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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2009 12 years ago

Slowdown impacts trendy club

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The recession has hit the Sarasota University Club, one of downtown Sarasota's prime lunch spots of the boom times.

The recession has hit the Sarasota University Club, one of downtown Sarasota's prime lunch spots of the boom times.

The club, on the top floor of the Bank of America tower on Main Street, has long been a members-only enclave with several citywide views out of its oversized windows. Corporate memberships to the club were trendy during the boom years, when the restaurant was a see-and-be-seen hot spot of the Sarasota business community.

But the club is now open to the general public under free 90-day trial memberships, a temporary promotion. That includes lunches Tuesdays through Fridays and dinners Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Alas, it isn't a free lunch: Meals aren't included in the trial membership.

The club's general manager, Sandy Combs, says while the recession hasn't been a drastic blow to the club, it has hurt it. The club has offered discounted summer memberships in the past, but it has never done a free three-month trial.

Adds Combs: “Like every other place, it's an economy thing.”

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