New restaurants line up for Old Main Street in Bradenton

Fresh, familiar faces add to restaurant/bar scene downtown

wtatangelo@bradenton.comJune 4, 2011 

BRADENTON -- A stogie and cocktail by his side, Cork Miller broke the news Friday evening that he and SoMa Diner chef/owner David Shiplett would be opening the eclectic eatery OMG in the fall.

The seven-day breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night restaurant will be located at 436 Old Main St., former home of Fisherman Joe’s.

SoMa, at 616 10th St. E., Bradenton, isn’t going anywhere.

Shiplett added that key bit of information while lounging on a leather sofa near Miller in the private meeting room of Cork’s Cigar Bar at 425 Old Main St.

That same spot will likely be a kitchen by the time OMG -- Old Main Grill, LLC for legal purposes -- opens.

Several hours earlier on Friday afternoon, The Herald learned that Mike Carter’s Mangrove Grill, which has been operating successfully in Palmetto since 2003, will have its final day June 11 and be revived in the fall as The Grill at O’Bricks, occupying both 425 and 427 Old Main Street.

It will replace the construction company owner’s O’Bricks Irish Pub & Martini Bar (427) and neighboring Cork’s Cigar Bar (425).

Carter opened O’Bricks in 2009 and rents the other space to Miller.

Miller, the Old Main Street Merchants Association president and Bradenton Downtown Development Authority board of directors member, plans to have Cork’s reopen across the street in a couple months where Blue Parrot Resort Wear previously did business.

“Old Main Street is going to be the new entertainment district of the west coast,” Miller said.

While Shiplett comes to Old Main Street by choice, it appears Carter might be relocating more out of necessity.

Carter has lost ownership of the building that houses Mangrove Grill at Riviera Dunes.

“Southern Commerce Bank owns the building as of June 15,” said Jennifer Sayko, the manager of Mangrove Grill who emailed The Herald and others regarding the “many rumors” regarding the Carter-owned restaurant.

In November, the Herald reported Carter and several of his companies were seeking bankruptcy protection, hoping to reorganize more than $28 million in debts. Court papers revealed Southern Commerce Bank to be the debtor’s lender.

Sayko declined to comment.

Carter could not be reached.

The Grill at O’Bricks will be operated by the Mangrove staff and feature fresh seafood (both local and exotic), as well as steaks, creative salads, smaller plates, desserts and its popular $2 happy hour that includes numerous cocktails.

OMG, which only has a beer and wine license for the time being, “wants to be a late night destination for food,” Shiplett said. “We’ll offer a menu throughout the day like no other on this street.”

Shiplett and Miller plan to serve food until 2:30 a.m.

That means Old Main Street revelers will finally have a place to choose from a wide-range of items -- including breakfast favorites -- after finishing that final drink.

“This is a great thing,” said Mayor Wayne Poston. “I’ve said for a long time that what we need is three new restaurants and now we got two.”

He added, “We got some grief about zoning for more bars, but we were just letting the economy work and now with more people downtown there’s the opportunity to get restaurants open. Downtown is doing what the free market is allowing it to do and we’re really excited about these developments.”

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at (941) 745-7057. Visit his blog at Bradenton.com./blogs.

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