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New restaurants opening in Lakewood Ranch, East County

Ruth's Chris Steak House was the first of several new restaurants set to open before the end of the year.

Ruth's Chris Steak House is the first of several restaurants to open before the end of the year.
Ruth's Chris Steak House is the first of several restaurants to open before the end of the year.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer
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Ruth’s Chris Steak House is the first in a string of new restaurant openings coming to East County. 

The 58-year-old steak house chain opened its 16th location on Oct. 3 at 6490 University Parkway.  

Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi Grill is next up. The popular Sarasota restaurant is opening a second location in Lakewood Ranch at 11627 E. State Road 70 in The Green plaza. While there’s not an exact date set, owner Jeffrey Karasawa said the new location will be open by the end of the month. 

The building needs a final inspection, and they're meeting with a planner this week to set a date for the grand opening. The restaurant features a party room, lounge bar and two floors to accommodate both family-friendly and high-end dining.  

Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill in The Green will be open by the end of the month.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer

Miller’s Ale House at 7175 State Road 64 will start with a soft opening on Oct. 29 and be open to the public on Oct. 30. The opening was delayed because of the parking lot.

“There’s no issues with the building or anything on our side,” Miller's Ale House Manager Dustin Smith said. “We had to get the parking lot done in order to open, but they’ll be finished up today or tomorrow, and we’re on schedule right now.”

Miller’s has 103 ale houses across 10 states. The next closest location is in Sarasota in the CattleRidge Shopping Center. Expect the same sports bar atmosphere, but the SR 64 location is smaller by about 20 tables. 

An up and coming chain, Agave Bandido, is set to open at Waterside Place in early November. The South Florida inspired Mexican restaurant and tequila bar has one location currently open in Pembroke Pines, but there are three new locations set to open in addition to Lakewood Ranch in Hamlin, North Carolina, Greenville, South Carolina and High Street, Georgia. 

Waterside Place will soon be added to the list of over 130 Duck Donuts locations across the globe. Most are located in the United States, but there are franchises in Canada, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar. 

“We don’t have a set date, but we’re looking at sometime in December,” George Widunas, manager of the Waterside franchise said. 

Part of what’s made Duck Donuts so popular is that the donuts are made-to-order. Customers choose their own toppings.  

Deep Lagoon, the Florida-based chain with locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island and Casey Key, was expecting to open late this year, but CEO Grant Phelan said in an email that the opening was held up due to construction delays and he's shooting for January or February.

The chain is part of the Phelan Family Brands, which also owns and operates Pinchers and several other restaurants in South Florida. 

A second First Watch is headed to East County, but the opening date is too far off to predict. The popular breakfast eatery signed a lease to move into the Lorraine Corners shopping center where Nancy's Bar-B-Q used to be located. 

Michael Chadwick, the managing director of Southeast Development for CASTO, said First Watch is in the permitting phase and plans to start construction over the next 45 days. CASTO bought the plaza from Lakewood Ranch Commercial in August.



Lesley Dwyer

Lesley Dwyer is a staff writer for East County and a graduate of the University of South Florida. After earning a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing, she freelanced for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Lesley has lived in the Sarasota area for over 25 years.

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