Chef Solomon "Sol" Shenker, who has built a reputation for New York-style deli fare at a number of restaurants over the years, is poised to take over the space that formerly housed The Overton, which closed earlier this week. Shenker will be the executive chef of the operation, working with an owner who wishes to remain anonymous.
The Rosemary District restaurant will receive a facelift beginning Friday, July 1, when ownership is transferred, and is slated to open in mid-August or early September.
Shenker has been cooking in Sarasota since 2000 and will be bringing his skills to the new spot with items like pastrami sandwiches, corned beef and cheesecake. In addition to his deli offerings, Shenker wants to cater to the younger population in the area by offering healthy Mediterranean-inspired items like tabouleh and baba ganoush. "We want to feed the crowd around us and serve what they are looking for," he says.
Before this new venture, which remains unnamed, Shenker opened a handful of businesses and worked in a variety of kitchens. Most recently, he has been making deli items at Sarasota's Embassy Suites hotel, with great success. "The sky is the limit in Sarasota if you want to put the work in," says Shenker. "I'm a fighter."
The new restaurant will provide counter service with indoor and outdoor seating, much like The Overton. "We are going to have a full bar, music and even late-night food," says Shenker. "There are a lot of places opening in the Rosemary District. It's the space. I think it's going to be like Greenwich Village, but with palm trees."
Shenker and the owner are still ironing out the details for the new establishment, but Shenker is excited about the venture.
"I do it for the love of cooking," he says. "I love making people happy when they eat."
Shenker's new restaurant will be located at 1420 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. More details to follow.