THE DEVYN
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The Devyn is Open for Parties and Events

The owners behind Bee Ridge Florist and All Event Rental in Sarasota plan to open a new event hall in the former Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse and Livingston's Billiards at 7113 S. Tamiami Trail.

The Devyn will have three ballroom spaces, ranging in size from accommodating 425 people to 60 people, inside the 20,000- square-foot building.

The business, which will have hardwood floors and mahogany furnishings, is scheduled to open in June, said Jennifer Mateo, events and marketing coordinator for The Devyn.

The venue will compete with Michael's on East, a restaurant and wine cellar known for its ballroom space, also on Tamiami Trail, and The Francis, a rental venue operating in downtown Sarasota. The Francis is connected to Louie's Modern restaurant, which is owned by the partners behind Libby's Café and Bar.

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The Devyn to offer new venue option

White paint stains on Carl Wise’s shorts and sweat on his forehead, prizes from a day of hard labor, make him look like just another one of the guys on the job. Yet Wise has an unusual role in this project, a $4 million renovation of a former steakhouse, pool hall and nightclub in Sarasota. He not only lays tile, tightens doorknobs and puts in some 18-hour days. He’s also the boss of the operation, The Devyn, a multi-room event venue that can host parties and events for up to 1,000 people. Wise, who also owns Bee Ridge Florist and All Event Rental & Design, both in Sarasota, has been at The Devyn every day since May.

“I know exactly how things need to be,” says Wise, who isn’t related to area commercial real estate broker Carl Wise. “Plus, people work harder and move faster when they see the boss out there killing himself.”

Wise’s sweat equity, combined with his real equity, represents one of the more ambitious hospitality commercial real estate conversion projects in several years in Sarasota-Bradenton. The goal, Marketing and Event Manager Jennifer Matteo says, is to turn the 18,000-square-foot complex on U.S. 41 near Siesta Key, formerly Sam Seltzer’s Steakhouse and Livingston’s Billiards, into a top-tier event spot. Matteo plans to target everything from weddings to corporate events. Says Matteo: “We want to make it a destination.”

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