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Sarasota craft beer bar Mr. Beery's is sold

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One of the area's most prominent craft beer bars has been sold. Mark Tuchman, who opened Mr. Beery's in January 2010 at 2645 Mall Drive in the Gulf Gate entertainment district, sold the business on Dec. 11.

"I felt I spread myself too thin," Tuchman said when asked why he decided to sell the business.

Mr. Beery's. (Herald-Tribune archive / 2012)

Mr. Beery's. (Herald-Tribune archive / 2012)

Mr. Beery's was purchased by Michael Lawlor, who says he has lived in Sarasota about 20 years.

“My plans for Mr. Beery’s is really status quo," said Lawlor, who says he comes to bar ownership after more than 10 years in finance and investments.

"Over the last few years I’ve kind of had a change in my life," he said, and began looking for local businesses for sale. That's how he found that Tuchman was looking to sell Mr. Beery's, a bar where he's been a patron.

Lawlor said he has no plans to change anything at Mr. Beery's, including the staff.

"I love the bar exactly the way it is."

Mr. Beery's, a beer geek's beer bar, was part of the second wave of craft beer bars in Sarasota, after the Cock & Bull Pub started everything in the 1990s. Mr. Beery's, along with World of Beer (which opened in late 2009) and Growler's Pub (which opened later in 2010), were notable for being nonsmoking from opening day, a feature other beer bars soon offered.

Tuchman said he spent the recent days teaching Lawlor "the ropes of owning this business." Lawlor said he doesn't have a professional background in craft beer, instead coming into it as a fan.

"It's my drink of choice."

Lawlor says as owner he expects his role to be more of a host and manager, rather than working behind Mr. Beery's bar.

“I’m going to let the staff do what they do best," he said.

"I'm extremely excited," he said, calling the purchase "a new chapter in my life."

As for Tuchman? He said he won't have any future role at Mr. Beery's, but isn't leaving Sarasota or giving up his love of craft beer.

“Like any small-business owner, it has some bittersweet to it,” Tuchman said of the sale. He said it was “tough letting go, but at the same time I look forward to new opportunities.”

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Alan Shaw

Alan Shaw has been a fan of craft beer for more than a decade. He is partial to hops and has been an editor at the Herald-Tribune since 1997. He can be reached at (941) 361-4914, by email or mail at 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. Follow him at @alancshaw on Twitter and on Facebook.
Last modified: December 23, 2013
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