To consistently exceed guest expectations by providing memorable dining experiences in creative and distinctive restaurants
Founded in 1981 the Mainstreet group is situated in the heart of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a city known for its diverse culture and exciting atmosphere. The original owners, Dennis Serras, Dieter Boehm (now retired) and Michael C. Gibbons at that time had a combined experience in the restaurant industry in excess of fifty years. The partners joined in a common purpose of developing distinctive upscale restaurants that were recognized as the communities best. Featuring sites in downtown areas versus the typical urban chain sites we were able to stand out in our communities for our landmark locations, memorable facilities and exceptional dining experiences.
One of the first goals of the partners was to seek out an Executive Chef. Simon Pesusich joined the group in 1982 as Executive Chef and eventually partner. A native of Solina, Croatia, Yugoslavia, Chef Simon completed his formal training in hotels and restaurants in Pula, Yugoslavia in 1964 and has worked in Europe, Canada, and Los Angeles before settling in Michigan in the mid seventies. With the partners in place, we set out at attaining our goal of maintaining a fresh, interactive approach to the restaurant industry knowing that in the restaurant business, there is no such thing as resting on past success. It is all about the next experience.
Opened in 1975 by Dennis Serras, The Real Seafood Company specializes in fresh seafood from the harbors of Boston, Chesapeake Bay, and George's Bank. Selections are procured by traditional "watermen" and selected by standards set centuries ago. A closely-knit, mutually accountable relationship has been forged between our company and two of the nation's top seafood purveyors - we inspect their New England facilities and they routinely examine our kitchen - to assure our guests of the highest standards of quality and freshness. Our seafood is as close to the New England waters as your taste can travel. Located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, the Real Seafood Co. is the locals' favorite for seafood.
In April of 1985, Mainstreet Ventures headed outside of Michigan to launch Tidewater Grill in Charleston, West Virginia. Offering a wide variety of fresh fish, pastas, sandwiches, and salads,Tidewater Grill takes great care in selecting only the freshest products, expertly prepared for every meal. Tidewater Grill was recently remodeled, bringing a refreshingly contemporary atmosphere to the city's downtown at the Town Center Mall.
Gratzi opened in December of 1987 as an urban, upscale, contemporary Italian restaurant featuring regional Italian food and wine rooted primarily in the northern provincial tradition. Gratzi's physical structure enjoys a distinguished local history as the former Orpheum Theater, which screened the most popular movies of the day in the 1930s. This dramatic history is preserved today in the restaurant's elegant decor and ambience. Seated above Gratzi's bar, a grand sculpture of Orpheus himself, the great poet and musician, overlooks the dining room guests, while a beautifully painted Renaissance-style mural depicting an ancient bacchanal reinforces the indulgent and purely pleasurable atmosphere.
Just down the block from Gratzi, the former Quality Bar was remodeled and reopened in September of 1991 as Palio, a rustic, country Italian restaurant featuring authentic Tuscan-style dishes, pastas, and grilled items. Somewhat more casual than their upscale neighbor across the street, Palio was named for the famous horse race that runs yearly through Siena, Italy. A record is even kept of the race's annual winners on a mural along the back dining room wall. During the summer months, Palio boasts Ann Arbor's largest and most popular outdoor gathering spot on their rooftop Dizko del Palio, which overlooks the city's downtown. Fully equipped with it's own "cucina" (kitchen), Dizko del Palio offers a completely unique menu from Palio downstairs, featuring Al Fresco dining.
Continuing with the tradition of true Italian country cooking, Ciao! Ristorante was opened in January of 1992 in Sylvania, in northwest Ohio. Naming our restaurant Ciao!, the friendly Italian greeting used to indicate both "hello" and "goodbye," was our way of inviting guests to join us time and again for authentic Italian cuisine.
December of 1998 saw the opening of The Chop House, located next door to Gratzi in Ann Arbor. This beautiful restaurant is richly decorated with an array of exquisite artwork and ornate gas lamps that emit a warm, natural glow throughout the dining room. The Chop House features the finest midwestern grain-fed USDA prime beef and exceptional wines in a refined, elegant setting.
