Eighteen months after purchasing Pattigeorge’s, an iconic restaurant on Longboat Key, the Gonzmart Family of Restaurants on Monday unveiled its plans for the waterfront property.
Richard Gonzmart, the president of the 113-year-old restaurant group best known for the Columbia, announced The Buccaneer will open in 2019.
The Buccaneer name is a nod to Longboat Key’s culinary past, Gonzmart said in a press release.
“My parents’ favorite restaurant, besides the Columbia, was Herb Field’s The Buccaneer Inn on Longboat Key,” Gonzmart said. “My goal and my dream is to make this new restaurant an architectural gem and to pay homage to some of that restaurant’s beloved menu items, such as oysters and prime rib, as well as to add distinctive touches.”
(My dad) loved Sarasota and Longboat Key and always told me if any opportunity came for a waterfront location that I should go for it.
Richard Gonzmart, the president of the 113-year-old Gonzmart Family of Restaurants
The Buccaneer, at 4120 Gulf of Mexico Drive, will be a new concept for the restaurant group that owns and operates 13 Florida restaurants, including the Columbia, Ulele, Goody Goody Burgers, Cha Cha Coconuts and Café Con Leche Ybor City.
The new restaurant will pay homage to The Buccaneer Inn, which opened in 1957, closed in 2001 and was razed in 2005.
The former Pattigeorge’s building will be torn down and rebuilt, Gonzmart said. For more than a year, he has been working with architects on exterior and interior design possibilities.
Gonzmart said he has collected antiques and artifacts from the “golden age” of the buccaneers to be used in the new restaurant.
The Gonzmart family has a long history with the area, having opened a Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands Circle in 1959.
“(My dad) loved Sarasota and Longboat Key and always told me if any opportunity came for a waterfront location that I should go for it,” Gonzmart said. “I already had many projects in the works when the Pattigeorge’s location was offered for sale. But I didn’t hesitate and we closed on the purchase very quickly.”
The restaurant group bought the property for $1.9 million in June 2016. In September, the group purchased the Harbour Square office building adjacent to the former Pattigeorge’s property for $4 million.
Jeff Houck, a spokeman for the restaurant group, said the Harbour Square property would be used “only for extra parking and boat slips” at this time.
Gonzmart also announced executive chef Mark Boor has been hired to assist Gonzmart and his team in developing the menu for The Buccaneer. Boor worked at the Trio Bistro in Cincinnati when it was named a Top 20 restaurant, and at Fulton’s Crab House in Disney Springs. He was selected as one of the “Top 20 Chefs of Central Florida” by Restaurant Forum magazine.
“The Buccaneer is based on not just any pirate,” Gonzmart said. “In my mind – and I know this is a romantic view – he was well off, possibly a noble, who rebelled and went to sea. He’s more a privateer, someone commissioned by countries like France and England to wreak havoc on Spanish shipping and trade. Some of them eventually were knighted for their services. Even the word ‘buccaneer’ comes from the French ‘boucan,’ a wooden frame that was used to smoke meat over a fire.”