SARASOTA -- Veteran restaurateur Bob Kirscher has purchased The White Horse Pub in the Parkway Collection Plaza at 6240 N. Lockwood Ridge Road.
It's a traditional British pub with dark, soothing spaces, classic Brit food such as shepherds pie, bangers and mash and fish and chips. There are also 18 beers on tap, and 20 beers and ciders in the bottle.
In addition to those British offerings, there are plenty of other menu items -- everything from pizza and wings to Philly cheese steak sandwiches and burgers.
It's a warm, friendly place, a tribute to former owner Fay Lawrence, Kirscher says.
In the restaurant business since 1968, Kirscher has learned not to "reinvent the wheel."
Most recently, he was managing partner of the Broken Egg Restaurants at Lakewood Ranch, Siesta Key and Clark Road.
"I had been looking for a restaurant to buy since before we sold Broken Egg," Kirscher said. "I was surprised at the quality of the food and service at The White Horse Pub. It's the same quality we ran with our restaurants."
Fay Lawrence's daughter, Nakisha Lawrence, is remaining with The White Horse Pub as manager.
"She was a key employee under her mom. She is very talented and we are looking forward to a long-term working relationship," Kirscher said. "She has something I don't have: youth."
Lawrence's youth and commitment to the business and Kirscher's long experience should be a winning combination, he said.
Nakisha, a native of South Devon, England, said because the business reflects her British heritage, she is especially passionate about wanting to make her customers happy.
"I love the customers and the service side of the business. It's always been something that I enjoy," she said.
"I take pride in the craft, the food, and the drink that we put out here."
Lawrence and Kirscher are on the same page when it comes to providing a homey atmosphere where folks are comfortable coming to socialize.
The White Horse Pub is a lot more than a place to get a meal or something to drink, Kirscher said.
"People can get together to watch a football game or soccer game and visit with friends," he said.
Being a British pub, The White Horse also has darts and pool, and live music Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Friday is also open mic night.
The White Horse Pub is open 11 a.m. -- 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. -- 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
For more information, call 941-358-1353 or visit the-white-horse-pub.com.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7054 or on Twitter @jajones1.