Derek’s Rustic Coastal Cuisine closed for the last time on June 1, chef and owner Derek Barnes confirmed Monday. Barnes is now seeking a restaurant tenant for the property at 5516 Manatee Ave. W.
The building itself and the equipment inside are owned by Barnes and his wife, Beth. Everything is still set up and “ready to go” for the next restaurateur who wants to open a business in the 2,500-square-foot space. At just under 100 indoor seats and room for more on the outdoor patio, Derek Barnes emphasized the decision to close had nothing to do with the location itself.
The Barneses chose to close the restaurant for personal reasons, Derek Barnes said.
“I made the decision to shut down so I can move forward,” he said. “I’m just looking to enrich my personal and professional life. I am heading in a different direction, and I will share that when the time is appropriate.”
Barnes formerly had a Sarasota restaurant, which he closed in 2006. He is a an award-winning chef whose accolades include being a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Best ChefSouth award in 2009, and also worked with Emeril Lagasse at Emeril's in New Orleans.
Some potential tenants have shown interest in the Manatee Avenue building, he said, but he wouldn’t disclose details at this time. The Barneses purchased the building for $250,000 in November 2013 under the name THS Properties LLC, according to Manatee County records. It was an Arby’s location before the Barnes moved in.
“I am looking for someone with stability, a proven track record and someone who wants to reap the benefits of this property,” Derek Barnes said.