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Tyrone bears good news for carnivores

Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse and Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q are arriving soon.


© St. Petersburg Times, published December 3, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tyrone Boulevard is getting two new restaurants: Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse and Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q.

Sam Seltzer's hopes to open by Dec. 18, according to Harold Seltzer, president of the steakhouse chain. The Tyrone location will be its fifth. Headquarters are in Tampa, where the first restaurant opened in 1995. The others are in Clearwater, Sarasota and Altamonte Springs.

Seltzer's is renovating the old Clearwater Mattress location at 3490 Tyrone Blvd. The restaurant will offer seating for 400 and a menu including seafood. Seltzer said the menu is similar to what is offered at Outback Steakhouse and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon except that Seltzer's decor and atmosphere is more upscale.

"We have white linen napkins and upholstered booths. There is a fireplace in every dining room," he said.

Seltzer's buys beef directly from the Midwest, ages it in Tampa and cuts it daily for each of its locations, Seltzer said. He is from Canada, and the restaurant chain is named for his grandfather, who ran a butcher shop that was in the same spot in Montreal for 65 to 70 years, he said.

Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q will be built from the ground up at 3600 Tyrone Blvd. Rod Lincoln, who owns Sonny's restaurants in Largo and Zephyrhills, said he is waiting on one permit before construction can begin. He expects to start soon.

The restaurant will "seat about 180 and have a drive-through," Lincoln said.

Sonny's, based in Orlando, began in 1968 and has 120 restaurants throughout the Southeast. It bills itself as the largest full-service barbecue chain in the country.

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