Into the GROVE



Bradenton's Pier 22 owner Hugh Miller and General Manager/Executive Chef Greg Campbell confirm rumors of a new independent dining concept—highly anticipated to take place of the vacant lot, formerly Polo Grill & Bar. The restaurateurs finalized a long-term lease agreement with Lakewood Ranch Main Street LLC and plan to fill the gutted space with lots of positive energy and an elevated aesthetic. The two visionaries are putting everything they’ve got into a multi-million dollar renovation for the 27,000-square-foot property. "We've been looking to continue to grow and diversify the restaurant and hospitality holdings—searching for just the right spot,” explains Miller. Concerning dining/entertaining options, Campbell mentions, "The area offers plenty of room for growth. It's an energetic and lively small-town community, and when the opportunity opened up to begin a new restaurant concept in the area, we knew we were a good fit."

Grove sets to be an upgraded venue for events as well, with a fully-equipped catering service for special functions, business events and fundraisers—featuring a 350-seat remodeled ballroom, including private dining rooms to host parties of up to 20, 40 and 60 guests, plus comfortable lounge areas and a huge outdoor patio component. Grove’s innovative dining experience will embody a “modern ranch-town vibe,” as described by Miller, with the ambiance "sophisticated yet inviting"—to really fit the diverse market they’ll serve. In terms of the menu, Campbell teases scratch-made gourmet meals, culinary cocktails and savory desserts. "We're committed to using quality, fresh ingredients and innovative cooking methods to inspire, nourish and wholly satisfy our guests," he says. “We’re focused on sourcing only the finest ingredients and then finding inventive ways to draw out those flavors," and mentions being stoked about the new restaurant's proximity to “Florida farming country.” Other exciting offerings include late bites for those night owls, a significant happy hour and a Sunday brunch to please the masses.

Carrying on the independent business model that Miller and Campbell have perfected at Pier 22, the team is determined to stay away from the trappings of chain restaurant mentality and create a wholesome, local-minded venture. President of Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty, Kirk Boylston said, “We are extremely pleased to have Hugh and Greg take over this significant piece of Main Street. We're all very excited to hear their plans for improving the building and the ballroom. We’re especially happy to know that the ballroom will remain in place to serve as a gathering space for our community's residents and businesses and we greatly look forward to the opening of Grove."

Slotted to open late fall. Stay tuned foodies!

Provided Photo: Restaurateurs Greg Campbell (left) and Hugh Miller (right) at work on their new restaurant and venue concept GROVE.

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