Lakeside Bites opens in The Yard in Downtown Wellen

VENICE, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2023) – Lakeside Bites, the newest addition to The Yard in Downtown Wellen, is dishing up fresh-caught Florida seafood, paninis, rice bowls and super casual fare. Located in one of The Yard’s three retrofitted shipping containers, the eatery recently opened and offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

“We’re pleased to welcome Lakeside Bites as another must-try restaurant in Downtown Wellen’s dining scene,” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing at Wellen Park. “It nicely complements the waterfront vibe patrons love about The Yard.”

Lakeside Bites is the latest Downtown Wellen venture for Jamie Albano and Ryan Lane, the proprietors of the adjacent Kind Vibes Outfitters. 

“The menu highlights local fresh ingredients and affordable prices,” said Albano. “We plan to have local seafood nights and stay open late for cornhole nights, concerts and events. We have a great chef from Baltimore, Chef Hans Baumgartel, who has helped us build a really cool concept in Downtown Wellen.”

As an ultra-casual eatery with food served counter-style, Lakeside Bites will offer a variety of dishes to enjoy in The Yard’s outdoor dining area or while wandering the pedestrian-friendly downtown. The menu includes gator and chicken bites, veggie fried rice bowls, loaded tots, fries and an array of paninis – from Cuban and chicken parmesan to peanut butter, Nutella and marshmallow.

Just-caught blue crab, fish and seafood are courtesy of the local commercial captains Albano has met since opening a bait shop in Kind Vibes Outfitters.

“It’s super fresh. I’m a native Floridian and there’s only one way to do seafood – fresh,” he said.

The restaurant expands on Kind Vibes’ popularity as a spot to grab a cold Florida craft brew, a rod and reel and enjoy sunsets and fishing on Downtown Wellen’s 80-acre Grand Lake. It’s also a natural fit for Albano, who previously owned Central Avenue Oyster Bar in St. Petersburg. Kind Vibes Outfitters also offers on-site kayak, paddleboard, bicycle and e-bike rentals.

Lakeside Bites joins Claw & Co. and Atlanta Braves-affiliated Pop Dawgs in The Yard, a playful family-friendly environment for casual outdoor dining, games and activities.


About Downtown Wellen

Downtown Wellen is the region’s newest social and gathering spot, offering restaurants, boutiques, beauty services, and medical and professional offices. The downtown’s thoughtfully designed spaces create unique outdoor experiences – from intimate parks, a natural playground and a living room shaded by a decades-old relocated live oak tree to larger gathering spaces like the Great Lawn for community festivals, markets, celebrations and events, and the lakefront fountain and splashpad. Solis Hall features an outdoor stage, a lakefront patio and an easy flow from inside spaces to neighboring alfresco areas.

The pedestrian-friendly downtown emphasizes heartfelt connections to community and nature and celebrates a waterfront vibe with the 80-acre Grand Lake providing a scenic backdrop and opportunities for fishing and paddle sports. Visitors can enjoy time on the water and along downtown’s 3-mile lakefront trail with on-site bicycle, e-bike, kayak and paddleboard rentals at Kind Vibes Outfitters.

Located at 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice, Downtown Wellen can be accessed directly from Preto Boulevard and U.S. 41, just west of South River Road. A future downtown entry directly from U.S. 41 and Wellen Park Boulevard is currently under construction.

Learn more about Downtown Wellen and access a complete list of businesses at


 About Wellen Park

Consistently ranked among the U.S.’s top-selling communities annually by prominent real estate consulting firms RCLCO and John Burns, Wellen Park offers a mix of single-family and multifamily residential, commercial and recreational options. The community currently has approximately 9,500 residents, and at full buildout will have more than 50,000 residents and 22,500 homes within its three distinct districts: West Villages, Downtown Wellen and Playmore.

Wellen Park’s expanding residential choices include new-construction single-family homes in picturesque neighborhoods, a dynamic new lifestyle concept for active adults 55+, paired and attached villas, coach homes and condominiums for a low-maintenance lifestyle.

Rental options in Wellen Park range from one- to three-bedroom luxury apartments and single-family homes to an apartment community for adults 55 and older, and world-class independent, assisted living and memory care.

Wellen Park is close to top-ranked Gulf of Mexico beaches and the area’s many attractions.

To learn more about living at Wellen Park, call 941-960-7805, go to or visit the Welcome Center at 12275 Mercado Drive in Venice, Fla. The Welcome Center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Jennifer Hamilton, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, [email protected]

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