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The Geckos Grill & Pub Story

Mike Gowan and Mike Quillen The Gecko's Story
Founded in 1992 by Mike Gowan and Mike Quillen

Mike Gowan was born and raised in Sarasota; Mike Quillen has lived in the area since he was a young boy. Their ties to the community run deep, as does their commitment to making Gecko’s the most family friendly pubs in the area.

Read about them in Gulf Coast Business Review.
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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.

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 has been married to Mary Quillen for 16 years and they have two daughters, ages 20 and 13.

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', drink & be merry!"

They pride themselves on serving fresh, made-to-order food in a fun and comfortable environment with great prices and greater customer service.

Family and community-oriented...They have a passion for what they do.

“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,” they said.

Gecko's Grill & Pub Expands

Following the success of the original Gecko's "at the Landings" in 1992, the Mikes have continued the Gecko's good fortune and expanded to the following locations:

Twelve Oaks Plaza (I-75 & SR 70) in 1998
Braden River Plaza on SR 64 in 2002
Palmer Crossing (Clark Rd. & Honore Ave.) in 2006
Southside Village (Hillview St.) in 2010

They employ over 300 people in our community and serve on many committees and boards.

Committed To Community

Gecko's Grill & Pubs have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in monetary donations and food contributions to not-for-profit organizations, fundraisers & special community events. Some of their recent contributions include JDRF Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Miracle League of Manasota; Sammy's Run; Manatee PAL; Life of Riley; ALS "Lou Gehrig Disease"; American Cancer Society; Coastal Recovery Center's mental health counseling programs; All Faiths Food Bank; Forty Carrots Family Center; Sarasota Memorial Hospital Employee Partners in Caring (EPIC); Sarasota & Manatee County Schools; Toys for Tots and more!

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 Burger, Best Take Away, Coldest Beer, Best Lunch, Taste of Sarasota People’s Choice Awards, Best Entrée, Best Appetizers … and more!

Good Luck at Gecko's – A gecko is a good luck lizard. We’d like to thank longtime friend and local artist Michele Chilson for creating Gecko’s name & logo. Michele is available at

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