Should the City of Sarasota partner with private businesses to add a 200-seat restaurant and tiki bar to Lido Beach? Commissioners put off the decision on November 6, because Commissioner Willie Shaw was too ill to attend their meeting; a supermajority of four commissioners must approve the plan, and the developer asked to wait until all five commissioners could consider it.
In addition to the new development, the existing Lido pool and restrooms would be upgraded. The city has been looking for a private partner to make capital improvements in exchange for a 10-year lease, and last year the Lido Beach Development Partners, a group that includes Troy Syprett, owner of the Daiquiri Decks, proposed plans to make the improvements, including the restaurant, called “Castaways of Lido Key.”
But as the Herald-Tribune reported today, several dozen citizens attended the meeting to protest the plan, arguing that a busy bar and restaurant would add noise and traffic and destroy the quiet, undeveloped flavor of Lido Beach. “You’re looking at changing the character of everything you have on Lido—I can’t believe you’re even considering this,” one nearby resident told the commissioners.
Deputy city manager Marlon Brown notes that the developers are not planning to build a two-story Daiquiri Deck, as some believe, but a one-story, open-air restaurant under shade with a tiki bar. “Castaways was the name of the restaurant in the old Lido Casino, back in the ‘60s,” he says.