Experience Sarasota: Geckos Grill & Pub
Gecko’s is a place for Sarasotans to go and be Sarasotans. It’s truly a part of the community.
So, Sarasota, tell me a little about yourself. How are you? How’s work going? Where are you living at these days?
“Oh, I live off Clark and Honore.” Perfect, there’s a Gecko’s Grill & Pub near you.
“I’m actually in Bradenton on State Road 70.” Super! Been to the Gecko’s at Twelve Oaks Plaza yet?
“I also live in Bradenton, but my state road is six less than the last guys… It’s only 64.” Don’t feel bad about your lesser road, you get a Gecko’s at Braden River Plaza!
“I’m a person who has a place that I live on Fruitville, near Cattlemen and I-75.” Well person, make your way from your home to the Fruitville Gecko’s when you get the chance.
“I work at Sarasota Memorial and I live at the Landings. Is there a Gecko’s near me?” Oh man. I wasn’t expecting this. Maybe you should sit down. There’s the original Gecko’s at The Landings and one in Southside Village. HOW WILL YOU EVER CHOOSE!? I do not envy you, sir.
What did we learn here today? No matter your SRQ locale, Gecko’s Grill & Pub is there.
Founded in 1992 by native Sarasotans, Mike Gowan and Mike Quillen, Gecko’s has quickly grown into Sarasota’s favorite neighborhood sports bar and grill.
Between the menu loaded with Modern American pub cuisine and the bar with full bottles and craft beer on tap, Gecko’s offers something for everyone.
On any given night you can walk in and see families enjoying their dinner, while sports fans watch the game at the bar and trivia junkies answer questions for drinks.
The restaurants themselves are welcoming and friendly, but Gecko’s Hospitality Group does WAY more for the area than serve up lunch, dinner and late night drinks.
Winners of the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Neighbor Award (three years in a row), the philanthropic efforts of the group are truly impressive. They actively participate in the Giving Challenge, No Kid Hungry, and Operation Second Chance among too many more to list.
One of their greatest charitable successes has been the Super Student Free Meal Card. The program, which is in place in dozens of area schools, rewards students who achieve success in the classroom and in the community. They’ve given out over 15,000 of these cards every year since the program began.
Gecko’s Hospitality Group has a “little brother” that certainly deserves mention as well.
S’macks Burgers & Shakes opened in 2013 on Bee Ridge and Shade and has been serving up unbelievable burgers, award-winning fries, and homemade custard and shakes ever since. You should go there tonight and get a cookie butter milkshake. You can email me a thank you later. I actually have a very personal affinity for S’macks. It basically fed my wife and I during the two months before and after my son was born. He’s almost two now and he loves to feed the toy gecko, that he got from the Hillview location, his spaghetti at dinner.
And that right there is the whole point of Gecko’s. They’ve taken the corporate family restaurant formula and morphed it into something much more personal to Sarasota.
My family has a story around Gecko’s and I’m sure we’re not the only one. Birthday parties and wedding receptions are routinely held at their two events facilities, The Signature Room at the Clark Road Location and the M & M Lounge at the Fruitville Gecko’s. Friends are made nightly at the Red Barn Bar on Bee Ridge. Fantasy seasons are won and lost during football season, as fans gather to watch the games on the dozens on HD TVs at each Gecko’s Grill & Pub. It’s a haven for food and drinks, and of course, hospitality. But more than anything, Gecko’s is a place for Sarasotans to go and be Sarasotans. It’s truly a part of the community.