ENGLEWOOD — Dearborn Street’s newest restaurant, Bay City Grille, opened its doors last week.
The business has come a long way since construction started last year, according to general manager and chef John Asendorf III.
“Opening a restaurant is never easy,” Asendorf said. “It always has its obstacles, especially when you start with a building that was literally nothing when we got it.”
The building was constructed from the ground up at 115 W. Dearborn St.
The restaurant’s motto is “casual elegance.”
“The appearance from the outside, it looks like we’ve been done for quite some time, because of the aesthetics in front of the house,” he said. “Back of the house takes a bit longer. It was just a matter of getting all the different inspectors, (Sarasota) county officials and all that nonsense to work together.”
Asendorf said business is going well since the opening. His most popular appetizers are their flatbread pizzas and pulled pork nachos, which is his best-seller.
“All of our flatbreads come out really well,” he said. “Our chicken pesto panini is delicious. I actually eat this every day for lunch. That’s how good it is.”
Bay City Grille features a full-service bar, but focuses more on the restaurant aspect. It also has high-definition televisions for sports programming and will have wireless Internet.
Asendorf said selections are a combination of best-sellers as well as trial and error dishes based on his experience in the restaurant business.
“I wrote up the menu and everyone seems to like it so far,” he said.
Menu items include an assortment of salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, chicken, seafood and desserts.
Asendorf said the restaurant has more than 20 people on staff.
“Everything is in the works,” he said. “Right now, we’re focused on getting our staff trained and getting all the computer glitches worked out, normal startup stuff.”
Asendorf said he feels the restaurant will fit with what’s on Dearborn.
“Everybody on the street has a great niche going on so far,” he said “We’re no different. Our restaurant is different from everyone else. I think we got an amazing street here. I just hope us being here can work together with the other restaurants. We’re trying to bring these streets together and incorporate all the restaurants on the street and cross-promoting together. I don’t do breakfast because Mango Bistro has a great breakfast. I don’t do live bands because Tony and Merrill at Englewoods (on Dearborn restaurant) have that beautiful patio out back.”
Bay City Grille is open 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
For more information, call 941-460-6868.