After more than four months of extensive renovation, the glistening, upscale Grove restaurant opens Monday at 10670 Boardwalk Loop on Lakewood Ranch Main Street, lavishly filling a traditional anchor spot in the dining and entertainment district.
Decorated in tasteful browns, blacks and whites with lots of polished glass and artfully lighted, the main dining room features a wall of oak panels at its heart, reclaimed from an Atlantic White Cedar downed by Hurricane Irma on Anna Maria Island in September 2017.
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Grove, a full-service restaurant and events venue offering contemporary gourmet dining, is owned by restaurateur Hugh Miller and managed by Greg Campbell, executive chef and director of operations. They also operate Pier 22 in downtown Bradenton.
Austin Harlow serves as general manager of Grove restaurant.
Grove Restaurant Patio and Ballroom has worked with Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder Manatee Ranch to reposition the anchor location on Main Street as a premier indoor-outdoor restaurant and special events destination experience, according to the company.
Tommy and Jaymie Klauber operated the Polo Grill and Fete Ballroom in that space for a decade before deciding not to renew their lease in April.
“The objective of Grove is to provide the Lakewood Ranch community and beyond with an independently operated dining experience that caters specifically to our clientele allowing our guests to determine their signature dishes from robust choices versus imposed menus,” a company press release said.
On Wednesday night, Miller and Campbell hosted a sneak peek at the restaurant for an invited crowd of several hundred, who seemed wowed by the food and the decor.
“The food has been fabulous. We need a great restaurant and special events facility here,” Kristine Nickel said.
Renee Eppard agreed: “I think it is beautiful. I am excited to have something like this on this end of town.”
Elodie McCartney Ward liked the bright, modern interior, but also gave high marks to the large patio overlooking Lakewood Ranch Main Street.
“It’s a very nice venue,” she said.
About 130 staff members have been hired for the new restaurant, Campbell said, adding that training continues this week in preparation for the opening.
Campbell praised his staff as some of the best, most trust-worthy people he has worked with. He also had praise for Miller.
“We couldn’t do this without him supporting me and the team,” Campbell said.
Miller, on the other hand, credited Campbell as the driving force in getting Grove ready for its opening.
“We are really proud and happy to be part of the Lakewood Ranch community. We look forward to creating new relationships and expanding those that we already have,” Miller said. “It’s been a journey, but we have put together a great team. This community is fantastic. The support we have received across the board has been fantastic.”
Grove will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Hours will be 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.
Happy hour is 3-7 p.m. daily.
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation held its annual update luncheon in The Ballroom in November, the inaugural event held in the revamped space.
Grove is now accepting reservations. For more information, visit grovelwr.com/ or call 941-893-4321.