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Sarasota Monday, Apr. 8, 2019 7 months ago

Siesta Key’s first sports bar and pub slated to open in May

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A sports bar and adjacent clocktower are expected to breathe new life into the notable Village plaza.
by: Samantha Chaney Staff Writer

Change is hard. And, when you lose your favorite Italian restaurant, it can be easy to lament the absence of pizza and entertainment that you’ve come to expect in Siesta Key’s lively Village.

But Chris Brown and Mike Granthon, who own the Key Corners Plaza where Napoli’s Italian Restaurant once stood on Avenida Messina and Ocean Boulevard, decided it was the perfect opportunity to insert something that Siesta Key has thus far lacked: a sports bar and pub.

Napoli’s closed in October 2018 after restaurant owner Bruno Izzo was evicted for failing to pay over $138,000 in rent and other financial obligations, according to court documents.

Since then, the property and adjacent tower sitting on the Village’s busiest intersection has remained vacant.

It was at this time that Brown, Granthon and business partner Peter Geannopulos began to brainstorm what was missing on Siesta Key. My Village Pub, which will feature specialty cocktails, over a dozen draft beers and 30 TVs, was the apparent answer.

And the business partners already have a track record of success. In fact, the three are co-owners and investors of Above The Bar Hospitality Group, which encompasses such restaurants as the Hub Baja Grill, Smokin' Joes, Mad Moe's Pub and Grill and more.

Once complete, MVP will be the seventh installment of the parent company.

But the restaurant space isn’t the only thing undergoing a complete renovation; the property’s tower, too, will become Siesta Key’s reminder that it’s always five o’clock somewhere.

“The design will be coastal and elegant with a gorgeous clock tower that will be the focal point,”  Operational Assistant Katie Spelman said. “Every town square has a clock, you know? So, [Brown, Granthon and Geannopulus] wanted to pay homage to that and put in something beautiful.”

And Tom Frascone, the president and owner of Coral Cove Constructions, which is currently overhauling the property, summarized the work as “modernizing” the facade and tower that was already there. Previously, he said, the tower had windows instead of a clock face and appeared aesthetically “dated.”

But in all, the renovations — which began in January — should be complete by the end of this month. Then, MVP itself will open sometime in early May.

A look at the indoor construction of the new restaurant. Photo courtesy of Katie Spelman.

“We’re finishing up inside with the bar and the booths and the interior finishes,” Frascone said of the progress. “And the exterior is wrapping up with the roof and the stucco and painting. The railings are going up next week, and then we’ll get rid of all this construction mess.”

Otherwise, the layout of the property will mostly remain the same.

“Where the restaurant is being put in, we really didn’t change the footprint of the old restaurant that was there,” he said. “We configured it a little bit. It will be indoor and outdoor seating. Before, there wasn’t any outdoor seating.”

And the outdoor seating, according to Spelman, it typical of the team’s already-existing properties.

“People love to sit outside and people watch … That’s going to add some more outdoor seating and enjoyment for people,” she said. “It will be a welcoming change to the busiest intersection in the Village.”

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