Grill at O'Bricks soon to open on Old Main

BRADENTON -- The long awaited opening of the Grill at O’Bricks restaurant on Old Main Street has been penciled in for the week of Feb. 20, with a preview menu released Tuesday.

Renovations are now underway at a recently vacated storefront on the east side of the popular downtown corridor, which will house the Grill at O’Bricks.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because developer Mike Carter already owns the O’Bricks Irish Pub and Martini Bar directly next door.

Carter knocked a hole in the wall that connects the two, and his pub will soon expand into a 150-seat restaurant with a locally inspired menu that offers everything from fresh seafood to Irish specialties.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the restaurant,” Carter said. “We should hit the ground running and be ready to go.”

The opportunity became available when Corks Cigar Bar moved across the street after its lease expired in October. Carter, who owns the entire east block, has been planning the restaurant since.

A preview menu features dishes such as Cedar Key Clams, a lobster BLT, shrimp pasta and Tommy O’Brien’s Strawberry Blue Salad, which uses only locally farmed strawberries. Other items include: Atlantic Salmon, Gulf of Mexico Grouper, and Carter’s original grilled wings.

Carter owned the Mangrove Grill in Palmetto for eight years before selling the eatery last summer. He will be bringing many of those former employees to O‘Bricks, with 25 total positions created.

O‘Bricks, which is now receiving a $150,000 face lift, will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Carter said the timing couldn’t be better, with business on the rise for most of the merchants lining Old Main Street. At his pub alone, revenues have doubled from the same last year.

Merchants credit the resurgence to the Downtown Development Authority and Realize Bradenton.

“This (restaurant) is going to make Old Main Street off the chart,” said Cork Miller, president of the Old Main Street Merchants Association. “It will bring people to the area and give them more opportunities to grab a bite to eat or a drink. The more the merrier.”

Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095.