Inside Sunseeker’s Restaurant Row
April 04, 2023
By Sue Wade
CHARLOTTE HARBOR – All casino speculations aside, residents have been talking about October's opening of Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor, the first luxury property of Allegiant Travel Co.’s Sunseeker Resorts.
It’s been hard to miss progress over the last four years on its more than 22 waterfront acres, soon to fill with 785 guestrooms.
Along with it, 20 new bars and restaurants are opening there this fall — more new launches at once than the area has ever seen.
Sunseeker unveiled an eye-popping list of names, layouts and renderings for 20 first-of-their-kind, wholly owned and branded food and beverage concepts, including seven signature restaurants, 11 bars and lounges, and a 25,000-square-foot food hall where guests can explore 11 eateries at once.
There will be 2,200 seats for diners and drinkers, four international cuisines, a steakhouse named after Allegiant Travel Co. CEO and Chairman Maury Gallagher, an Italian trattoria, a coastal Mexican concept, and a stadium-inspired sports bar lined with 60 televisions.
There will be bars and lounges sprinkled throughout the resort. All bars and restaurants are open to the public, with reservations recommended. The pools will be for resort guests only, aside from special events.
Sunseeker Chief Operating Officer Micah Richins recently told Charlotte County commissioners that day trippers may park in public spaces or, if they have a reservation at one of its restaurants, they may park onsite. There will also be a designated rideshare-service area for dropoff and pickup.
“The culinary experience at Sunseeker is the foundation of our resort,” Sunseeker Resorts Senior Vice President Jason Shkorupa said. “We know how important it is for travelers and the local community to have dining options from approachable and casual to fine and celebratory. We bring something truly unique to the market — and the hospitality industry —and we cannot wait to start welcoming guests in October.”
WELCOME TO SUNSEEKER
Visitors’ first experience of Sunseeker Charlotte Harbor will likely be Harbor Yards Food Hall, the resort’s culinary centerpiece, in the Main Resort Tower.
Unlike food courts, operated by fast-food purveyors, food halls are trendy emporiums like New York City’s Chelsea Market, with fine artisanal options and, often, communal tables.
Sunseeker’s 25,000-square-foot food hall, open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacky browsing, holds 11 different concepts. The dining area offers both indoor seating and outdoor patios, with a fire pit and a 180-degree water view.
Riverfront Roast will offer speciality coffee and teas while Sweet Shine patisserie and dessert bar has creations by the resort’s pastry chefs, or Charlotte Parlor will have gelato and crepes.
There will also be Brick + Daisy wine bar or Copper Cask’s beer garden. Both also serve custom cocktails.
Meal choices range from light to hearty at Chartisan charcuterie, cheese and antipasti; Daikon Asian fusion, noodles and sushi; Arezzo craft pizza; Taqueria Puerto, a coastal cantina of Mexican street food and Saddle Creek’s classic American grill.
ANCHORING THE TOWERS
The resort’s signature Sunsuites are 189 luxury one-to-three-bedroom accommodations ranging from 875 to 1,700 square feet.
Each of Sunsuites’ two towers, Iris and Lotus, has its own anchor restaurant plus a stadium-experience bar — all open to the public.
Maury’s Steak, Seafood & Spirits on the ground level of Lotus Tower, is a high-end seafood and steak house open for dinner. A wine wall holding more than 600 bottles greets guests. Maury’s will offer aged cuts of beef and sustainable seafood.
Stretto Coastal Italian Table, on the ground level of Lotus Tower, is an indoor/outdoor trattoria open nightly for dinner, serving cuisine from Italy’s southwestern coast: fresh-made pastas, flatbreads, Italian-inspired seafood and meat dishes, and farm-to-table ingredients.
A brick oven at the heart of the restaurant complements a glass-enclosed show kitchen. A large private dining room with its own water-facing private patio accommodates groups of 40; a private chef’s table will 12 guest a different experience.
Every resort needs a sports brand. Allegiant’s own, the 250-seat Allegiant Stadium Sports Bar, at ground level of Iris Tower, will be open daily for lunch, dinner and late-night sports action.
Each seat in the house gets an unobstructed view of more than 60 HDTVs; a menu includes sweet spiced chicken fried chicken along with a wide selection of beers on tap and signature cocktails.
And right in the heart of the Main Resort Tower, next to Harbor Yards Food Hall, is the hangout that the resort calls “half cracked and a whole lot of fun.” Half Cracked Tiki Shack adds a new late-night Charlotte Harbor hotspot.
The 200-seat food, drink and live music venue infuses Gulf Coast food with Caribbean flavors, celebrating coastal cuisine with shrimp, steamed clams, baked oysters and grilled fish, along with burgers, ribs and chicken.
Sunseeker’s panoramic view of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor gives back to Port Charlotte its only sunset-facing waterfront dining — whether seen from Harbor Yards Food Hall or from the resort’s pool- and water-side restaurants.
For ground-level lunching beside Reflections Pool and Charlotte Harbor, the Waterside Table is a bright, airy venue where guests can sit at the bar or have lunch in an air conditioned restaurant with an elevated open-air view. The menu offers coastal poolside fare, shared plates, fish tacos, Angus burgers and salads.
For waterfront dinner, head upstairs to the second level, overlooking Reflections Pool and the harbor.
There, Blue Lime Modern Coastal Mexican, a contemporary, Baja-inspired 250-seat restaurant, respects classic Mexican cuisine while layering in bold modern flavors. The restaurant bar mixes a modern twist on Mexican cocktails, pours a collection of Mexican beers and has curated more than 100 tequilas.
Sunseeker also has several poolside bar-and-bites options for resort guests, from the exclusive, adults-only Level Blue 8th-floor rooftop pool’s 125 lounge chairs and dining area to the Reflections Pool, where guests can be served drinks and lunch at 350 lounge chairs, relax at the 75-seat Reflections Bar or head inside to Waterside Table.
Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor, 4949 Tamiami Trail, Charlotte Harbor, is now accepting reservations for stays beginning in October 2023. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.sunseekerresorts.com or call (833) 909-5700.