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Shopping in Sarasota
Sunday, February 20, 2011Sarasota ShoppingLocated just east of the Stickney Point Bridge on the Sarasota mainland, the Boatyard Village is a quaint collection of shops anchored by a waterfront restaurant, perched on a boardwalk overlooking a small marina, across from a neighborhood of townhouses.The Boatyard Restaurant (which replaced Coasters) reopened in June, and several watersport businesses -- such as parasailing, surfing, and fractional boat club -- have recently brought new life to the complex.There's also a classy hair salon, a casual cafe, boutique, kids' equipment rentals, real estate office, and other new ventures to come that are livening up the boardwalk.As of three weeks ago, courtesy of Michael Broy's Broy Art, you can enjoy a weekly art walk along the boardwalk. It takes place on Tuesday afternoons, from 12 noon to 5PM, and features the work of local fine artists and artisans. The setting is quite picturesque, and the exhibitors and shopkeepers all friendly and welcoming.tags: sarasota shopping, shopping in sarasota, shopping in sarasota fl, sarasota fl, boatyard village shops
Monday, January 25, 2011Sarasota ShoppingAnother surprise in downtown Sarasota this Season is the opening of a new Eileen Fisher clothing store on the corner of Main Street and Lemon Avenue. In fact, the entire building in which the shop is located is new, built over the summer, and offering several other retail spaces for rent.I take this as a sign of confidence in Sarasota's viability as a retail shopping destination, despite continued strains in the local economy. Part of the long-planned, long-delayed, Pineapple Square downtown mall, developed by local entrepreneur John Simon, the Eileen Fisher store joins Hyde Park Steak House, Sur L'Table, Pastry Arts and Brooks Brothers as early place-holders for the larger complex which will apparently go forward as soon as financing becomes available.tags: sarasota shopping, shopping in sarasota, shopping in sarasota fl, sarasota fl, downtown sarasota
Thursday, December 30, 2010Sarasota ShoppingNow in its second year, the Phillippi Farmhouse Market , located on the grounds of the Phillippi Estate on Tamiami Trail at the intersection of Constitution Boulevard, showcases 50 vendors selling local produce--including organics, flowers, plants, prepared foods, and artisan crafts handmade by local artists.Open every Wednesday from 9AM to 2PM, November through April, the Phillippi Farmhouse Market features easy, free parking; live music by local performers; picnic tables and rest rooms; family friendly atmosphere and cordial vendors; and it's a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch, to take a break from your busy day.The market is managed through a partnership of Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Friends of Phillippi Estate Park, and Sarasota County Extension. For more info, go to farmhousemarket.org.tags: sarasota shopping, shopping in sarasota, shopping in sarasota fl, sarasota fl, sarasota farmers markets
Monday, October 18, 2010Sarasota ShoppingJust got back to town yesterday after lots of summer travels and was pleased to discover a brand new Panera Bread Cafe in the Sweet Bay shopping center on Tamiami Trail at Bahia Vista Street. What a terrific addition to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Center neighborhood. The new Panera replaces the Bennigan's that closed last season. Now, instead of having to drive to Gulf Gate or Cattleman, you can enjoy free wi-fi, reasonably priced fresh menu items from soups to sandwiches, salads, and baked goods, and a fresh, upbeat atmosphere, with nice expanses of window to look at the passing scene, close to downtown Sarasota.There's also a new takeout Chinese restaurant on Bahia Vista Street, across from Panera, as well as Tijuana Flats at Tamiami Trail and Hawthorne Street, across from the hospital, making this a real go-to location for well-priced, tasty food of all kinds.Stay tuned for more updates, as Season is starting early here in Sarasota, and I'll be posting the latest changes as I find them.tags: sarasota shopping, shopping in sarasota, shopping in sarasota fl, sarasota fl, southside village, downtown sarasota
Tuesday, May 4, 2010Sarasota ShoppingKnown more by locals as " Hillview Street", Southside Village is a shopping, dining, and Sarasota nightlife district located at the intersection of Osprey Avenue and Hillview Street, behind Sarasota Memorial Hospital just west of Tamiami Trail. During the day, Southside Village is a popular lunch spot for hospital staff, tourists, and locals driving through. At night, it's a magnet for socializing, with dining, dancing, and drinking choices for various tastes.Morton's Market, on Osprey Avenue, is a cornucopia of gourmet treats, from fresh-made hot foods, deli, salads, and soups to grocery items, baked goods, meats and cheeses. Across from Morton's, Libby's restaurant is a destination for lunch and dinner, with lots of outdoor tables along Osprey, perfect for seeing and being seen. Sam Snead's restaurant, on the corner of Hillview and Osprey, has indoor and outdoor seating.On Hillview Street, Pacific Rim has a loyal following, with its menu of pan-Asian specialties. Closer to Tamiami Trail, on Hillview Street, Gateway to India transports you to the exotic east, with its colorful decor and delish menu of Indian cuisine. A few doors down, Chutney's, celebrating 22 years in this location, competes with Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.There are several boutiques on Osprey Avenue. You can accessorize the outfits you find there with jewelry from Silver Obsession, on Hillview Street near Pacific Rim. Also on Hillview Street, Willow 506 offers cutting-edge fashions. Next door is Pickles & Ponytails, a boutique for the hip and trendy baby, little girl, and boy.If you're a knitter or needlepointer, you'll find a store full of colorful yarns