Siesta Sand - February 2023

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Legislature next for Midnight Pass issue

When Sarasota County commissioners agreed unanimously at their December retreat that cleaning-up Little Sarasota Bay was a priority, and that restoring Midnight Pass was central to that, Midnight Pass Society II sprang into action.

The group, which for more than a year has been fighting to gain support in restoring the waterway, has raised funds, held informational meetings, made public presentations, sold merchandise, and otherwise beat the drum in every which way.

Now, it has more than just desire and enthusiasm on its side.

During the Jan. 12 Sarasota County Legislative Delegation meeting, state Sen Joe Gruters (who represents Sarasota County as part of District 22) asked for support to take the cause to Tallahassee during the upcoming session of the Florida Legislature.

“He’s 150% on board, and wants this pushed,” said Scott Lewis, a local resident who reignited the Midnight Pass effort by creating a RESTORE MIDNIGHT PASS NOW Facebook page that has more than 5,200 followers.

“Social media has made all the difference in the world,” he said. A previous effort by the original Midnight Pass Society never got much traction, and Lewis said a lack of public awareness played a role.

It took 21 months to get there, but less than 15 minutes to make a pitch and get a vote.

Clearly, the Save Siesta Key group that is seeking the incorporation of the island not only did its homework but had its ducks in a row as it received, with very little discussion, a favorable 3-1 vote of approval Jan. 12 from the Sarasota County Legislative Delegation for its bill to advance to Tallahassee.

The county’s commission chambers erupted in cheers as the vote was cast, with only state Rep. James Buchanan voting no. He was among the three no votes at around the same time last year when the delegation shot down Save Siesta Key’s first attempt. As a result, it had to start over from scratch with a new feasibility study and fundraising effort.

“We are so elated, so relieved,” Jodie Tierney, a Save Siesta Key board member, said afterward. “Democracy worked today. All we ask is that incorporation goes on the ballot so the residents can decide.”

Favorable votes came from state Sen. Joe Gruters and state Reps. Fiona McFarland (who will sponsor the bill as the Key’s local District

73 representative) and Mike Grant, a Port Charlotte resident and newcomer to the delegation the result of redistricting that saw him inherit part of Sarasota County’s southern tier in District 75.

Happiness is...Love

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Oblivion (creamy black cherry ice cream loaded with black cherries & luscious liquid chocolate chips). And, if you’re looking for just the right gift to surprise a good friend or loved one, check out Abel’s famous specialty chocolatier, Sweet Shop USA. Come into Abel’s Ice Cream and embrace the love. Life is too short to skip the celebration! Abel’s Ice Cream is located at 1886 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota in the South Bridge Plaza. Open Sunday through Thursday from Noon-9:30 pm, and Friday and Saturday from

Noon-10 pm. Learn more at or connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

By the way, if a Valentine’s breakfast or lunch date is on your agenda, remember to head a few blocks north to the new addition of Abel’s family, and visit Simon’s Coffee House at 5900 S. Tamiami Trail. At Simon’s vegan, vegetarian and omnivore palates will all feel the love!


FEBRUARY 2023| 941.312.0665 | 27TH STATE MEDIA LLC | | COMPLIMENTARY Page 16 An angler extraordinaire 1398 • Village Map/business listings PAGES 24, 25 • Crescent Beach Map/ business listings PAGE 28 • Music Calendar PAGE 32 •Gulf Gate Shops PAGE 39 • Accommodations Map PAGE 47 KARAOKE PARTY EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY! see our ad on page 5 Page 45 Real estate column debuts Page 12 A departure from the norm © Onward, incorporation County delegation moves initiative ahead with 3-1 approval vote, but local referendum wouldn’t be until November of 2024
Why the world comes to Sarasota Page 37 The best of bread Karaoke Tues & Thurs Entertainment Every Day, Every Night Captain Curt’s Village aiquiri o o Captain Curt’s Village Midnight Pass, prior to being altered and eventually closed off in the early 1980s. (submitted image)
Neighborhood ambassadors with the Save Siesta Key incorporation group celebrate with a collective “thumb’s up” outside the Sarasota County Administrative Center after receiving approval for their bill to be forwarded to the state’s upcoming legislative session. (submitted photo)
Continued on page 33
Redistricting also took two no votes from last year out of the equation in the form of state Reps. Will Robinson and Tommy Gregory.
Continued on page 22
coffee house SARASOTA FL EST 2001
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If the new hotels are going to be built, at least one of them needs an escalator. After all, with the favorable incorporation vote from local legislators behind us, there’s now a chance Siesta Key is going to have its first town council election. And you can’t tell me that someone isn’t going to want to dramatically descend into a cheering lobby of supporters to announce his or her candidacy.

