SARASOTA -- Holmes Beach-bred Eat Here is downsizing after its Sarasota location sold to become a World of Beer.
Anna Maria Island restaurateur Sean Murphy, owner of Eat Here and Beach Bistro, announced the sale Monday.
"World of Beer really wanted a location on Main Street," Murphy told the Herald. "We hadn't listed it."
Eat Here in Holmes Beach and Siesta Key will continue to be in business, offering affordable cuisine and drinks, he said.
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"The other two restaurants are doing great, and they'll continue to do great," Murphy said.
The offer bought out Eat Here's lease at 1800 Main St., as well as extending the lease with Sarasota real estate owner Mark Kauffman.
"He has always treated us graciously and generously. I will miss him," Murphy said. "He loves our blue tomato soup. I have promised him that every month I will bring him a quart."
The Eat Here Sarasota was by far Murphy's largest location. It included a rooftop bar to which Murphy recently added a spiral staircase. Murphy said during a media tour in 2012 before his Eat Here Siesta Key launch that the upstairs area was a challenging component.
Dean Lambert will be one of the managing partners for the World of Beer. He will oversee the University Park location and the new World of Beer under construction at 497 Cortez Road in Bradenton. The Bradenton location is expected to open in the third quarter while the Sarasota location is expected to open in early fall.
"It will be an excellent showcase for our extensive offerings of craft beer and our new food menu," Lambert said.
The two sides will maintain a friendly relationship as World of Beer will co-sponsor the Beach Bistro Culinary Winter Carnival in January, adding beer craftsmen to the list with the best chefs in the South. Murphy said he's trying to find a way to add craft beer to the mix at his restaurants, but storage is an issue for the cases.
"Beer craftsmen are something we're coming around to, both at Eat Here and Beach Bistro, but the problem we've had with beer is storage," he said.
It's still an industry worth following, Murphy said.
"People are going to be interested in what they're eating and drinking," he said.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.