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Siesta Key Thursday, Mar. 1, 2018 9 months ago

Business owners work to bring new restaurant options to Siesta

A resort-casual steakhouse, a made-to-order pizza place and a sports bar and grill are coming to the Village this year.
by: Cassidy Alexander Staff Writer

Siesta Key Village will be home to a few new restaurants this year, each offering something new to that part of the Key.

After a year of relative stability for the Village, three new restaurants are opening.

First up is The Summer House. Located on Avenida Messina next to the Cottage, restaurateurs and commercial real estate team Mike Granthon and Chris Brown are bringing to the Key a steakhouse that offers “the finest of the finest,” according to Brown.

The dinner-only, resort-casual eatery will serve “prime, aged steaks,” plus seafood, an extensive, hand-picked wine list, craft cocktails, and free valet parking.

“We’ve been out there now 13 years,” said Brown, noting the other businesses he and Granthon own: among them, The Cottage, The Hub and The Beach Club. “Just countless times we’ve heard, ‘Hey where can we get a good steak? Where can we get a good lobster tail?’ ... So we do feel like there was a void.”

Brown said the duo continues to invest in the Siesta Key Village, rather than the commercial area around the south bridge to the Key because it’s the part of the island they know best; Granthon said it’s where they grew up.

Granthon and Brown are recycling the name, “The Summer House,” from another upscale restaurant that was on the Key about 15 years ago.

“When you think of the Summer House, it has a real feel-good attitude,” Brown said, and Granthon agreed.

“That name just belongs on Siesta Key,” he said. “We’re not affiliated with the old owners, but we pay honors to them.”

The Summer House is poised to open in early March, but an exact opening date has not been set.

Following that, mid-April will bring the opening of a different restaurant a little farther down Ocean Boulevard: Ripfire, a fast-casual pizza place.

The former Jo-To's Restaurant will not be home to a made-to-order pizza place with grab-and-go snacks.

The restaurant is going in the location formerly occupied by Jo-To Japanese Restaurant, next to the Sandal Factory. It will offer made-to-order pizzas and salad, and a small, grab-and-go market for food and snacks.

“Really there’s nothing like it,” said co-owner Paul Hineman. “Most of the restaurants [on the Key] are table service, not super convenient for grab-and-go … We think there’s a special niche there for high quality, fast casual.”

Like Granthon and Brown, Hineman and his partner Gus Escalera wanted to target tourists.

“We thought it’s a great replacement,” Hineman said. “Again, it’s just looking at how can we best serve the local community.”

Then, if all goes according to plan, Brown and Granthon will have a new project to unveil in three or four months: a sports bar and grill on the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Avenida Messina, next to Another Broken Egg Cafe.

“Once we’re done with this, then we move right over to next door and start working on that,” Granthon said.

The restaurant will have a sports focus and offer craft beer, but it doesn’t have a name yet.





I’m Cassidy. I cover news in Sarasota County, Siesta Key and the schools, plus community events if they involve dogs. I’m a Florida native, and University of North Florida graduate with degrees in journalism and graphic design. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 304.

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