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Family-style fare to be featured at new Sun City Center restaurant

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South County families will soon have a new place to eat.

BY PENNY FLETCHER

SUN CITY CENTER - South County families will soon have a new place to eat.

What was once part of a private club that only Sun City Center residents could pay dues to join will be open to the public for the first time since it was built.

Called the Sun City Center Golf & Racquet Club for many years, the restaurant portion of the facilities has stood vacant since shortly after the former owner of the club, WCI Communities, filed for bankruptcy Aug. 4, 2008.

Now owned and operated by Club Link Inc., the golf course and pro shop have been  operating as the “Sandpiper.” The pool and tennis courts are closed, and no plans to reopen them have been announced. The golfing portion of the Sandpiper is still a private club, but unlike before, it is open to anyone, not just Sun City Center residents.

In late September the restaurant facilities were leased to Nick Egarhos and Steve Dendrinos after nearly a year of negotiations.

“We finally had an agreement everyone was satisfied with,” Egarhos said.

Egarhos and Dendrinos are the owners of the Alpha Pizza House in Apollo Beach. They have had that restaurant for 20 of its 28-year existence. 

“We have a lot of customers from Sun City Center who have over the years asked me to play golf there with them. Many of them have been encouraging me to open the restaurant and after examining everything, we decided to do it,” Egarhos said.

The restaurant has not been renamed, and as of Nov. 3 was still called “the restaurant at the Sandpiper.” It is located at 1702 S. Pebble Beach Blvd. in Sun City Center.

Egarhos and Dendrinos said there will be a snack bar and a restaurant, both with a full liquor bar.

The snack bar, called Bunkers, is targeted to open by the end of November and the restaurant is on track for opening by the end of this year, Egarhos said.

Still to do before opening the snack bar is finishing the cleanup and fixing the refrigeration.

The two men are working along with their hired crew, scraping and painting. Steve’s wife Becky is also deep into the work redecorating as she has done with the partners for many years.

Egarhos and Dendrinos have been together since 1983 when Dendrinos was with ABC Pizza and Egarhos was a manager for ABC.

“I sold my interest in ABC and we took over Alpha Pizza together,” Dendrinos said. 

If all goes according to plan, Bunkers will be open by the end of November with operating hours between from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. serving hot and cold sandwiches, soup, draft and canned beer. It will also have a full liquor bar.

The partners say they hope to open the restaurant facilities by the end of this year.

Neither Bunkers nor the restaurant will be a membership club any longer but instead,  family-style and open to the public.

“It won’t be snobby,” said Egarhos. “We want it to be affordable for families.”

The restaurant will be open 365 days a year from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and serve steaks, seafood and chicken as well as many other items.

After having been closed several years, the restaurant needs a major cleanup, repainting, and eight of the 10 different refrigeration units need repaired or replaced, Egarhos said.

“It’s expensive, but it will be worth it,” he added.

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