Improvements well underway at Lido Pavilion

New roof installed and shade structure anticipated to be up by June

Painters work on the Lido Pavilion. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Work has been progressing at the Lido Pavilion, with a new, long-lasting metal roof having been installed, City Manager Tom Barwin reported in his Feb. 7 newsletter.

“The Lido Pavilion is transforming before our eyes as we work to modernize and spruce it up with some much-needed TLC,” he wrote.

That new roof, he pointed out, is an “attractive blue hue …”

A team of professional painters also has been at work, a new concrete slab is in place for the patio, “and shaded outdoor seating is on order and soon will be installed,” Barwin noted.

Jerry Fogle, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, reported in a Feb. 6 email to City Commissioner Liz Alpert and Barwin that he hoped the shade structure would be in place by June.

In that Feb. 6 email Fogle also wrote, “I wanted to share this photo of the ‘new’ rich and modern color for the Lido Pavilion! Absolutely a great selection! You have to see it in person!”

Fogle added, “Thanks for the assistance with the color!”

“Looks really good!” Alpert responded that afternoon.

“Thanks Jerry & Commissioner Alpert,” Barwin replied. “Awesome. Am thinking on some additional aesthetic enhancements.”

A new roof has been installed at the Lido Pavilion, as shown in this December 2019 photo. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

When The Sarasota News Leader asked this week whether Alpert had had a hand in the selection of the Pavilion color, city Communications Specialist Jason Bartolone responded, “Sometimes with projects such as this one, models or color palettes will be available for commissioners and/or staff to check out and provide input if they like, but we couldn’t say with certainty if anyone in particular suggested the color chosen for the pavilion.”

The News Leader was unable to reach Alpert prior to its publication deadline for this issue.

The painters were expected to finish their work at the Pavilion by the end of this week, Fogle noted in his Feb. 6 email, “depending on the weather.”

In his Feb. 7 newsletter, Barwin added,“With a new irrigation system in ground and ready to go, Florida-friendly [landscaping] is being delivered and planted. Already, the area looks much improved!

“As promised,” he continued, the public restrooms are remaining open during the improvements. Having food trucks on site on a rotating basis providing food/beverage service for beachgoers is working well to fill the void while improvements are made to the concession stand grill area. The project is on schedule and expected to be completed in the spring for families to enjoy,” he concluded.

In his Feb. 6 email to Alpert and Barwin, Fogle provided an update on other facets of the project:

  • A new vent hood system has been installed in the kitchen.
  • Staff planned to hand over the keys to the new concessionaire on Feb. 7. “However, it may take a couple of months or so,” he continued, for the concessionaire to order equipment and complete the necessary permitting process. “We hope to have the concessions open by June,” Fogle added.
Workers with the Landscaping Division of the City of Sarasota Parks and Recreation Department put new plants in the ground around the Lido Pavilion. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Food truck vendors have been on-site since the concession closed on Sept. 30, so the improvements could get underway. Originally, staff hoped to see the new roof and vent hood installations completed by the end of 2019.

Fogle noted in his email that his department has continued to receive requests from food truck vendors interested in serving customers at the Pavilion.

Finally, Fogle pointed out that Hall Architects of Sarasota — which has a contract with the city to provide such services — is working on the design for the renovation of the restrooms. “We hope to finish the restrooms by December 2020, which will complete the Lido renovations,” Fogle wrote.

Located at 400 Ben Franklin Drive, the Lido Pavilion long had been in need of renovations, Barwin and Fogle both had explained to the City Commission. During a Nov. 20, 2017 board meeting, Fogle said the city had $1,250,000 set aside for the projects, thanks to a 2007 referendum.

City staff had held off on any improvements while a private group, Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners LLC, worked with staff on a plan for leasing the operation of the Pavilion and Lido Pool. However, public outcry over facets of that proposal — including expansion of the restaurant and the addition of a tiki bar — led to the company’s withdrawal from that process.