Craft beer lovers in Bradenton will now have to drive to University Park or downtown Sarasota to choose from World of Beer’s more than 550 beers from around the world.
The Bradenton location at 497 Cortez Road W. closed Monday for the final time, property owner Mark Famiglio confirmed. On Tuesday morning, the World of Beer name was stripped from the building’s front and its spot on the Orange Blossom Plaza sign was covered up.
Famiglio cited operating issues and problems with management as contributors to their decision to close the location.
“It was a problem and I had to step in, which is not something I wanted to do,” Famiglio said, noting that the World of Beer corporate team had been supportive throughout the process. “Rather than try to rectify that situation, we decided that we were going to terminate it and just start anew. Everybody seems happy.”
Attempts to reach World of Beer corporate representatives were unsuccessful.
A new concept will be moving into the freestanding building in the next two to three months, Famiglio said. Under the business name Aldina LC, Famiglio owns that building and the rest of the Orange Blossom Plaza near the intersection of U.S. 41 and Cortez Road West. He wouldn’t specify what the concept will be, but did say “there’s going to be food and it’s a lot more local.”
The new concept will try to keep some of the World of Beer Bradenton employees, Famiglio said. Without the “loyal” team of employees, the location wouldn’t have survived as long as it did.
“It’s because of them I’ve kept it going for a few weeks, after we were just going to close and get ready for the transition,” Famiglio said. “But I wanted to get them through the holiday.”
Matt Cornelius, owner of Bradenton craft brewery Darwin Brewing Co., was surprised and disappointed to hear the news.
“Bradenton has embraced craft beer, if you look at the amount of breweries popping up around here,” Cornelius said. “I'm confident that if the space becomes available to a craft beer business, then it has the potential to take advantage of Bradenton as a community that has embraced craft beer.”
World of Beer Bradenton opened in July 2015 and had a full kitchen and liquor bar. World of Beer has two other area locations, one in University Park at 8217 Tourist Center Drive and the other in downtown Sarasota, 1888 Main St.
For more details on both area locations, visit worldofbeer.com.