A craft beer loving guy from the Midwest moves his football-loving foodie family to Sarasota. The man is Brett Decklever.  Loving the warmer weather Brett sets out Sundays during football season to survey restaurants in Sarasota excited about what he would discover. To his dismay, he finds his exploration disappointing. So Decklever does the only thing he can. . . he opens a warm and friendly, family-oriented craft beer gastropub in a spot designed around watching the game; pouring his craft beer, sports-loving soul into every corner he creates Oak & Stone.

Passionate about the experience, Brett's Oak & Stone combines an open kitchen, comfortable dining room, full bar, and an outside patio. During my visit, the bar was my first stop, where the beverage selection is incredible. Brett offers craft beers from 56 DIY self-serve taps where it's like Christmas every day sampling some of the country's best brews, paying by the ounce. I appreciated tapping off a couple ounces and sampling before going all in on a full glass! 

For distilled spirits lovers, Oak & Stone offers bourbon flights. Compare and contrast 24 whiskeys including the finest spirits from a single barrel, small batch and more. I was pleased to see they serve highly sought spirits, many different from what you normally see. My flight included Bookers and the newly discovered Duke Bourbon, Russell’s Reserve; I finished my flight with Redemption Rye. The bourbon list was so exciting I pre-planned a return flight, looking forward to my next visit to this tasty craft gastropub in Sarasota.

Let's talk food!  One of the more unique restaurants in Sarasota Oak & Stone invites you to order from an extensive menu of tavern favorites like BBQ sliders, wings, entrée salads, Philly cheesesteaks and all types of burgers. If you’re looking for some healthier fare, try a quinoa or sesame kale bowl. If you want something special, go for an artisan wood-fired pizza.


Photo - Oak & Stone Facebook

Their house-made pizza dough rises from a 36-hour fermentation process using triple-filtered water. That 36-hour process enables the yeast to rise slowly and produce great flavor with an exceptional crust. This forms the base for a classic, build-your-own or specialty pie like the Sunburnt Hawaiian. Combining charred pineapple and grilled ham with a cheddar cheese blend and pickled jalapenos in one bite you get the right combination of sweet, creamy and savory flavors plus a little heat. More than 36 hours to make it. . . less than one hour to devour it! SMH. So good.    

The attention to detail is no accident at Oak & Stone. Management and crew embody it's culture and brand and is dedicated to the guest experience. They've learned the best way to ensure every guest is satisfied is to listen to their customers.  

"It's pretty simple, actually," says Anthony Liakakos, a member of the management team. "Feedback on all levels is really important to us.  We listen to our customers and, just as important, we listen to our team. The honest feedback helps us to constantly improve the guest experience.  And it helps that we have a great team with great minds who are all on the same page. We love great feedback, but if someone has a concern about something, we address it and make it right."

Decklever and the staff at Oak & Stone get it right. They've created the perfect place for a casual dinner or fun date night and a terrific tavern for watching the big game or to relax as you shoot some pool.

Swiftly growing through word of mouth you can enjoy a loyalty program for frequent guests and hosted seasonal events like Oaktoberfest.  This Sarasota restaurant has it all for your sports fan, foodie, beer and whiskey aficionado and anyone looking to have fun. It’s located in University Park, where their phone number is 941.225.4590.  For more great places to dine, drink and special events register on 941area.com and connect to your area in a new way! Find more Sarasota bars and restaurants in Sarasota using your free guide to everything Sarasota! Cover photo courtesy of Henry Fournier on Unsplash