And then there will be pressure to trump that. Couldn’t help myself there.

How about landing on the public beach via a star-spangled parasail? Or donning an Uncle Sam suit while surfing atop the trolley?

Walking barefoot along a lava-hot Point of Rocks? Absolutely! What a photo op!

One-upmanship will be critical if you want to stay on my front page, especially when you consider you could find yourself in a two-year race. If the Florida Legislature votes in favor of the incorporation bill in the coming months, and you believe the local referendum-- which would take place in November of 2024 -- will pass, you would be up for election in March of 2025. So, you might as well declare sooner than later! Imagine what you can accomplish in 24 months!

You could fix all the sailboats at Beach Access 8. Twice.

You could add the letter “e” to the broken Midnight Cove sign. The thing’s driving me nuts.

You could sharpen that shovel and pitch a tent at Midnight Pass.

You could create a dance step to go with the Frog Hop croak.

You could personally end the recent surge in karaoke nights by tapping into that inner Barry Manilow of yours.


from the Gulf

Ready to hit the campaign trail? You’d better hurry!

I’d even say you could negotiate the removal of the words Siesta Key from that dumpster fire of a TV show, but that is more worthy of the U.S. presidency – not just some little ol’ town council seat.

Not to dimmish the importance of that first group, provided this all goes down. Remember, it is not a paying position and these poor political rookies will be tasked with creating the team’s playbook.

The plan for now is to have the top three vote-getters serve four-year terms and the bottom two serve two-year terms, so a staggered election cycle is created. I suppose you want to win, but not by too much?

It will sure be interesting to see who throws their hat in the ring. The same old names you hear? Or maybe some newbies? Or a combo?

Will members of the Siesta Key Association board be a natural fit? Or those on the Siesta Key Condominium Council’s board?

The current and past members of Save Siesta Key have all said their intention is not to parlay their involvement into a council seat. Will that hold true?

One thing for sure is how neat it would be to hold the title as Siesta Key’s first-ever mayor. That will be elected not by the populace but by the five-person council, which takes away a bit of the prestige I suppose. In municipalities with a town manager structure, which the Key would have at least for starters, the mayor position is seen as mostly ceremonial while he or she has no more power than the other council members.

But make no mistake – the mayor will be in high demand and will play a critical role in keeping morale high during the growing pains.

History buffs will know that a person with the title of mayor did roam the Key at one time – as in a little more than a century ago. I don’t want to be Morbid Morty here,

but his name was Harry Higel, he was the mayor of Sarasota, and he was murdered on Beach Road.

And get this – the editor of the local newspaper was arrested for the crime! He would be released because the evidence was mostly circumstantial.

Good thing history never repeats itself!

Hey, you know who would make a good mayor? Steve Cavanaugh. I’m sure he’s ringing my phone in a fit of rage upon reading this. He recently sold his business and is enjoying life.

But he was the chairman of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce’s board, and having an appreciation of business here is, and would be, crucial. Many times when towns are born, the business community gets worried. It’s the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) affect they fear.

But get a load of this: Cavanaugh’s email address is How in the world did he get that? It’s as if he got to pick first.

With an address like that, it seems like fate. And a good way for the town to avoid those pesky domain costs.

Then there’s Catherine Luckner, who already feels like the mayor in my mind. She’s the omnipresent Siesta Key Association president.

Tim Hensey, who became chairman of the incorporation group for its second attempt and brought it to the victorious vote Jan. 12, has certainly been mayoral in his approach. Plus, he has a power drill and he’s not afraid to use it. You should have seen him crank away on his Vote Yes signs with the 87% straw vote approval update. That project didn’t even require membership on a honey-do list.