and supplies at Eye of the Needle on Osprey Avenue, a few doors north of Sam Snead's.In addition to the shops and restaurants,Southside Village is a convenient location to get your hair styled at one of several salons on Hillview Street.At night, Hillview Street gets lively with rock and blues music floating out the door of the 5 O'Clock Club. Other nightspots come and go, but the 5 O' provides the backbone of live music and dancing in Southside Village. On Monday nights, Al Fuller's Blues Jam draws talented musicians from all over town, who take the stage to show off their chops. You can arrive in casual or fancy dress to dance in front of the band. Smoking is allowed, and the volume is loud, so get there early and bring ear plugs if you're sensitive. Nevertheless, it's fun to join in the fun.tags: sarasota shopping, shopping in sarasota, shopping in sarasota fl, sarasota fl, southside village,hillview street
Monday, April 26, 2010Sarasota ShoppingTechnically part of downtown Sarasota, but separated from the Main Street area by Ringling Boulevard, Burns Square is a quaint, stylish shopping and dining district worth exploring.Because Burns Square is hidden from view when you're driving along Tamiami Trail and downtown, you have to know where to find it. Its cozy location has taken a heavy toll on the retail life of Burns Square, as many storefronts have been vacated by businesses that couldn't sustain the lack of foot traffic. Nevertheless, some new ones have opened or relocated, taking advantage of better rental rates during the recession.But don't take my word for it. Look at this delightful, dancey tour of Burns Square by the Elf and local store owners:OK, now let's head over to Burns Square and see what you'll find: Coming south from downtown, take Pineapple Avenue, crossing Ringling Boulevard, and you'll be at the northern end of Burns Square. On the left, notice Panini Press, a new entry to the lunch and dinner restaurants, with a Mediterranean sort of casual menu. On the right, Awesome Orchids is a beautifully merchandised gift shop crammed with locally grown orchids, jars of condiments and gourmet treats, horticultural art, some jewelry, furniture and lighting. (Awesome Orchids also has a booth at the Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.)Galileo's Ristorante is a destination for the romantic evening dinner crowd. It's midway down Pineapple Avenue. Scott James Salon will keep you coiffed for all your social events, with their convenient location in the yellow building on the left side of Pineapple Avenue.If you're coming to Burns Square from south of downtown on Orange Avenue, cross Mound Street (Tamiami Trail), and you'll come upon a "V" where Orange Avenue and Pineapple Avenue intersect at Citrus Cafe. There's a fountain in front of the cafe, and it's housed in an historic "Herald Square" apartment building with stores on the ground floor.Citrus Cafe is an ideal spot to meet friends for lunch, indoors or outside next to the fountain. Panini Press, on Pineapple near Ringling Boulevard, is a new restaurant this season, and offers lunch and dinner items.In the Herald Square building, Jack Vinales 20th Century Classics is a treasure trove of vintage American modern design, with furniture, lighting, jewelry, and other interior decor accessories. Clothesline is a custom screen printing shop that creates arty t-shirts with designs by local creative types, of which Sarasota boasts a lot.Across from Citrus Cafe, L Boutique is a department store for women, girls, and boys, with clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories from casual to formal. This is a real upscale quality lifestyle shopping experience, not your regular department store. The service is very personal and attentive.Paris Couture and L'Atelier F bring some ooh la la to Burns Square, with their collections of ultra-stylish women's clothing.Parkland Art Gallery, which opened this winter season, is a fine-art quality contemporary American craft gallery with imaginative, well-executed, appealing pottery, jewelry, wall art, sculpture, and other gift items created by artists from Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Sarasota.Next door, when you enter Pineapple Bay Trading Company, you're transported to an exotic world of jewelry, fashion accessories and spiritual objects from all over the world, including Tibetan singing bowls and Buddha statuary.On Saturdays, look for white tents set up on a private parking lot on Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square. There you'll see the Artists Market, where local craftspeople sell their wares, which include jewelry, artful pillowcases and baby blankets, t-shirts with peace logos, and other clever creations.Parallel to Pineapple Avenue, to the west, is Burns Court, home of Burns Court Cinema, which shows art films in its can't-miss-it purple building. Next door is 501 Fish Camp, a new restaurant this season. In the same little corner of the street is a new art gallery with paintings, sculpture and jewelry on display.I-Optics is a popular source for eyeglasses that are as fashionable as they are functional.On Orange Avenue, one block east of Pineapple Avenue, The Woman's Exchange is a well-organized bazaar of consigned furniture, rugs, dishes, glassware, lighting, and miscellany, with all the sales going to local charities that help women.Besides enjoying the various shops and restaurants, notice how relaxed and happy you feel when exploring Burns Square. It's an island of historic and contemporary charm, and the local business owners will really appreciate the time you take to discover what they offer.tags: sarasota shopping, shopping in sarasota, shopping in sarasota fl, sarasota fl, downtown sarasota, burns square
Tuesday, April 13, 2010Sarasota Shopping
New to the Sarasota shopping scene this Season is the Phillippi Farmhouse Market, an outdoor farmers market that takes place every Wednesday from 12noon until dusk, into May.
