Straight out of South Philly, a new restaurant is on its way to Manatee-Sarasota

Cheesesteak lovers, this one is for you.

Same for connoisseurs of traditional hoagies and Italian pork roast sandwiches straight from the Delaware Valley.

From South Philadelphia to the Southeast, former Major League Baseball player John Kruk is planning to open two Kruk’s Philly Steaks in the Manatee-Sarasota area, according to the company’s website.

One location will be in The Market at University Town Center at 5205 University Parkway, while another is planned for The Landings shopping center at 4944 S. Tamiami Trail. Opening dates have not been announced.

Kruk’s promises an authentic Philly experience, saying it uses ingredients found in Philadelphia-area shops, including the traditional wiz cheese. Another Philly favorite, the chicken cheesesteak, is a menu staple.

It’s been about a year since the first Kruk’s Philly Steaks opened in Naples, where Kruk has resided since 2010, and a second location debuted in Fort Myers in August.

John Kruk action
John Kruk played 10 seasons in the major leagues, including six with the Philadelphia Phillies. Elise Amendola AP

“We chose the Florida market to educate the Southeast on the Philadelphia culture of ordering (wiz wit),” Kruk said in a press release announcing the opening of the Naples location. “And to provide the classic Philadelphia cheesesteak complete with an authentic Aversa’s Bakery roll — just like you’d get in South Philly.”

Kruk played 10 seasons in the big leagues, including six with the Philadelphia Phillies, and was a three-time All-Star during his time with the Phils. The career .300 hitter also played for the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox, and retired in 1995. He serves as a color commentator for Phillies television broadcasts.

In addition to the University Park and Sarasota locations, plans are in the works for a Tampa restaurant as well as a second Fort Myers shop.

For more, visit

Mike Garbett: 941-745-7011; @MGarbett52

Ryan Callihan: 941-745-7095, @RCCallihan