Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has announced a new partnership with premier restaurateur and caterer, Michael’s On East. The partnership names Michael’s as the exclusive food service provider at Selby Gardens and is also the foundation for enhanced banquet and dining facilities at the Gardens to be anchored by the restaurant group.
“We feel we’ve found the right partner to work with to establish Selby Gardens as a premier waterfront event and dining destination,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “This arrangement also creates a sustainable – and enhanced – revenue stream for the organization, which our trustees agree is a strategic priority.”
Beginning in December, the Michael’s On East restaurant team will reinvent daily service of lunch and light snacks, including wine and beer service at Selby Café, which is set in the historic home of Marie Selby that overlooks the Gardens’ Great Lawn. Food service will officially begin December 11. Also effective in December, Michael’s Events & Catering will be the exclusive caterer for all events, including weddings and corporate retreats, hosted at Selby Gardens. Finally, beginning in summer 2016, the restaurant group owned by business partners Michael Klauber and Philip Mancini will begin a substantial expansion of the Garden’s Great Room, which overlooks Sarasota Bay.
“Our multi-faceted and award-winning large-scale operation is uniquely positioned to welcome the challenge of reinvigorating the Gardens’ food service and catering operations and taking it to new heights,” said Michael Klauber. “Philip and I have been dreaming about developing a unique waterfront venue for years and can’t imagine a more perfect partner than Selby Gardens.”
The expansion of the building will double the indoor seating, with room for up to 400 guests. The renovation includes growing the outdoor patio from 880 square feet to 2,400 square feet and covering it with an awning to create a new entertaining space. A total remodel of the current kitchen is also called for, along with new restrooms. Concept details for this reinvented banquet facility are expected to be released by the summer of 2016.
“Thanks to Michael’s, Selby Gardens will be able to offer the best food and best service to everyone who visits, from day trippers to wedding parties,” Rominiecki said. “This is just the beginning of many opportunities we see.”
Klauber and Mancini look forward to establishing the new on-premise operations and exploring additional ways to utilize the 15-acre property on Palm Avenue, such as pop-up table service dining events, in the future.
“We have enjoyed the great privilege of working closely with the Selby Gardens team for nearly three decades on a variety of events,” Mancini said. “Through this newly-established formal partnership, our leadership is prepared to take Selby Gardens to the next level and ensure the property becomes the region’s premier waterfront event destination. Stay tuned as future events at Selby Gardens are going to be—even more—amazing.”
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 www.selby.org. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, open 10 a.m. to 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 selby.org. Get social at www.facebook.com/selbygardens or www.instagram.com/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 26th consecutive AAA Four-Diamond Award in 2015. 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 domaine 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 www.bestfood.com.