Destination Dining: Behind the Design of the New Kiltie Grille

Destination Dining: Behind the Design of the New Kiltie Grille

“It’s more than a dining venue: It’s a destination.” That was the vision The Glenridge set out for the new and reimagined Kiltie Grille … and it shows – in a combination of best-in-class cuisine and creative design that members will notice from the moment they arrive.

“When you go out for drinks or head downtown for dinner with friends, it’s all about the experience – and that lively, social atmosphere was exactly what we wanted to capture at the Kiltie Grille,” says Kelley Hoffman, a senior partner with architecture firm RDG Planning & Design. “It’s a match for any of Sarasota’s top restaurants and attractions … and it just happens to be right here on campus.”

Featuring a bar, exhibition kitchen, renovated interiors and a fully reimagined menu, the Kiltie Grille offers a flavorful array of internationally inspired “gastropub” dishes and desserts – including fresh smoked and rotisserie meats, a wide selection of cocktails and wines, and ice cream on handmade cones.

From the outset, the design team spared no effort to ensure the new restaurant’s surroundings were just as impressive as the cuisine on the plate. The Glenridge partnered with RDG to create a space that was distinctive, engaging and lively – evoking an atmosphere of good spirits and warmth.

As the name suggests, the Kiltie Grille was first envisioned as a playful tribute to the Scottish roots of some of The Glenridge’s early members. When Hoffman and her colleagues began developing a design concept, they looked for ways to express the restaurant’s unique charm and heritage through an upscale, modern lens.

“It was a fun juxtaposition to take old Scottish designs – tartans, pub-style detailing, cozy corners – and give them a Sarasota twist,” says Hoffman. “At the Kiltie Grille, you’ll see all those details paired with lighter coastal colors and vibrant, airy spaces that keep it connected to the wider Florida aesthetic.”

Another challenge was creating a space that bridged that gap between “dining” and “socializing,” with a spacious flow and flexible seating that could accommodate a variety of preferences.

“There’s a niche for everyone, and that’s by design,” says Hoffman. “There’s a bar area with TVs where members can drop by for a drink, watch the game, and strike up a conversation with someone new – but we also have brightly lit tables by the windows and more private booths, as well as outdoor seating.”

But the Kiltie Grille wasn’t just designed for members: It was also influenced by them. RDG worked closely with the member-led Art and Décor Committee, sharing concepts and implementing feedback from the community.

“Down to the placement of furniture and up to the overarching vision, we relied on the members to help us create a venue that reflected what they wanted to see in their community,” says Hoffman. “That level of engagement really is unique to The Glenridge – and it shows in the results.”

And as we continue to raise the bar for art, culture and cuisine, there’s no better time to pay us a visit. Find out how you can flourish in a community that’s different by design. Send us a message or give our Life Planning Team a call at 941-552-5369 to schedule your personal tour.

For more information about what life is like at The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch in beautiful Sarasota – named the best place in the U.S. to retire – visit our other blog posts or find us on Facebook.