Shark Bites Deli owners Jennifer and Rick Searle have created a tropical theme, with the interior of their restaurant decorated in the blue of the Gulf of Mexico.

Walk in and be immersed in music by the Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffett at 1740 E. Venice Ave. Unit 9, in the old Subway location, next to the American Legion.

To tie in with Venice, they chose shark’s teeth imagery while renovating throughout to create a fun place for families.

Each of the sandwiches they make is named after a type of shark or a local beach.

Serving lunch and dinner, they offer a broad spectrum of freshly made salads and sandwiches, with starters including smoked salmon dip and deluxe nachos.

Made-to-order salads include a steak salad with creamy avocado dressing and a chopped chicken Caesar.

Sandwiches include the Megalodon, loaded with meats, cheeses and veggies; the Great White, with turkey breast; and a host of others.

Paninis include the Caspersen Cuban and Venice Beach, with vegetarian dishes and a selection of sides.

“We want people to realizing we don’t just sandwiches,” Jennifer said. “We make many deserts, including my own specialty chocolate cake, cookies and pies.”

There’s seating for 30 at high-tops and regular tables; a lounge area with games at the tables including checkers and brain teasers; and a sofa with a TV showing a shark documentary.

The Shark Zone is the kids play area, offering a small-shark’s menu. With each adult meal a child eats free.

They serve beer, wine, coffees, iced tea and soft drinks. Take-out is available and soon they will start deliveries for businesses, clubs and organizations. Ordering online and scheduling delivery online are coming soon as well.

The Searles are in the deli all the time. They have four part-timers and are hiring.

They owned an electrical contracting business for 15 years in Ellensburg, Washington, and vacation homes in Florida. In September, they acquired the former Subway to open the deli in January.

She has experience in catering, and they chose to transfer their business acumen to the new deli, knowing it would be a fun, new adventure.

Shark Bites Deli is open Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Call 941-244-2863.


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