Sarasota lobster roll restaurant to open in St. Armands Circle

A Connecticut restaurant specializing in New England’s beloved lobster sandwich is planning to expand to Sarasota soon.

LobsterCraft, which has multiple locations in Connecticut, is slated to open at 28A South Boulevard of the Presidents on St. Armands Circle. Founder Michael “Captain Mike” Harden said they hoped to open by January.

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Harden, a commercial lobster merchant, founded LobsterCraft in 2012 as a food truck before adding physical locations. He wanted to develop further by bringing the concept to southern New England, and Sarasota’s demographics made it a good place to start.

“The season for Florida is almost exactly the opposite of ours here in New England,” said Harden. “So we’ll have 25,000 or 30,000 snowbirds that will leave us at this time of year and come back to you. A lot of these people already know us, so we’re really tapping into this known entity.”

Harden said they plan to have a similar menu in Sarasota like their other locations, with The Coastal – a Connecticut-style lobster roll with warm buttered lobster on a toast – as well as varieties with a twist. These include the Heat Wave with serrano and habanero-infused butter or the California with wasabi soy sauce, avocado and cucumber. There’s also the Surf N Turf with a minced marinated flank steak; and the LBLT, which is a version of the BLT.

LobsterCraft's menu features lobster rolls such as California, with wasabi soy sauce, cucumber, and avocado.

LobsterCraft’s menu has other dishes as well, still mostly centered around the shellfish of the same name, such as lobster bisque, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese. The Sarasota location also plans to offer beer and wine, as well as other beverages such as sodas and juices.

Harden said the Sarasota location is approximately 1,500 square feet which will be split between the kitchen and guest area, with plans to provide indoor and outdoor seating. He also plans to bring a LobsterCraft food truck to Sarasota, which will focus on catering and private events.

LobsterCraft joins DalMoros Fresh Pasta To Go, a fast and casual pasta concept founded in Venice, Italy, which opened in downtown St. Petersburg earlier this year as one of St. Armands Circle’s expected new restaurants. . Other recently opened St. Armands restaurants and bars include Crisp Waffle Company, Ephesus Mediterranean Delights, Arcade Monsters, The Whiskey Barrel, and Vernona Gourmet.

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