Fall is upon the Gulf Coast and with it brings the routine of kids going back to school (parents rejoice!), initial delusions of shopping early for the holidays and of course a variety of businesses opening their doors to troves of seasonal visitors embracing new restaurant trends and a relaxed way of life. Whether looking for pastries, pizza or an impromptu happy hour, this edition of What’s New SRQ has something for you.
– Matt Drews, Director MSC Commercial
Grand Cru Grand Opening
Self-serve tap establishment Grand Cru Wine Bar opened its doors for the first time on August 25th. Located at 1528 Main Street in downtown Sarasota, the business promises to offer something its predecessors have not, a range of libations that is equal parts wine and beer. The bar has incorporated technology from iPourIt, Inc., and has 24 taps in addition to the standard by-the-glass or by-the-bottle options.
After the success of its original location at the eastern edge of downtown Sarasota, founder of Five-O Donut Co. and accomplished pastry chef Christine Nordstrom is planning to expand the brand south to meet customer demand. The wildly popular confections, known for their delectable presence on social media and passionate fan base, originally made their debut at local farmers markets in Sarasota and Manatee County. Now with 30 different kinds of donuts at the brick and mortar location and an aggressive expansion plan over the next five years, the future of Five-O is pretty sweet.
Ripfire Pizza and BBQ Brings Fast-Casual to Siesta Key
Mix laidback island life with upscale grab-n-go dining, and what do you have? The restaurant industry’s latest buzzword, of course. From the executives of the popular breakfast, brunch and lunch spot First Watch comes the Canadian-inspired, “fast-casual” dining experience of Ripfire Pizza and BBQ. The new Siesta Key establishment is located in the former Jo-To Japanese Restaurant building on Ocean Boulevard and allows patrons to choose between a selection of signature pizzas or the ability to build their own. They also offer a variety of BBQ plates including pulled pork platters and diet-friendly options including artisanal salads, gluten-free pizza crust and vegan cheese.
Charlie’s Bulgogi Plants Roots Sarasota
Charlie and Soomi Chi’s famed Korean BBQ food truck settled into its first brick and mortar location August 21st after nearly three years of life on the road. The restaurant, dubbed Charlie’s Bulgogi, which loosely translates to “fire meat,” is located in the former home of La Dona Donuts on Bee Ridge in Sarasota. The stationary location allows for fans of the food truck to enjoy an expanded menu, including skillets and a hands-on approach to fine dining with cook-it-yourself options made possible by small grills at the center of each table.