Business

This popular Bradenton restaurant is launching a new venue in Lakewood Ranch

The Polo Grill and Bar at 10670 Boardwalk Loop at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.
The Polo Grill and Bar at 10670 Boardwalk Loop at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. Bradenton Herald

Two restaurateurs are teaming up once again to fill a vacancy in Lakewood Ranch.

On Wednesday, Hugh Miller and Greg Campbell of Pier 22 confirmed they have an agreement with LWR Main Street LLC to open a new independent restaurant called GROVE in the space formerly occupied by Polo Grill and Bar at 10670 Boardwalk Loop.

Polo Grill closed in April after more than 10 years in business when the owners decided not to renew their lease.

Greg Campbell & Hugh Miller Grove.jpg
Greg Campbell and Hugh Miller are partners in the GROVE, a new restaurant at Lakewood Ranch. Provided photo

GROVE’s menu will feature “wholesome gourmet meals” such as scratch-made entrees, desserts and culinary cocktails, according to a press release.

“We’re committed to using quality fresh ingredients and innovative cooking methods to inspire, nourish and wholly satisfy our guests,” Campbell said.

Soon after Tommy and Jaymie Klauber closed Polo Grill, Pier 22 was rumored to be line to take over the Lakewood Ranch space.

But Miller and Campbell held their cards close to their vest.

A few weeks ago, the secret was out as a Pier 22 vehicle and staff were seen at work at the future GROVE restaurant location.

Or, as the press release put it, “excited whispers have raised to a roar as restaurateurs Hugh Miller and Greg Campbell confirm rumors that they have finalized a long-term lease agreement.”

Miller brought Campbell on board in 2006 to run operations at Pier 22. The Grove is their fifth venture in 12 years.

“We are extremely pleased to have Hugh and Greg take over this significant piece of Main Street. We’re all very excited to hear their plans for improving the building and the ballroom,” Kirk Boylston, president of Lakewood Ranch Commercial, said in the press release.

“We’re especially happy to know that the ballroom will remain in place to serve as a gathering space for our community’s residents and businesses and we greatly look forward to the opening of Grove,” Boylston said.

An opening date has not been announced.

The property is set to receive a multi-million dollar renovation.

Improvements to the building include a total redo of the restaurant, which will feature comfortable dining spaces. A remodel and upgrade of the 350-seat ballroom along with sections of the lounge, private party and meeting areas and major portions of the outdoor patio areas have also started.

GROVE says it will offer wholesome gourmet meals including scratch-made entrees, culinary cocktails and savory desserts.

“We’re committed to using quality fresh ingredients and innovative cooking methods to inspire, nourish and wholly satisfy our guests,” Campbell said.

He described his approach to food and drink as “focused on sourcing only the finest ingredients and then finding inventive ways to draw out those flavors.”

Separate menus are in the works for lunch, dinner, happy hour, late night and Sunday brunch.

“We want guests to leave the restaurant with a smile on their face and feeling even better than when they first arrived,” Campbell said.

Miller revealed that the atmosphere would be “sophisticated yet inviting” and “casually elegant with a modern touch.”

Tables in the dining room and patio areas alone are expected to seat over 350 guests. Included in that number are the three private dining areas which can be configured to serve 20, 40 or 60 people while a separate count for the ballroom space brings the entire building’s seating capacity to 750 guests.

“With these changes, we’re creating an entirely different ambiance. One that embodies an elevated and modern ranch-town vibe and that really fits the diverse market we’ll serve,” Miller said.

The GROVE partners said they are determined to stay away from the trappings of chain restaurant mentality and instead carry on a local, independent business model.

“With GROVE being an independent restaurant we don’t have to pursue one-size fits all solutions, and we’re better equipped to respond to the desires of our community.” Campbell said.

“I truly love being involved in the nitty-gritty everyday activities that the corporate players tend to shy away from,” Campbell said.

  Comments