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Work on Longboat Key eatery continues

Informal eatery under construction at Broadway and Gulf of Mexico Drive.

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  • | 12:00 p.m. September 9, 2019
  • Longboat Key
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Construction continues on pace for an autumn opening of Whitney's Roadside, a casual eatery built on the site of a former gas station on Longboat Key's north end. 

Demolition of the vacant business began in June, with removal of the roof. Though the former filling station and mechanic's shop wasn't entirely torn down, several walls have been, and a new canopy is part of the design. Columns for the new canopy were recently poured, and other work such as rough framing, roughed-in plumbing and a new floor have been completed as well. 

Developer James Brearley said the business is aiming for a November opening. 

Replete with outdoor showers, Whitney’s will sell breakfast and coffee as well as food and items including salads, sandwiches and sunscreen.

The 2,128-square-foot restaurant isn't the first proposal for the property. Brearley previously tried to build a hotel on the former gas station lot, but that proposal was rejected by voters in 2016. He also worked on projects such as the Oxford Exchange in Tampa and Buddy Brew Coffee in Tampa and Sarasota and hopes to bring the success those businesses have seen to Longboat.  

Property records show the site was sold to The Whitney LBK LLC Oct. 19 for $550,000. Brearley confirmed he has acquired the site, which was listed for $545,000. The previous owner was Tampa-based J.H. Williams Oil Co., which bought the site in August 2005 for $512,100.