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Former Daiquiri Deck co-owner opens upscale sports bars in Manatee County

The Greyson in Lakewood Ranch offers wall-to-wall TVs, later hours and food from scratch. It's the second of what could be five locations in the region.

  • By Lesley Dwyer
  • | 9:30 a.m. March 26, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
The Greyson is open in the Lakewood Walk plaza at the intersection of State Road 70 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
The Greyson is open in the Lakewood Walk plaza at the intersection of State Road 70 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Even with a full bar, there’s one thing that will never be on the drink menu at The Greyson in Lakewood Ranch: daiquiris.

Russell Matthes, co-owner of the new upscale sports bar in the Lakewood Walk plaza off State Road 70 in east Manatee County, was a part owner in the Daiquiri Deck chain of restaurants in Sarasota for almost 30 years. Now he's ready to start a new chapter.

Matthes and business partner Tom Halkidis plan to open three to five more locations over the next three to five years. The first location, in Palmetto, opened in May 2023. The Lakewood Ranch location, formerly Truman’s Tap & Grill, opened March 13.

By March 21, Cassia and Peter Seems had already been to The Greyson four times. They live across the street at The Residences. 

“The food is great, and the staff is awesome,” Cassia Seems says. 

Seems also mentioned that she likes the TVs. The Greyson offers every sports package available for viewing. With that, there are 28 TVs inside and eight are going outside on the patio. 

The dog-friendly patio is waiting on a few finishing touches. A canopy and roll-down screens are being installed over the next couple weeks. 

But don’t let over two dozen TVs fool you. While The Greyson is a sports bar, the food isn’t poured from a bulk-packaged bag into a fryer. 

Tom Halkidis and Russell Matthes own The Greyson, a chain of upscale sports bars.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer

“A lot of our food comes fresh,” Halkidis says. “Every chicken product is breaded in-house. All of our burgers come fresh. There’s not much frozen stuff.”

The menu fulfills every craving a sports bar might evoke — wings, sandwiches, burgers and nachos. There are also specialty salads and artisan flatbreads. Appetizers range from fried pickle chips to a Mediterranean trio of hummus, tzatziki and spicy feta.

There’s a full bar with high-end bourbons and local craft beers. Halkidis described the happy hour as “aggressive.” 

“Casamigos (tequila) is $8. That’s the best deal you’ll ever get on that,” he says. 

While it’s half restaurant and half sports bar, The Greyson keeps sports bar hours, staying open later than most eateries in the area. It’s open until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on the weekends. 

During the day, it’s family and workforce friendly. There are 170 seats between the dining room, bar and outside patio. 

“We know how important service is. We’re quick,” Matthes says. “We keep a lot of servers on staff so you can come in and out for lunch and have plenty of time.” 

The bar offers a daily happy hour from 3-7 p.m.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer

Outside of the wall-to-wall TV screens, the look of The Greyson resembles a restaurant more than a sports bar. Guests are greeted with natural light and a quote that is artfully scrawled across the wall.

“I could talk food all day. I love good food. –Tom Brady.” 

A quote about food from a superstar quarterback sums up the balance between sports and dining. Each is equally important. 

For those customers who remember Truman’s, the space is transformed. The walls that enclosed the bar area were removed, leaving a more open layout. And the bar itself was updated. Dark wood was replaced with a lighter stone backdrop and clean, white countertops.

Only one week into opening, the bar was nearly full on a Thursday afternoon.

“We knew after our first location that we’d be busy once the word got out, so we did a soft opening,” Matthes says. “We’ve got a good reputation. People love our food, and they love our atmosphere.” 

This article originally appeared on sister site


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