The planned arrival of a popular Sarasota restaurant expansion to Lakewood Ranch came closer on December 10.
Owen’s Fish Camp, known for its seafood and Old Florida style, broke new ground for its vertical construction at the Center Point site at the corner of University Parkway and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. It is part of the Center Point project of CASTO.
âToday is a special day in the life of this project,â said CASTO Director Brett Hutchens. âWhen I started to think about how to organize this, I contacted the Caragiulo family to suggest a location here. I think we’re going to end up with a facility that meets their vision and our goals here at Center Point.
Rob, Mark and Paul Caragiulo and their family have owned restaurants in the Sarasota area for over 30 years. They started with Caragiulos, an Italian restaurant in downtown Sarasota in 1989. The first Owen’s Fish Camp opened in downtown Sarasota in 2010, and was followed by Veronica Fish and Oyster in 2016.
âWe’ve been in town for 33 years, in the restaurant business,â said Mark Caragiulo. âIt’s kind of in our blood. We really appreciate it, which is a bonus. We love being in Sarasota and we love what is happening here with the growth. Were excited. “
Mark Caragiulo said they were looking for what he called “a great place” for a second location for Owen. He said Center Point wouldn’t be a middle-of-the-street mall and “it’s going to have a little more soul.”
âWe wanted the ability to create something that expresses the same kind of feeling and energy as the original Downtown Fish Camp,â he said. âIt’s not easy with new construction. We are fortunate to partner with CASTO, who are ready to express that old southern atmosphere and bring some of those elements to this place.
Late next summer, the Fish Camp at Lakewood Ranch Owen will feature wraparound decks, an outdoor fire pit, backyard music and an oyster bar.
âIt’s a newer atmosphere, but we’re going to work to bring some soul to that atmosphere,â said Mark Caragiulo. âWe’ll have as many elements as we can bring out here from the original, but obviously we’re going to be in a little different environment. We will get closer.
Owen’s Fish Camp joins Olivia’s Italian restaurant and another fine dining restaurant arriving at Center Point.
âWe have tried to balance the cuisines so that there is a synergy of restaurant choices here,â Hutchens said. âWe will have seafood, we will have Italian and another sit down restaurant which will be announced very soon. But that doesn’t conflict with any of those cuisines. We’re trying to do something very special, and Owen’s Fish Camp is very special.
The grand opening was big enough that Don Casto flew from Columbus, Ohio. He thanked Hutchens for having the vision to build Center Point four years ago and bring businesses like Owen’s Fish Camp and more to Lakewood Ranch.
âThere is huge growth here and it’s good for us to be able to take advantage of that growth and serve the community,â Casto said. âWhen you look at the lineup that Brett and his team have in terms of restaurants and tenants, it’s really overkill. Without a doubt, Owen’s is one of the most unique restaurants of all time and the Caragiulos are leading restaurateurs.
Rob Caragiulo was all smiles as he spoke about the future Owen’s Fish Camp as he stood where one of the wraparound porches will be built. He said they were aiming for an opening date in August or September 2022.
âWe’re just excited to be a part of something that we were hoping to try to recreate and capture a downtown feel – especially unique environments,â he said. âWe’re very, really excited to bring this concept to Lakewood Ranch. It is exploding here with growth. He truly is an icon of Sarasota and we are really proud to have him here.
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