Restaurant: Patricks 1481
Address: 1481 Main St., Sarasota, Fla., 34236
Lunch guests: James Holmes, director of marketing and customer engagement, Herald-Tribune Media Group; Gary Keller, financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors; Veronica Brandon Miller, vice president with Goodwill Industries Manasota.
Reservations: Not required.
Parking: Parking on Main Street in downtown Sarasota is hit or miss during lunch hours. Public lots are available a few blocks away, including the new Palm Avenue garage.
One-hour lunch test: Passed. Sandwiches and salads were served in less than 15 minutes.
Friendly fire: Manager greeted table and checked on food quality twice, despite the hectic lunchtime rush.
Splitsville: Waitress initially handed check with all four meals together. But she willingly — with a smile — broke the bill down into four separate checks.
Tea test: Iced teas were filled and refilled frequently.
Name Game: Patricks 1481 is a reference to the address on Main Street. It's also a reference to the previous version of the eatery, when it was called Patrick's Restaurant and Tavern and was at 1440 Main St. That one, in the Kress International Plaza, was a well-known, award-winning burger and American cuisine restaurant for 25 years.
See and be seen: Restaurant and bar area are hubs of activity most weekdays. Crowd leans toward young professionals, but there's also a portion of snowbirds and tourists who dine for lunch. Outside tables are popular, especially for people-watching, given the core Main Street location.
Privacy: The tables in the middle aren't the best for private conversations. Side tables and some booths in the back are better.
Ambiance: The previous Patrick's was heavy on a sports theme. The new location, with higher ceilings, is marked by a sleek, urban look. Owner Jim Sullivan says he thought the new location and new name was a good time to rebrand, too.
Food: The rebranding includes an upgraded menu. New items include a veggie burger made from lentils and brown rice; grilled ahi tuna; and a gluten-free black bean cake. Patrick's staples, including the Bronx Bomber Burger and the Kress Burger, remain on the menu. The Bronx Bomber has barbecue sauce, Swiss cheese and grilled onions. The Kress Burger is a bacon cheeseburger that comes with onion rings and a side of chili.
The lunch menu also has more than a dozen selections of salads, entrees and flat breads. Most items are in the $7 to $12 price range.
Ownership: Sullivan has owned the restaurant through both locations, going back to the 1980s. Sullivan says the move was tough at first, but it has been a boon for business since he opened the new location in May. “We're very busy,” says Sullivan. “It's a wonderful location.”
Review date: December 2011