Manasota Key (Storch Report) – Entrepreneurs are busy here on Manasota Key, a sleepy 12-mile spit of an island on the South West coast of Florida, playing Pac-Man an eating-up restaurant game that could be a multi-million, or perhaps more than a billion dollar financial investment when the players are finished.
There are but five restaurants, a pizza place and a coffee house on the south-end of the Charlotte county portion of the island and two of the dominate restaurants are buying up the other two creating an eating and entertainment monopoly by two owners with 4 of the 5 restaurants.
This island hasn’t seen such financial excitement since the last off-shore power boat races.
There must be some kind of gold in ‘dem dare’ beaches that are in need of sand that the county is dealing with to further commercialize the island for tax revenue.
Lock ‘N Key Restaurant & Pub, owned by Sue and ‘Rocket’ Atamanchuk for the past 20 years who bought the place from Keyes and Margie Elmore who own Gulf View Grill, are buying out Flounders Restaurant & Tiki Bar a diagonal stone throw away, from Francis and Barbara Dumont; and Jill and and Scott Hemmes who own the Beach Road Wine Bar & Bistro have purchased the Gulf View Grill from the Elmore’s.
And the two pairs of entrepreneurs will be fighting for air space, views and money of visiting locals and tourists.
The Bistro has the advantage in their purchase of the Gulf View Grill, they already have the view, from their restaurant and catering facility, Lock ‘N Key is next because they are just next store to Gulf View followed by Flounders the next next store.
The Bistro which comes before the Tom Adams Bridge spanning the Inter-coastal is next to go to a second floor, not necessarily for the view, but it’s not bad looking out over Lemon Bay; however they need it to create an indoor restaurant with a kitchen to adorn their outdoor patio and boat rental business.
What’s left? The White Elephant, the oldest of all on the Key and appropriately named, but just waiting to be in the ‘Pink.’