Restaurant News

Former MacAllisters' owners are back in Lakewood Ranch with a new breakfast/lunch eatery

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The lure of the restaurant business is drawing the founders of MacAllisters Grill & Tavern back to Lakewood Ranch's Main Street area.

Husband-and-wife team Malcom and Karen Ronney have announced the mid-August opening of their newest restaurant, "The Granary," which will serve breakfast and lunch daily from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The 2,786-square-foot location, to the north of Main Street on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard in a strip mall owned by Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware, already is undergoing a major facelift.

The Ronneys, who sold their popular Scottish-themed business in December 2014, said they believe there is a demand for a breakfast-and-lunch establishment in the northern part of the master-planned community.

"We've been here for 12 years, and definitely, there's a market in all the communities surrounding State Road 64, up to Parrish and Ellenton," Karen Ronney said this week, as she watched workers at the 2547 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. location.

"We did some market research when we were at MacAllisters and we found that people will travel a distance from 64 and beyond to Main Street, so I believe they'll be happy to come to us."

That sentiment is backed by landlord Casto Southeast Leasing Services, whose vice president, George Brusco, said he is working on leasing the space next door to The Granary to another restaurant, one that will serve in the evenings.

"The deal is pending and it

should be completed around the middle of June," Brusco said.

The restaurant takes its name from a mill that stores grain, and will have the look and feel of a reclaimed barn with stone walls and farm wheels.

"When you wake up, you want to go somewhere with comfortable surroundings," Ronney said. Guests will be able to order breakfast and lunch all day with a varied menu offering traditional breakfast and lunch favorites, including eggs, bacon and sausage, burgers, salads, New York strip steaks and quesadillas, along with specialty coffees and pastries. There will also be lighter breakfast and lunch entrees served on whole grain bread and whole wheat wraps.

A moderate-size bar will serve wine, draft and local craft beers, along with cocktails like mimosas.

Next-door neighbors, KoKo FitClub of Lakewood Ranch, a digital gym that opened last September, has reportedly worked out a partnership arrangement to add healthy KoKo offerings to The Granary's menu.

Pricing, according to Karen Ronney will be moderate: "We won't be the cheapest place on the block, but you will get value for your money."

"I'm so excited because this will pull even more business into the plaza," said neighbor Greg Despot, owner of Signs & More, which opened last October. "The Ronneys have the reputation."

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Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.