Gecko’s Grill & Pub is locally owned and operated and continues to expand
Founded in 1992 by Mike Gowan and Mike Quillen Meet the Owners: Mike & Mike Mike Gowan was born at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, graduated from Sarasota High School and attended Manatee Junior College on a tennis scholarship before transferring to the University of Florida. After college, he returned to work and live in Sarasota. He has one son. Mike Quillen moved here to Sarasota as a young boy, graduated from Riverview High School, and also attended Manatee Junior College on a tennis scholarship before transferring to New College. He and his wife, Mary Quillen, have two daughters. The two Mikes have been friends since 1970. They have been business partners since 1992. Their motto: “You can’t buy friendship but you can find it at Gecko’s … eat, drink & be merry!”
The Gecko’s mission is to provide exceptional hospitality and fresh local fare with a gourmet twist, and a menu that is accessible to everyone. Gecko’s has long been a partner with Honeyside Farms, afamily-owned sustainable farm, which coordinates their crop plantings to supply our restaurants with their delicious produce. The GHG family of restaurants also has partnerships with family- owned Three Suns Ranch in Punta Gorda, which provides our restaurants with 100% grass fed Bison, 4F Gator Farms in Arcadia, and Dakin Dairy Farm in Parrish which supplies our dairy products at all six Gecko’s locations, and at our Better Burger concept, S’macks Burgers & Shakes, which joined the Gecko’s family in 2013. In 2015, GHG acquired the Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, a local gem situated on the coast of Sarasota Bay on Longboat Key. Mike & Mike’s Polished Casual and Better Burger concepts join a legendary local Bar & Package store and a vending business to complete the Gecko’s Hospitality Group family.
Family and community-oriented…They have a passion for what they do. Their ties to the community run deep, as does their commitment to making Gecko’s the most family friendly pubs in the area. When asked about their businesses, the Mike’s say, “The very foundation of Gecko’s was built on friendship, and that remains a central tenet of how we run our business … enjoying longtime friends and making new ones every day.”
Gecko’s has been creating economic stimulus through their restaurants and local sourcing since 1992. We currently employ over 375 Floridians. Committed To Community
In addition to a substantial community involvement and charitable giving program, where Gecko’s supports hundreds of not-for-profits, charitable events, and philanthropic community endeavors, Gecko’s has concentrated our community giving within the schools. Gecko’s has been a proud Business Partnerwith dozens of Sarasota and Manatee County schools for years; it is our privilege to give back to our community. Gecko’s is a key supporter of Sarasota’s Y Youth Shelter, which provides temporary housing and safe care for youth ages 10 to 18 who have run away, or who are experiencing family conflict, and OperationSecond Chance, which is committed to serving American wounded, injured and ill combat veterans, Sarasota County 4-H Foundation, UniDos Now, No Kid Hungry, and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Charitable Foundation to help law enforcement and their families who are experiencing extraordinary personal or family need, among dozensof other charities and philanthropies.
Honors and/or Awards
Family-owned and operated since 1992, Geckos has been consistently awarded and honored with “Best of The Best” awards, including Best Happy Hour, Best Sports Bar, Best New Restaurant, Best Burger, Best Fries, Best Wings, Best Ribs, Best Take Away, Best Dinner Under $10, Coldest Beer,Best Lunch, Taste of Sarasota People’s Choice Awards, Best Entrée, Best Appetizers … and more! Additionally,the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation honored Gecko’s by selecting it as a Florida Restaurant Neighbor Award Winner in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The Restaurant Neighbor awards recognize outstanding restaurants around the country and honor restaurants that go above and beyond incommunity service. Their aim is to inspire other restaurateurs to get or stay involved in their local communities. Biz941 Magazine awarded Gecko’s Hospitality Group with the inaugural Greater Good Award for the Hospitality industry, recognizing those businesses who act upon their belief that they have an obligation to help the community that helped them succeed; and they not only believe this—they embrace it.
Good Luck at Gecko’s – A gecko is considered a good luck lizard and, like our valued guests at Gecko’s, are welcomed as friends whenever they join us.