Meanwhile, I think the legislature will sign off on this. Sure, some will say “no new taxes” out of principle, but most lawmakers likely will, and should, consider it a local issue that doesn’t impact them one bit.

As for a local referendum, you really can’t scoff at that 87% approval rate from the 41% voters who responded. All that’s needed on the big day is 50%-plus-one of those who cast a ballot.

I can’t blame the incorporation group for making the concession with state Rep. Mike Grant to wait for major election dates to hold the referendum and local election. Another no vote would have been devastating, seeing as it requires a complete do-over. Patience is indeed a virtue, it has discovered.

But two more years of waiting? That’s an eternity to see how this all shakes out, especially when the initiative is already almost two years in the making, but at least we can now take our sweet time.

So what if our campaign signs will have their own campaign signs by then?

(John Morton is managing editor of Siesta Sand.)

3 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC

After Easter, alternating closures will commence

Sporadic east-lane closures have begun as part of the $3.6 million, 250-day repaving project along Midnight Pass Road but use of the center turn lane as a straightway has kept traffic going in both directions for now.

The first phase of the 1.6-mile project, which began Dec. 4, will focus mostly on daytime sidewalk and driveway repair, according to Florida Department of Transportation officials who reported to the Siesta Key Association at its Jan. 5 meeting.

It will take place between the intersections of Stickney Point and Beach roads.

The actual repaving part of the plan, which will require intermittent lane closures that would require alternating passage on just one lane while monitored by flagmen, will not begin until after Easter (April 15), officials said.

That work will not commence until 8 p.m. and will last through an undetermined amount of the overnight hours, FDOT officials added.

The second phase of the project runs along Midnight Pass Road from the Beach Road intersection to Shadow Lawn Way where the Siesta Isles neighborhood is located.

To follow the project’s plans and progress, visit and click on the “Road Watch” tab in the upper-right corner. From there, choose Sarasota County from the menu.

The site will include information with a two-week-in-advance window.

To schedule a tour and to learn more, please call us at 941.966.5611

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Sidewalk and driveway repairs on the east side of Midnight Pass Road led to the use of the center lane as a travel lane beginning in early January. (photo by John Morton)

Island Chatter

Anna’s back in expansion mode

Anna’s Deli, located at 6535 Midnight Pass Rd., is now expanding its longtime business to the vacant storefront next door.

In mid-January the dividing wall was partially knocked down. The space will allow for more seating and a dedicated exit door.

The neighboring space, 890 feet in size, used to be home to the Things You Like boutique.

Anna’s had plans in the fall for expansion, but put it on hold. The project, for now, will not allow for an expanded kitchen and the ability to make hot sandwiches, as what was intended with the initial plan.

Illegal short-term rental back before special magistrate

Owners of an illegal short-term rental on Siesta Key were due back before a special magistrate Jan. 13 after ignoring an August ruling demanding that it cease with rentals shorter than 30 days, Sarasota County code enforcement officer Rick Russ reports.

Properties zoned within a singlefamily area cannot rent for periods shorter than a month.

The property is one of two to receive the August 12 warning, being told it cannot violate the restrictions for five years without being subject to penalties, Russ added.

“They are still at it,” Russ said of the property owners. “They are a repeat violator. They don’t want to quit.”

Russ has been serving as Siesta Key’s code enforcement officer since November of 2021.

5 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
-- John Morton

Community Spotlight

QMelissa, you’ve been an employee at Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill for about 20 years — almost the length of its existence. What are your roles and what about the place contributes to your longevity?

AIt’s funny to hear that. It makes me realize that I have been here half of my life.

I wear quite a few hats here. I’m a full-time manager, server, bartender, trainer, and also the events coordinator. I handle all of the receptions, birthdays, corporate events, and holiday parties that we host here at Gilligan’s. Why have I stayed as long as I have?

