ENGLEWOOD — Bay City Grille, a new restaurant on Dearborn that will serve traditional American food, is set to open in January.
The restaurant will be located at 115 W. Dearborn St. The building was previously owned by the Suncoast Educational Broadcasting Corporation. SEBC owns the adjacent building, broadcasting Christian radio station WSEB-FM 91.3, which is undergoing renovations.
Owner Pete Morency said he wants to help make Dearborn prosper, similar to the way businesses grew in Orlando after Walt Disney built Disney World.
“When Disney came to Orlando, it helped put Orlando on the map,” Morency said. “I see the signs the city puts together promoting Dearborn. We’re a quirky little street. We want to be a partner and help anyone any way we can. I don’t consider anyone on this street my competitor.”
Morency said the restaurant was supposed to open two weeks ago, but construction was sluggish. Target dates of Christmas and New Year’s seemed unlikely, so the opening was delayed until at least mid-January.
“The contractor ran into various issues with the subcontractor,” Morency said. “Specifically, there was confusion and priorities they had to sort out. It’s not a very tough project.”
The restaurant is setting up utilities.
“We had a new telephone pole,” Morency said. “They were working on the transformer. We’re trying to have electricity by the weekend.”
Bay City Grille will feature a full-service bar, but will focus more on the restaurant aspect. It will also have wireless Internet and four high-definition televisions for sports programming. The eatery will seat up to 150 people.
“We want it to be like Applebee’s,” Morency said. “(Our selections) will be median-priced.”
The restaurant was informed by Sarasota County about plans to widen Dearborn to make the street more accommodating for parking. Additional parking may be available along New York Avenue, Morency said.
“To my knowledge, they’re planning on building the street out like a park-and-walk situation, sort of like Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda,” said general manager and chef John Asendorf. “I don’t think right now parking will be an issue in the foreseeable future.”
Food at the restaurant will be bought from local suppliers. Additionally, live entertainment will be featured.
“We’re accepting applications right now, but people should bear in mind that they’ll have to keep up with us during the construction,” Asendorf said. “Best thing is people (should) just walk in to fill them out. I will be there every day around noon to 1 to 2 p.m.”
Bay City Grille is in need of servers, hosts — and a career ambition.
“I’m the grandfather of the place, and I want employees who want to be part of the family,” Morency said.