Tony and Marie Tannus, and business partner Alex Hagush, have leased the Charles Ringling Building and are currently renovating it. They plan to open Sarasota Sky Bar & Club in early September.
The Charles Ringling Building, which has been a downtown Sarasota landmark since its construction in 1926, has a new tenant.
Sarasota Sky Bar & Club will have a soft opening Sept. 9 in the venue perhaps best known this century for housing Margarita Maggie’s.
Sean Dreznin, with Ian Black Real Estate worked with Alex & Tony to come to terms on Sarasota Sky. Sean, Jag Grewal & Amy MacDougall represented the owners of building.
Margarita Maggie’s and Froggy’s, the more recent tenant at 1927 Ringling Boulevard, were nightclubs that targeted people in their 20s, with DJs typically playing electronic dance music, hip-hop and other Top 40 hits. There were occasional live shows, too, such as when rapper Vanilla Ice performed at Margarita Maggie’s in 2002.
Sarasota Sky, a smoke-free establishment, wants to attract people in their 30s to 60s with bands playing more timeless tunes with the same goal of keeping the dance-floor packed and the alcohol flowing.
“Stop for a drink, stay for the music,” is Sky Bar’s motto.
Tannus said he has booked musicians including Beatles tribute band The Glass Onion, reggae groups Jah Movement and Democracy, Oceans Eleven Big Band, Sarasota Rhythm Section, Robin & the Retros, and Nothin’ Past Midnite. These are acts with local followings known for playing familiar, dance-able cover songs, largely from decades past.
“I like downtown but there’s nothing like this,” Tannus said while offering a private tour of the bar and dance club.
“This concept has been thoroughly researched and has the proven operators to succeed where others may have missed their mark,” Dreznin said while describing Alex & Tony and Sarasota Sky.
When Sky Bar opens next month patrons will be met by a doorman and two options. Go right, and you’ll find a polished concrete dance floor and an elevated stage featuring an impressive sound system with the large wall behind it adorned with an illuminated, 15 by 25 foot photo of the Cà d’Zan. There will also be tables and a huge granite bar with Chicago-style bar rails made of poplar and LED lights dangling from above.
Turn left, and there’s the same granite bar, a second bar, a wine rack, and a room with a billiards table.
An interior balcony, which will serve as a lounge area, overlooks the stage and dance floor. The walls have been covered with faux brick panels.
By October, patrons should have another option upon entering: a second floor room, accessible by stairs or elevator, with its own bar, another billiards table and darts in a more cozy setting.
The Charles Ringling Building also has a third floor. It has what appear to be the original cypress floors and matching exposed ceilings with windows providing views of downtown. It also has its own street entrance.
More information: sarasotasky.club
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