Easy, I love this place. I love my bosses and I love my customers. I work for the best guys -- I love them like family. It says a lot about a company when your employees have stayed as long as ours have. I have been here forever, but our daytime bartender Chrissy has been here longer than I have. I have other bartenders that have been here for 10-plus years. I think management can make or break your company and I have had the opportunity to learn and be a part of a great team all these years and it shows.

Gilligan’s is honestly my second home. Anyone that walks in our door is treated the same way I would treat them in my own house. I love the people I work with and our customers are amazing. Our locals are hands-down the best people in the world! I literally get to hang out with people who

are on vacation all day. If you live here, we’ll pretend you’re on vacation, even if it’s for a beer or two. I listen to the best music, I sing, dance, serve some food and enjoy amazing conversations. Why would I leave? I’m a people person! I love meeting new people, finding out where they are from and learning about their lives. I have honestly met some of the most amazing people over the years that I have been here. People from all walks of life, on all different journeys, from all over the world. The opportunities I have had and the friendships that I have been so blessed to have made, that’s what keeps me here.

Let’s be honest, we all have our days, but I still love going to work. How many people say that?! Just like the saying goes, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Now, come spring break I’ll question that theory a bit, but I still keep coming back with a smile on my face.

QLast year, you won the Shining Star award from the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. What did that mean to you and why do you think you received that honor?

AThat was such an honor. I’m going to be honest -- I have no idea why I received it. I didn’t think my name was even on the radar, but surprise … there I was.

I don’t think the things I do need recognition. I get my fill with making people happy and having

them come back every year. Really, I promote local businesses because they are worth talking about, I love what they are doing, or I personally purchase their products. I know most of the owners or their employees personally and they are such wonderful people that I want others to know them too. I volunteer my time, because I find it personally fulfilling to help others. I’m so blessed, it’s my way of giving back. I think energy is contagious

in all forms and if I can spread kindness, why not?

Really, there are probably so many people deserving of this award, but the fact that I was nominated for it and won it, Holy Cow, what an absolute honor! I’m so grateful and thankful for those who nominated me and thought I was deserving of it. I truly hope I continue living up to its title.

could write a book on all that

I have seen in my years here.

I was born and raised in Sarasota. I was originally managing an Amish restaurant in Gulf Gate. I had a server that worked at Gilligan’s tell me that I should come and apply for a serving position there. The company I worked for was being sold and I was looking for a new opportunity, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt. I love the beach, it’s my happy place, so it seemed like a win-win.

I was hired on the spot, but talk about a culture shock from what I was used to. For those who have been around as long as I have, you know the Key was much different 20 years ago. The Village was the spot to go to. If you were going out, you would dress to the nines, slinky dress, stilettos, guys in dress shirts, and you go to the island. It was Sarasota nightlife, as downtown wasn’t as established as it is now and there were only a few bars like Margarita Maggies and Gator Club. But Siesta Key was the hotspot. It was sexy and exciting. We had a DJ every night, girls on the bar top and the best bands around.

A little walk down memory lane: I know this will trigger a few memories for all the locals reading this, but to give you an idea once upon a time Siesta Fiesta wasn’t just a craft show like it is now. It was an entire music venue with beer tubs and bands all along the street. The streets were lined with artwork

6 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Queen of the Village Melissa Gerber has seen it all from her perch at Gilligan’s
QTell us about your history with Siesta Key.
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Community Spotlight

Continued from previous page

and the smell of food -- a total block party. People would come down and stay just to party that weekend. It was such an event. The streets would buzz from morning to the wee hours of the night.

If you know, you know. We were really a diamond in the rough back then. At the time, we were generationally introduced by the condo owners of the past. How did you hear about Siesta? Your grandparents owned a condo at Peppertree Bay and your family vacationed there. So, you waited and counted the years until you were 21 and got to go down there to visit them for spring break. Laying on the white sand, baking in the sun just to finish the night in The Village dancing and stumbling back to the condo, desperately trying not to wake up your grandparents at 3 a.m. I mean, that was a standard story back then. That’s how the island was discovered before social media. You literally stumbled upon it by accident because you missed the Lido exit. Or you knew a guy, who knew a guy, whose grandparents owned a condo on Midnight Pass.

