Patrick's 1481 Owner 'Sully' Sullivan Celebrates 35 Years Downtown

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SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY FEB 23, 2021

Known as “Mr. Main Street,” Jim ‘Sully’ Sullivan has certainly earned that title after celebrating 35 years as the owner of Patrick’s 1481. Serving everything from Mahi-Mahi Caprese Salad to Homemade Chicken Pot Pie to a Tenderloin French Dip, this iconic Sarasota institution has a menu bursting with items for everyone. Now the longest-running restaurant downtown, the legendary man behind everyone’s favorite burgers sat down with SRQ for a chat about what keeps his place going strong for over three decades.

SRQ: What does it mean to you to hold the title of longest running restaurant downtown?

Jim ' Sully' Sullivan: To me, it means a bunch of different things. For one, it’s allowed me to have a steady job for all those years (laughs), but more than that, it’s allowed me to employee many, many people and help them support their families. That Patrick’s is directly helping support them and their kids, that’s the most important thing to me. We are a family over there. My bookkeeper has been with us for 22 years, our chef for 18 years and I have several servers there for 10, 12, 18 years. We make sure to treat everyone fairly and I think having staff with that kind of longevity shows it’s working.

SRQ: With such a loyal and dedicated staff, would you say you’ve had the same sort of experience with your customers and the Sarasota community?

JS: Oh absolutely. Especially during this time of year, we’ll have a couple walk in smiling and shouting, ‘Sully! Sully! We just got off the plane and this is the first place we stopped!’ To them it feels like coming home, and I’m lucky to have been their home here since 1985. I’ve had some of the same customers coming back for 35 years. It’s just amazing. We signed a 25 year lease back then and you sort of think to yourself ‘Well, that’s that!,’ (laughs) but for us that just wasn’t the case. We moved a little further down the road and signed another 25 year lease, it’s crazy.

SRQ: How would you describe your menu to a complete newbie who knows nothing about Patrick’s?

JS: The best way to describe our menu is eclectic. There’s something for everyone. We have our famous options like the award-winning burger of course, but not everyone knows we have two vegetarian options for those burgers too: portobello mushroom and Beyond burgers. We actually have a ton of vegetarian options, funny enough our most popular entree is our Zucchini Pomodoro served with spiralized zucchini and red sauce. And for those who need to be gluten free, you can substitute any of our beautiful flatbreads for cauliflower crust.

1481 Main St, 941-955-1481

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