BRADENTON -- As of Monday, Jeanne's Bistro, 316 12th St. W., is closed.
Bill Costanzo and Greg Gort, owners of the cafe in the Riverside Medical Building Gorty's Eating Room, will take over the space in January. Gorty's will close and the space in the Riverside Medical Center building will be converted into medical offices, confirmed a realty representative for the building.
Jeanne Wilson, owner of Jeanne's Bistro, announced the closure on the restaurant's Facebook page.
"Thank you to all of you for your support thru out the years. We closed our doors for the last time on Monday. The new owners will be opening in January. Happy Holidays.......Love, Jeanne and staff," the post reads.
Wilson could not be reached immediately for comment.
On the current Gorty's menu, sandwiches are named with a medical theme. To fit downtown with its courthouse workers and lawyers' offices, the new cafe will give sandwiches more court-related themes. Gorty's spent 12 years in the medical building, Gort said. The new downtown cafe will be called Cafe Barrister and Constanzo said they planned to expand and add items to the current Gorty's menu.
Costanzo is excited about being a part of downtown Bradenton's growing scene.
"We really think the vibe down here is so cool with the music and the farmer's market," Costanzo said. He heard Jeanne's might be for sale "through the grapevine."
Opening downtown Bradenton's Cafe Barrister will give him a chance to revisit the past. Gort and Costanzo owned a Cafe Barrister in Sarasota's legal district for more than two years and sold the business to open Gorty's.
"It's like resurrecting an old friend," Costanzo said.
They look forward to bringing a personal touch to downtown Bradenton with the restaurant; Costanzo said he wants the place to feel reminiscent of the bar in the TV show "Cheers." Approximately four-and-a-half years were left on Wilson's lease which Costanzo took over. He also purchased Wilson's assets, though some of the personal relics decorating the restaurant will
return to Wilson when Costanzo, his wife, Michele, and Gort redecorate. The daytime cafe will stay consistent with the motif of downtown and its historic buildings, Constanzo said.
Though Costanzo said he thinks they'll stay with breakfast and lunch, Cafe Barrister may offer dinner in the future, if crowds demand it. He's also thinking about obtaining a beer and wine license for the property. Everything is tentative at the moment though, as Costanzo took possession of the property on Thursday, the day after Wilson closed Jeanne's Bistro.
Costanzo and his wife, east Manatee County residents, hope the business succeeds and they can pass it on to their childrens: Zachary, 24; Emma, 21; Ally, 18; Julie, 17; and Holly, 15. All five attended Manatee County schools.
Janelle O'Dea, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095 or follow her on Twitter @jayohday.