History … I have so much of it here. I met my husband at Gilligan’s -- he was a security guard here just after I started. I had two amazing sons while working here, running around big-bellied pregnant pouring drinks.

Fun fact: Half of the clientele I have now I met my first day out there. How cool is that? I mean it really is amazing. I have shared my life with this Island. I have some of

the most wonderful memories on this beach, in this Village.

My oldest son is working here now. He gets embarrassed when people talk about how they knew him when he was in my belly, but I know he loves it. I love the look on people’s face when I tell them that he’s mine. You can see the years of memories fill their head and put a smile on their face in disbelief that he’s now 16.

I mean this is literally what this Village is -- it’s a family. We come together for hurricane relief, military events, fundraisers for people of our community, charity events, and more. I have been a part of some of the most exciting moments in people’s lives. We have laughed together, cried together, cheered each other on. This is what makes our community so special. It’s the history here -- not

just my history, but the people. It’s beautiful. I’m so blessed to be able to have shared so many years here.

QYou’ve watched the Village change during your time working there. How is it better and/or worse in your opinion?

AI guess neither, just different. I think everything goes through stages, evolving with the times -- the people, the economy, etc.

When we received the No. 1 beach award, it really changed the island. In my eyes, that’s what put us on the map as a family destination. Now the whole world knows how wonderful our little island is. Siesta, like everything else, has evolved. We have expanded for new businesses and new opportunities. We have welcomed new residents to our community. We have been blessed

as a business to open our door to thousands of people who now get to experience what we have had the opportunity to enjoy all these years.

We are very fortunate to have experienced all the changes that have taken place over the years and be a part of its development. So, if anything, not for better or worse, it’s just different. If I had to choose one or the other, I would say traffic is definitely worse.

Parking was always terrible so that hasn’t changed much and I really don’t see it getting any better with expansion.

Food has definitely gotten better all along the island, both north and south sides. And our beach is still picture-perfect after all these years.


what is your vision of the Village 20 years from now?

AThisis a tough one for me. I hope it’s the same. Maybe more parking. Flying cars would be cool too -- I’m still waiting on those!

But if you want me to be honest, I think it’s going to be like Clearwater Beach or like a miniMiami. Super congested and overpopulated. Money talks and there’s a lot of it around here.

I think we have worked really hard all these years to keep Siesta in its true form as a simple beach community, but I’m a realist and eventually the people standing in the way of business, trying to keep it small, will be bought out or forced out by bigger voices and deeper pockets. This town, like every other beach town, will be sold to the top buyer making way for commercialization.

Big hotels will begin to appear, with an influx of people and corporations, and the island will become packed like a can of sardines. Let’s be real, it’s already happening. The average beer will cost you $17 and all the small local businesses that call this place home will be bought out by bigger companies looking to maximize profit from the location.

It’s a shame. I really pray that it doesn’t happen. I really hope that in another 20 years I’ll be able to say that the Key is just a little “different” than 20 years before.

I guess only time will tell. We’ll need to do this again so we can reference back and see how it goes.

-- John Morton FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC 7
Near right, Melissa Gerber receives the chamber’s 2022 Shining Star Award from Siesta Sand publisher Brion Palmer. Far right, collecting toys with Gilligan’s general manager Mike Gatz. (file photos)

Stop-and-go lights at Avenue B & C along Stickney Point Road are already in place. They are part of the Siesta Promenade project. (photo by John Morton)

No ruling on lawsuit

Judge gives no timeline after hearing Ramirez case

The interpretation of codes, ordinances and comprehensive plans dominated the four hours of testimony heard by Judge Stephen Walker of Sarasota County’s 12th Judicial Circuit Court on Jan. 6, as both parties in a lawsuit involving the county’s approval of a high-density hotel hoped for a summary judgment.

At the end, not only did Walker not give a judgment but said he had no specific date in mind, noting he had “a lot of material to go over.”

Legal representatives for longtime Siesta Key resident Jim Wallace finally got the ear of a three-judge panel in the Second District Court of Appeal in Tampa on Jan. 17.

