’s.”
Other changes are afoot with the Libby’s brand. For one, plans are in the works to open a second Libby’s, in East Manatee County, near the Sarasota Polo Club. The Southside restaurant, at 1917 S. Osprey Ave., meanwhile, will shrink from about 10,000 square feet to 6,600 square feet. The popular L-shaped bar will remain part of the new Libby’s, while the leftover space will be renovated for a new tenant, something, said Joe Seidensticker, that will complement the neighborhood.
Seidensticker declines to disclose an estimated cost of the renovations, only to say it will “be a significant investment.” The genesis of the idea to reimagine Libby’s, he said, came from two spots: the family reflecting on a decade in business that started in the recession and, more recently, a dip in the sales growth track. “We are not OK with being flat,” he said. “We want to get back to being super busy.”
Tableseide Restaurant Group, with $16 million in sales in 2016, recently won a small business of the year award from the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, in the hospitality and tourism category.