Located on the grounds of the Phillippi Estate on S. Tamiami Trail at the corner of Constitution Boulevard, the Phillippi Farmhouse Market offers a full compliment of produce, seafood, dairy, baked goods, flowers, herbs and plants, delicious and inexpensive prepared foods such as crepes, soups, fish tacos, pulled pork, desserts, some handcrafts, and gardening advice and displays.
The market has also become a sort of weekly live music festival, as you can hear a different musical act perform every hour from 12noon to 5PM at the music booth run by Marco Cicerone of Natural Vibes, who also entertains with his upbeat steel drum and vocals.
Acoustic Harmony (Ray Paladino & Susan James) performance at Phillippi Farmhouse Market in Sarasota
The Phillippi Farmhouse Market was opened in January 2010 by the Sarasota County Agricultural Extension, and the profits go towards restoration of the historic Phillippi Farmhouse on the site. There's plenty of free parking, rest room facilities, picnic tables and benches.
In contrast to the other farmers markets in Sarasota--the Downtown Farmers Market and the Siesta Key Farmers Market--the Phillippi Farmhouse Market is an afternoon event, so you can stop by during your lunch hour, after you pick up the kids from school, or after work. If you have time, it's a great place to relax and hang out for awhile, enjoy the music, watch the people and dogs, get a snack, and sun yourself.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Nothing adds a smile to your day like a "Bouncy". European Focus on S. State Street in downtown Sarasota has an extensive selection, ranging from animal to kid themes.
These adorable wood-and-fabric dolls are crafted in the Czech Republic and hang by a wooden ring that's attached to the doll by a slinky-type coiled spring. Hang it from a hook on the ceiling or a door, and watch it dance.
You can also sit your Bouncy on the edge of a table, since the bottom of each one has a flat surface. They're only $16.95 for one, and if you buy two, the second one is half price. That's a small price to pay for lots of laughs.
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Monday, March 29, 2010
Downtown Sarasota FL offers several shopping streets, each one with its own character.
There's a lot to discover at Whole Foods Market Centre on First Street, which is a mixed-use complex with stores and restaurants on the ground floor and condominium apartments above.At the end of the block is Whole Foods Market, with convenient parking on ground level across from the entrance.
You can select tasty items from the hot, cold, and soup bars inside and enjoy eating and people-watching from the cafe tables located out front.
Main Street is a multi-blockSarasota shopping district that runs from the Sarasota Bayfront Park to the west,
to Rte 301 (Washington Blvd) to the east. Here's a view looking west towards Marina Jack restaurant and the entrance to Bayfront Park.
The blocks in the immediate downtown area are lined on both sides with local shops and international restaurants.Sarasotais an outdoor cafe town, from the ever-popular Mattison's City Grille at the corner of Main and Lemon,
to Pastry Arts diagonally across Main, to Epicure at the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue.
Lemon Avenue is the site of the weekly Downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays from 7AM to 12PM, year-round. Over 28 years old, this popular market is chock-full of fresh local produce, including a lot of organics, flowers, crafts, prepared foods, baked goods, etc.
During Season, to add variety to yourSarasota shopping , there are numerous arts and crafts shows on Main Street, as well as street fairs and festivals.
Palm Avenue, which runs perpendicular to Main Street, is the center of the gallery scene in Sarasota FL, with a regular First Friday evening art walk that takes place during Season.
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Saturday, March 27, 2010Sarasota Shopping
Formerly located on Pineapple Avenue, European Focus has moved to a new and brighter space on South State Street, just off Pineapple Avenue, downtown. This might be one of the most colorful shops in Sarasota. As soon as you walk in, you're greeted with joyful gift items sourced from various European countries.
These charming German "smokers" are wooden dolls that are also incense burners, popular at Christmastime.
The French linens are very cheerful, with yards of saturated colors to brighten your table.
Dancing overhead all over the shop are Bavarian "bouncies", little handmade dolls suspended on springy cords.
Deruta pottery from Italy comes in various shapes and sizes.
In addition to greeting you at their fun shop, owners Jenean and Jim Derheim lead personal tours of Europe for small groups. They also sell photos of ancestral places.
Better yet, stop in and see for yourself. Sarasota shopping at European Focus will make you smile!
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