The Hasenohrls aren't strangers to the food industry, but a month ago they had no idea when or if they would open their own restaurant again.
It was around that time that they learned the Elodie French Restaurant in that space had closed and the spot was up for grabs. The couple owned the Two Chef's Casual Dining restaurant in Sarasota about eight years ago, and now they're ready to give it another go with the Cremesh European Restaurant at 7232 Manatee Ave. W. inside the Beachway Plaza.
Named after executive chef Pavel Hasenohrl's sweet specialty, Cremesh is set to open Friday with a lot more on the menu than dessert, according to Tracy, Pavel's wife who co-owns the restaurant with him.
Cremesh will serve lunch and dinner, offering meals such as smoked salmon sandwiches, beef goulash, quiche and braised pork shank. Everything that comes from the kitchen is made from scratch, Pavel said.
"A to Z, we do everything here with our hands," he explained, pointing out that he's done everything from the floor to the chairs to the tables that are made by hand. "We put our soul in here."
Pavel, who moved to the U.S. from the Czech Republic in 1999 after about 20 years of working in and owning various restaurants throughout Europe, will also prepare fresh pasta and bread made with European flour daily. Customers will have three or four choices of fresh bread to pair with their sandwiches.
"We use the European flour because it doesn't have preservatives or any GMOs. It's a bit more expensive for us, but it's worth it," Tracy said.
That's just one of the ways Tracy hopes to create a unique experience for customers at Cremesh. The Hasenohrls plan to place an emphasis on conversation and relaxation by giving visitors ample time to order and chat among themselves.
"We're going to give customers time to enjoy their wine before dinner and sit to just chat. We're not going to be rushing anyone out of the restaurant," Tracy said. "I think customers will love it, feel welcome and even a little spoiled."
There are 56 seats at Cremesh, 44 inside and 12 outside. Tracy said there will be a selection of wine and beer exported exclusively from European regions. Meal prices will range from $7 to $14 for lunch and $16 to $28 for dinner. A kids menu and specialty desserts will also be offered.
The restaurant is also planning to run an ongoing raffle. Guests who purchase a bottle of wine will be allowed to write their contact info on a cork that is placed inside a frame on the wall. Once the frame is full, a winner will be chosen for a free dinner for two.
Cremesh European Restaurant opens Friday and will serve lunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.