New Details Unveiled for Transformation of “Great Room by the Bay” to Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens

August 11, 2016

Enhancements to the Special Events Facilities by Exclusive Caterer Michael’s On East now Underway 

renderings_400pxSARASOTA, FLA. – August 11, 2016: Design concept drawings demonstrating the much  anticipated improvements to the special events facilities at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens have been released by the institution and its culinary partner, the premier restaurant and caterer, Michael’s On East.


Since Michael’s was named as the exclusive food service provider at Selby Gardens in late 2015, plans have been underway for enhancing and expanding the Gardens’ event space that overlooks Sarasota Bay and the picturesque Ringling Causeway. Now to be known as “Michael’s on the Bay at Selby Gardens,” expansion and improvement of the space is now underway and will be completed by October 1.


“We could not be more excited about the plans Phil and Michael have put forth. The transformation will complete a versatile set of indoor and outdoor event spaces, solidifying Selby Gardens as the premier waterfront event and dining destination in the region,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens.


Restaurant owners and business partners Michael Klauber and Philip Mancini have reimagined the room drawing from 40 years of catering experience. The 4,800-square-foot space will incorporate theatrical lighting and audio/visual systems, allowing for indoor seating for up to 350 seated guests. The floor plan of the building and grounds will be reoriented to take best advantage of panoramic bayfront views. A new catering kitchen and restroom facilities will also be added.


“We have enjoyed the great privilege of working closely with the Selby Gardens team for nearly three decades on a variety of events,” Phil Mancini said. “But this transformed space is a game changer, offering a contemporary feeling with natural tones within a beautiful garden setting. There is no doubt that this event facility will revolutionize luncheons, galas, weddings and corporate events in Sarasota.”


The design and site work was created and will be completed by Anne Folsom Smith Interior Design and DL Porter Constructors.


In December 2015, Michael’s On East assumed daily service of lunch and light snacks at Selby House Café, which is set in the historic home of Marie Selby on property at the Gardens and is available as a guest amenity for members and visitors enjoying the attraction by day. At that time Michael’s was also named exclusive caterer for all private and public events.


“Our multi-faceted and award-winning large-scale operation is uniquely positioned to reinvigorate the Gardens’ event operations and taking it to new heights,” said Michael Klauber. “Philip and I have been dreaming about developing a unique waterfront venue in downtown Sarasota for years and can’t imagine a more perfect partner than Selby Gardens.”


These dynamic changes are made possible thanks to a generous charitable contribution by Michael’s On East, Michael Klauber and Phillip Mancini.




About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, epiphytes and tropical plants with a focus on botany, horticulture and environmental education. For more information, please visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, open 10 5 p.m. daily except Christmas, regular admission $19 (ages 12 and up), ages 4-11 $6, Members and children 3 and under enter free. Contact us at (941) 366-5731 or  Get social with us on Facebook, Instagram and more by searching @selbygardens.


About Michael’s On East
Michael’s On East was founded on April 27, 1987. Located at 1212 East Avenue South in Midtown Plaza, the iconic restaurant is open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, open for dinner 6 p.m. to close Monday through Thursday and 5:30 p.m. to close on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sundays, with the exception of Easter and Mother’s Day each year. The establishment is the winner of the 2009 Fine Dining Hall of Fame as one of the top ten restaurants in America, and received their 27th consecutive AAA Four-Diamond Award in 2016. Michael’s On East is a contemporary fine dining restaurant featuring an extraordinary supper club atmosphere, inspired cuisine and an intimate piano bar. Michael’s Events & Catering is Sarasota’s premiere caterer creating memorable events from candlelit dinners for two to dazzling galas for 1,000. Michael’s Wine Cellar hosts more than 1,000 International estate-bottled wines including more than 200 wines under $20, boutique spirits and craft beers. Michael’s Wine Cellar is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 941-366- 0007 or visit