Greetings Sarasotans, snowbirds, tourists and future residents. Are you looking for a delicious bite to eat, or a recommendation for a cute, relatively new place to shop in town that’s not Publix? Well then, you’ve come to the right place.
From lemonade stands, to pop-up shops, to indoor bazaars to European bakeries, here are some fun and exciting places to check out this summer in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
Here are some of the Herald-Tribune’s latest stories about retail:
- Bradenton Riverwalk extension could spur commercial development: The extension of the city of Bradenton’s beloved Riverwalk park is bringing with it new commercial development of all shapes and sizes. That includes new businesses in the East Manatee neighborhood like Every Body Yoga and Oscura, a coffeehouse, eatery and live music venue that’s relocating to 802 Manatee Ave. E. from its former location closer to downtown.
- Tiger Woods’ PopStroke opens in Sarasota: This being Florida, there are tons of places you can golf if you’re in town. But how many of those places have been designed by Tiger Woods himself? One. Just one. It’s called PopStroke, and it’s a golf course, restaurant, rooftop bar, ice cream shop and generally fun hangout spot all in one. With two 18-hole courses – one more difficult than the other – Woods’ design caters to golfers who know what they’re doing, and to the thousands of us who do not. With a foosball table, cornhole boards, a children’s play area, cocktails and dishes like Korean beef tenderloin tacos, it’s like miniature golf, but without the kitsch, and you can find it at 195 University Town Center Drive.
- Rabbit Rabbit pop-up shop hops into Sarasota. But there’s a twist: Legend says saying “rabbit rabbit” on the first of the month when you wake up brings good luck, and a new Sarasota pop-up shop is looking to capitalize on that mythical fortune. Sarasota realtor Amanda Gilliland has poured some of her own money into a new pop-up boutique, called Rabbit Rabbit, which is open on the first of the month, every month, and online all month long. Located in an artist community at 2081 Princeton St., shoppers will find a one-of-a-kind place to browse home decor, candles and gifts in a monthly rotating collection. Just make sure to show up on the first.
- Sarasota European bakery and store has specialty finds: Even though it’s obscenely hot in Southwest Florida this time of year, the fried breaded cheese, goulash and chicken schnitzel regularly cooked in one restaurant’s kitchen is well worth the sweat. All of this and more can be found at Bohemian Delicious, a European bakery, deli, restaurant and supply store that opened in September at 999 Cattlemen Road. Here, you’ll find Czech baked goods such as kolache, a full deli and daily lunch specials like goulash and chicken schnitzel. You can even order a fondant cake made custom for any occasion by owner Renata Mikulas.
- Tidewell opens second Treasures thrift store in Sarasota: Shop while giving back at Tidewell Treasures, Sarasota’s newest thrift store at 5441 Palmer Crossing Circle. It’s the nonprofit’s second location of its resale store, and it sells clothing, furniture and home accessories. If you need some inspiration, they also have some stylized showrooms.
- Sarasota and Bradenton are two of the top ten cities in the US for pet lovers: Since Sarasota and Bradenton are two of the best cities in the US for pet lovers, you better believe that the area boasts plenty of places to take your furry friends. Venice’s Brohard Beach and Paw Park is one local favorite, and Bayfront Park, near Marina Jack, is a regular pet play place (you can even bring them to nearby O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill).
- Sarasota locals bringing craft lemonade concept to Fruitville Commons: As Florida enters its sweltering summer season, we could all use a fresh, cooling beverage. One of the newest places for an ice cold drink is Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonades in Sarasota’s Fruitville Commons, which will start making its craft, homemade lemonades, smoothies and acai bowls when it opens this summer. Until it opens, you can catch the company’s Lemon Bus slinging cold drinks at the Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch on Sundays.
- “One person makes a difference.” Shopping local in Sarasota on Small Business Saturday: One of Sarasota’s most eclectic shopping experience can be found in the so-called Limelight District, a business area north of Fruitville Road and down Lime Avenue through 12th Street. The area’s Bazaar at Apricot & Lime, located at 821 Apricot Ave., is an indoor/outdoor artisan space where local craftspeople sell food, jewelry, clothing, artwork and more. Come for the art of Karen Chandler, or for the selection at Eyecatcher Boutique, and stay for Hamlet’s Eatery, the market’s outdoor food truck with the slogan “to meat or not to meat.”
- Sarasota bookstore opens new downtown location: Sarasota has no shortage of great bookstores, from A. Parker’s Books on Main Street to Brant’s Used Books on North Lime Avenue. And one local favorite, Bookstore1Sarasota, recently moved into a bigger, brighter space at 117 S. Pineapple Ave. in The Mark. Owner Georgia Court had the opportunity to buy her own building, and she jumped at the chance. The store hosts events, including its PoetryLife series and community conversations with many local stakeholders. But it also has a wide selection of new books, puzzles, games and magazines.
- Sarasota real estate brokerage aims to offer a luxury experience – no matter the price range: Many visitors to Sarasota are so struck by its beauty that they start thinking, “hey, maybe I could live here.” And even if you can’t afford the million-dollar homes that are getting sold on a regular basis in town these days, who says you can’t still get that luxury experience? Check out Living Vogue, the pop art-inspired real estate brokerage downtown and at the Mall at University Town Center, for a taste of what the good life could look like.
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