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East County Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2019 4 months ago

The new pit stop in Lakewood Ranch is Nancy's Bar-B-Q

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Loyalty from Lakewood Ranch catering customers sparks new restaurant location.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

When Myakka City Resident Ted Comes talks about Nancy’s Bar-B-Q, there’s a twinkle in his eye.

He said he could eat it every day.

“It’s delicious,” he said as he polished off his brisket sandwich and side of edamame and succotash salad.

Comes had spoken to Nancy’s Bar-B-Q owner, Nancy Krohngold, on the phone in the past when making a catering order, but he met Krohngold in person for the first time July 5 when he ordered at the new restaurant on Lorraine Corners.

“I told her, ‘You’re Nancy, of Nancy’s Bar-B-Q, and we’re glad you’re here,’” said Comes, who came to eat with his daughter, Melissa. “She’s going to

do very well here. She takes a personal interest. The location is perfect.”

Krohngold might have her flagship restaurant in downtown Sarasota, but fans like the Comeses have helped to bring her business to Lakewood Ranch. The Lorraine Corners location opened July 1 in the former The Ranch Grill space and offers a full menu from a $9.95 pulled pork sandwich to a whole slab of ribs for $26.95. She’ll even be adding french fries to the menu — a first.

In three years, Krohngold said her catering business from Lakewood Ranch has grown from 10% of her total catering business to 50% of about 700 orders annually.

Krohngold said she knows the customer base for sit-down dining is there as well. She opened a location at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch, Li’l Nancy’s at the Ranch, in 2016 to “test the waters.”

“I believed there was a market out here, and our customers from Lakewood Ranch were urging us to open,” Krohngold said.

The Main Street site had some challenges — it was smaller than she had hoped, only able to seat about 30 customers, and it didn’t have the catering kitchen she needed — but business boomed, and Krohngold continued looking for a larger space. She worked with Lakewood Ranch officials for more than two years to find the perfect spot for expansion.

When The Ranch Grill site became available, Krohngold knew it would be ideal. There, she can seat up to 150 guests and have a full bar to serve beer, wine or other spirits.

The extra space also will allow her to offer table service.

Two 500-pound smokers at the new Lakewood Ranch location will provide food for Lakewood Ranch patrons as well as catering customers, says Nancy's Bar-B-Q founder Nancy Krohngold.

“This location is the embodiment of what Nancy’s can be,” Krohngold said. “It’s the next step in the growth of Nancy’s. It’s a growth spurt into this spot.”

“I do believe this is a very high-profile intersection,” she said. “This is the growth area for Lakewood Ranch. I think I’m level with the curve or ahead of it. I’m still the only barbecue out here.”

The restaurant, which has a viewing area for its two 500-pound smokers, will serve as Nancy’s commissary kitchen and cook food for both its Lakewood Ranch location as well as catering customers.

The restaurant will be open Sundays, a first for Nancy’s. Krohngold said it’s needed to serve the community and to capitalize on events at Premier Sports Campus as well as churchgoers looking for a Sunday afternoon dining spot.

Krohngold also said her Li’l Nancy’s at the Ranch has been closed for remodeling and will reopen as the future Nancy’s Pantry Cold Grab and Go.

 It will offer pre-packaged barbecue, sides and desserts to go.

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