“I was pleased with my attorney’s arguments and am confident our case will get careful consideration,” said Wallace, who in early 2021 initiated an administrative challenge of a Florida Department of Transportation decision to provide permits to install stoplights along Stickney Point Road at Avenue B & C – just two blocks west of U.S. 41. That’s where

the massive mixed-use Siesta Promenade project at the northwest corner of the intersection has been approved by Sarasota County, featuring 414 apartments and/or condominiums, a 130-room hotel, 133,000 square feet of retail space, and 7,000 square feet of office space.

The county mandated during its 2018 approval of the project that a stoplight be placed at the location. It will be home to a turn-in that will serve one of the main entrances.

So, the fate of the eight-story, 170-room hotel slated to be built between Calle Miramar and Beach Road, just shy of the Siesta Key Village, remains in limbo. If no ruling or only a partial ruling is made by March 27, a jury trial on the matter remains a possibility. Both plaintiff Lourdes Ramirez and lawyers for the county had requested the judgment in lieu of a trial.

Ramirez contends that Sarasota County commissioners violated their own comprehensive plan last October when they approved the hotel, which will sit on .96 of one acre. With that in mind, the Calle

Miramar hotel equates to 177 rooms per a single acre.

The 1989 comprehensive plan states that only 26 dwellings per acre are allowed, and despite revisions over the years (including as recent as 2016) that number has not changed. However, the true meaning of many

8 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Continued on page 30 Continued on page 20
An artist’s rendering of the hotel approved for Calle Miramar. It will be eight stories in height with 170 rooms, sitting on .96 acres. (submitted image)
Stoplight opposition heard by
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9 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC SOUTHBRIDGE MALL 6595 Midnight Pass Rd. 349-4343 SIESTA KEY VILLAGE 5124 Ocean Blvd. 349-1111

Farewell to one fine host

Alex Kouvatsos always made his presence felt. However, when he joined his son Tom at Siesta Key’s Village Café as a “retiree” in 2008, he had to find a way to fit in to a certain extent.

“When he first arrived, he would pound his fist on the table when he wanted to make a point,” daughterin-law Kay Kouvatsos, who with husband, Tom, own the laid-back diner in the heart of the Village.

“We were already 10 years in, and we it was a different world here. We had to tell him, ‘We’ll do things our way, please.’

“He was one stubborn, intense, little old man. We loved it.”

So set in his ways, in fact, he scheduled himself for work seven days a week when he joined his son’s business.

“The joke was always how, when he found out I served only breakfast and lunch, he called that a Greek half-day,” Tom Kouvatsos said of his father. “That meant, in his mind, that I was lazy.

“But my dad was a worker. That was the immigrant generation. Working was his passion, his love. It’s all he knew. He came over from Greece as a teenager, already with a strong work ethic.”

Alex Kouvatsos died Dec. 17 at the age of 89 from heart failure.

As it turned out he did find a way to fit in at the café, where for 14 years he served as a maître d’ of sorts by greeting guests as they walked in.

“He had just had to be in a restaurant,” said Kay of her father-in-law, who operated as many as eight Greek eateries in

both upstate New York and Long Island. “At first, we tried him in the kitchen, but that didn’t work. Then expediting, but that was too much for him.

“Finally, we found the perfect spot for him – up front. Most people figured he owned the place by the way he carried himself, and we let the world think that.”

Alex Kouvatsos found other outlets for his endless energy, being among the originals to establish a booth at the Siesta Key Farmers Market when it debuted in 2010. Sandwiches, spinach pie, and coffee to go were the highlights of his Sunday morning offerings.

Last month, his slot was rented to someone else as the café bid farewell to the booth. Alex was the last of the original lineup of vendors.

“No one could replace him and what he meant to the market,” Kay said.

Toward the end, even the man they called Papou found a way to scale back just a bit. And, true to form, he was too proud to ask for a little down time. So, he did it his way.

“All of a sudden, he stopped showing up on Tuesdays. Just like that, without a word,” Tom said with a laugh. “I asked him at first if he had doctors’ appointments, or something like that. He said no. And there he’d be again, back in on Wednesday.

“That was his way of getting a day off.”

