Nancy Krohngold says early success in East County convinced her to find a bigger space.
The former Ranch Grill restaurant space on the corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Lorraine Road is getting a new tenant: Nancy’s Bar-B-Q.
"It’s the right time and the right space for us to continue to provide good barbecue,” in East County says Nancy’s owner, Nancy Krohngold.
Krohngold also operates the popular flagship Nancy’s Bar-B-Q in downtown Saraosta and Lil’ Nancy’s at the Ranch, on Lakewood Ranch Main Street. The latter location, Krohngold says, comes from customers asking her to move or open a place “out east.”
Lil’ Nancy’s opened in early 2016, but despite the early success — and lines — the 1,500-square-foot spot with room for 36 seats proved problematic. Says Krohngold: “It’s just not big enough.”
The former Ranch Grill Location, in a fast-growing patch of East County near the Premier Sports Campus and a forthcoming Publix, is 5,500 square feet. Ranch Grill had been there five years, and vacated the space Jan. 9. Krohngold, in a quest for more East County space, says she considered leasing the restaurant side at the former Polo Grill & Bar, down the block from Lil’ Nancy’s. (The owners of Pier 22 in Bradenton recently signed a deal to lease the former Polo Grill, and plan to open a new spot there, The Grove.)
At the Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Lorraine Road location, Krohngold says she would be able to expand in a way that she couldn’t in either location she operates. The new spot has room for two smokers for meats, a full-service bar and 150 seats. “This will be the new headquarters for our catering operations,” adds Krohngold, who opened her Sarasota location in 2011.
The next Nancy’s is expected to be open by early 2019. “We are a perfect match for families out there,” says Krohngold. “We have a kid’s menu and we can provide good barbecue without breaking the bank.”
The Lil’ Nancy’s location, meanwhile, won’t shut down. Krohngold plans to repurpose it as Nancy’s Pantry Grab & Go, where the menu will include a variety of barbecue to-go items. Krohngold says she expects to invest around $500,000 in both locations. “We’ve had great success out here,” Krohngold says. “Now we want to build on that.”