St. Petersburg-based poke bowl and sushi burrito restaurant Pacific Counter will soon be making a home at The Landings in Sarasota. Co-owners Tanner Loebel, Eric Bialik and Chitthasack Noythanongsay (a.k.a. Chef Tock) noticed that many patrons were making the drive from as far south as Venice to enjoy the restaurant's fresh fare at its Lakewood Ranch location, so they set out to find their next great spot.
"We always listen to our guests, and that goes for scouting locations, as well," says Bialik.
The concept was born from a simple craving for a sushi burrito, which Loebel discovered during his travels. "I came home to St. Pete and the closest place I could find was 40 minutes away. I wanted one closer to home, and no one was doing it yet," he says.
Loebel teamed up with Bialik, who has a strong hospitality management background, and Noythanongsay, who had already made a name as a sushi chef, to build the fast-casual spot. "We want to have the same quality as the best sushi place in town but served in three minutes or less and always consistent," says Loebel.
Guests at Pacific Counter will find a variety of options in addition to poke bowls and sushi burritos with sides like edamame, miso soup, Spam musubi and even a few specialty hot dogs. For dessert, the restaurant offers a Walt Disney World favorite: pineapple Dole Whip. Lemonade and bubble tea are also available for an additional sweet treat on the go.
The majority of the menu offerings are gluten-free, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, as well. "We wanted to create a place where people with all different dietary needs or preferences can come in as a group and leave happy because we have something for everyone," Loebel says.
The Landings location is still undergoing construction and is slated to open in late spring of 2023, but if you can't wait, head on out to Lakewood Ranch for a sneak preview of what's to come.
Pacific Counter Lakewood Ranch is open seven days a week 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at 11581 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton. For more information call (941) 739-8039 or visit their website.