A second Real Seafood Company opened in December of 1999 at "The Docks" on the Maumee River at International Park in downtown Toledo, Ohio. The largest of all Mainstreet Ventures restaurants to date, this property boasts a sizable raw bar, two full kitchens, abundant intimate seating, a huge glass fireplace surrounded by seating on all sides, a baby grand piano, and an outdoor patio providing the best riverfront view in town. A massive sculpture of a prehistoric fish spans an entire wall from front to back while nautical-themed light fixtures dangle overhead. An altogether spectacular experience from the breath-taking atmosphere to the outstanding food, the Real Seafood Company is quite simply seafood as it should be!
Zia's quickly followed in June 2000, right next door to Real Seafood Company on "The Docks." Serving generous pasta dishes, home-style Italian meats, chicken, fish, and large pizzas that can be delivered to your boat; Zia's is where we make you feel like family! Zia's has a fun and festive atmosphere, featuring a stone water fountain in the main dining room and a side room decorated to feel like a cozy, personal library, garlic strands and Chianti bottles hanging from the ceiling, and even a clothes line strung up in the window, all designed to provide the sensation of being transported to a small family village in Italy.
Our second Chop House restaurant opened in December of 2001 in the Charleston Town Center Mall, also the location of Tidewater Grill. The Chop House immediately garnered rave reviews: "If I could give it more stars, I would. From the warm decor, incomparable service and exquisite cuisine, dinner at Charleston's new Chop House is an experience not to be missed." - Steven Keith, The Charleston Daily Mail. The public response in Charleston regarding the Chop House was tremendous and contributed to one of our most successful restaurant openings ever. Similar in menu and decor to its Ann Arbor namesake, The Chop House in Charleston asserts its own distinctive style with a special Chef's Table in a cozy alcove that's just perfect for private dinner parties.
Blue Pointe Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill, opened in November 2003. Blue Pointe specializes in the freshest seafood from Boston, the Pacific Coast, the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. The menu, which is printed weekly, features not only the freshest seafood, oysters and raw bar available but also offers exceptional salads, steaks and chops, burgers, sandwiches and appetizers. Located in The Bell Tower Shops, in Fort Myers, Florida Blue Pointe has a contemporary atmosphere with high top tables and booths and an abundance of outdoor seating in a garden like setting.
2004 was a big year for Mainstreet Ventures, we opened three new restaurants!
Our third Chop House restaurant opened in April of 2004 in downtown Grand Rapids Michigan, across the street from the Amway Grand. The Chop House in Grand Rapids, features all of the stars of the American Chop House tradition along with some unique favorites, including hand crafted desserts created daily. June 2004 brought the opening of Real Seafood Company in Naples, our second restaurant in Florida. It is a contemporary seafood restaurant featuring an open and elegant decor, a large outdoor seating area and full bar/lounge. The menu features Daily Fresh Catches along with a teaming variety of fresh seafood entrees, including Broiled Maine Scallops, Chesapeake Bay Crab and Lobster Cakes, Cajun Seared Yellowfin Tuna, Paella Valenciana, Live Maine Lobster, Filet Mignon, Steak, Veal and much more. And in April 2005, we launched another new concept, Carson's American Bistro in Ann Arbor Michigan. Carson's in Ann Arbor features American cuisine in a comfortable neighborhood atmosphere with indoor and outdoor fireplaces.
In May 2009, we ventured to another new state and opened The Chop House at the Annapolis Towne Centre in Annapolis, Maryland. With this elegantly designed restaurants is impressive in every way and we have again been met with rave reviews in the press.
In February of 2010, Mainstreet Ventures took another step outside of the box by opening another completely new concept, EO Burgers at The Greene in Beavercreek, Ohio. Turning the quickserve burger concept on it's head, EO (short for extraordinary) serves burgers made from USDA Prime and Kobe beef, offers, offers a full service bar, and makes mikshakes from fresh frozen custard. People have been lined up out the door to get to get their hands on the best burger around.