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Sarasota-Manatee
Business Observer Monday, Jun. 18, 2018 3 months ago

Prominent area restaurant plans renovation, second location

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The second area Libby’s could be open by the end of 2018.

 SARASOTA — A mainstay restaurant in Sarasota’s Southside Village, Libby’s Café & Bar, is getting a major renovation this summer — kicking off a revival of the decade-old brand.

The redone brand includes expansion plans, including a second Libby’s, in a Publix-anchored plaza under construction in east Manatee County. “We’re really excited about that location,” says Joe Seidensticker, CEO of Tableseide Restaurant Group, a conglomerate of several area restaurant brands, including Libby’s, and a catering business. Seidensticker says the new location — also across the street from the Sarasota Polo Club — is expected to open by the end of the year.

The expansion is also part of what Seidensticker calls a revival of the Libby’s brand, which dates back to 2008. The Southside Libby’s will close in July for a few months, where it will undergo a major renovation. When it reopens, the name will remain the same, but the concept will be more accessible, with an open rotisserie-style kitchen, new menu and totally revamped interior. “We want to be innovative and ahead of trends,” Seidensticker said. “When people come back in here, it will be a whole new Libby’s.”

The original Libby’s, at 1917 S. Osprey Ave., will shrink from about 10,000 square feet to 6,600 square feet. The popular L-shaped bar will remain part of the new Libby’s, while the leftover space will be renovated for a new tenant, something, says Joe Seidensticker, that will complement the neighborhood.

Seidensticker declines to disclose an estimated cost of the renovations, only to say it will “be a significant investment.” The genesis of the idea to reimagine Libby’s, he said, came from two spots: the family reflecting on a decade in business that started in the recession and, more recently, a dip in the sales growth track. “We are not OK with being flat,” he said. “We want to get back to being super busy.”

Tableseide, with holdings that include Louies Modern in downtown Sarasota and Muse at The Ringling, already has a presence in east Manatee County with Oak & Stone, on University in the Square at UTC. In addition to the new Libby’s, the company is considering adding a commissary, where it can bake fresh goods for all its holdings, in the Lakewood Ranch area.

Tableseide also recently won a small business of the year award from the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, in the hospitality and tourism category. 

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