When Howard Rooks sold the 2-acre Amore property to the town of Longboat Key in January, he began the search for a new location.
He’s finally found what he was looking for: Rooks is purchasing the space at 443 Burns Court in Sarasota and bringing his Amore staff and menu with him. The Burns property is under contract, and Rooks hopes to close on the property by May 31. He hopes to open the new location July 1 but he’s not totally set on Amore’s final night on Longboat Key.
“I love that little street,” he said. “It’s very charming, it’s very quaint. It’s just a good place.”
Rooks sold the 2-acre Amore property on Longboat to the town for $2.2 million to be used for the coming Arts, Cultural and Education Center. The property will allow the town to have a better frontage and entrance for the center and more parking. Rooks has owned the property at 555 Bay Isles Parkway since 2004 when it was Mattison’s Steakhouse. Amore opened in 2014 after the property was vacant for six years.
The new location, which is close to Burns Court Cinema, is about half the size of the current location, Rooks said. It has a seating capacity of 150.
As for business, Rooks think the downtown location will be better suited for the summer months.
“Longboat Key is a special place, and I love the building, and everyone loves the building,” he said. “And they’re sad to see it closing, but these folks are going to their summer homes, so I think business will be better downtown.”
Rooks is hopeful that some of his regular customers will follow him downtown, and he hopes for a new flock of customers as well.
“The only thing that’s changing is the location,” he said. “That’s pretty much it.”