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Alex Kouvatsos was the face of the Village Cafe
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Alex Kouvatosos (left) in the Village Cafe kitchen with son Tom. (submitted photo)
11 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC Captain Curt's will take you back to an era where good, fresh seafood was standard. It's a place where reasonable prices, casual Family atmosphere, and courteous service still exist. Siesta Key's Destination for Dining, Drinks, & Fun Welcome TO Captain Curt's Village (941) 349-3885 1200 Old Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242 Vill age Vill age Captain Curt’s Captain Curt’s

Exploring Siesta Key ... with Jane Bartnett

‘We are the hidden jewel of Siesta Key’

After seeing the musical South Pacific for the first time, I became enchanted with the idea of visiting those magical islands. Whenever I hear the song “Bali Hai,” I picture the handsome young Navy officer, the setting, the tropical breeze. Cue the orchestra!

Oh well. Bali Hai may still be calling but the islands of the South Pacific are very far away. OK, onto Plan B.

Traveling the nearby roads of Siesta Key, I discovered what I believe to be a slice of the fictitious Bali Hai, right here in our own tropical paradise. Nestled among the mangroves and deep foliage of Midnight Pass, a charming of oldworld Florida still exists.

The Turtle Beach Resort & Inn on Midnight Pass Road has the feel of a secluded Polynesian resort. Only steps away from Turtle Beach, the resort and inn pay homage to the quieter, more secluded side of the island. Life here moves at

a slower pace. Walking along the bougainvillea-filled passageway that traverses the front of the resort to the private cottages and docks, the world seemed quite far away. Could this be what the fictitious paradise of Bali Hai was supposed to be?

At the resort office, I met Elana

Rubinfeld who manages this charming place that harkens back to the Siesta Key that people speak of so fondly. Her parents, David and Gail Rubinfeld, founded the resort in 1992, after relocating to the Key from the Northeast.

“When my parents opened the resort, it was a real bohemian

center with lots of artists. Turtle Beach had a true old-Florida vibe. It still is close to nature. That’s why people love it here,” Elana said. “We are the hidden jewel of Siesta Key.”

Echoing her daughter’s sentiments, Gail Rubinfeld, who

Continued on page 30

Fate of record-breaking listing a mystery, for now

A $32.5 million Siesta Key real estate listing at 4221 Higel Ave., brokered by Mark Coppens of Living Vogue Real Estate of Sarasota, broke records for luxury real estate listings of residential property and homes for sale on the island in late 2022.

In early January, however, the listing was removed from Multiple Listing Service real estate websites. Calls and emails to Living Vogue Real Estate to determine the status of the property were not returned.

The preconstruction listing of the vacant property in Fiddler Bayou included a 1.42-acre waterfront lot with a private beach facing

the Gulf of Mexico, architectural plans designed by Sarasota architects Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors, as well as building permits, plans and a full construction package for a 9,754-square-foot, six-bedroom, nine-bath house. BCB Homes of Naples was listed as the builder of the future home.

The design of the residence, the listing stated, was “inspired by the over-water villas of Bali and Bora Bora.”

In describing the home, the listing reported that the home “combines traditional Balinese and Polynesian architecture with modern design

and astounding features.” An 80-foot infinity pool with a 12foot plunge, a primary suite with a 270-degree glass wall, a sauna, elevator and balconies are among the residence’s many luxurious elements.

According to the real estate listing, soon after the original investors completed extensive plans for their new home they learned that they needed to relocate “back to the West Coast.”

An option for a buyer to purchase the vacant 1.42-acre waterfront land for $9.995 million before ground was broken was also offered.

12 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
An artist’s rendering of the spec home being offered at 4221 Higel Ave. (submitted image) Turtle Beach Resort & Inn offers a secluded tropical paradise on the south end of the island

This is Peg.

PEG HAS CONSISTENTLY... proven her understanding of the complex world of luxury real estate by delivering favorable results for her customers. She is a skilled professional who possesses the uncanny ability to communicate the financial realities of today’s everchanging market to both her sellers and buyers while at the same time understanding their expectations and needs.

The foundation of Peg’s business philosophy originated at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and her prior career where she traveled extensively to the Pacific Rim honing the skills needed to effectively negotiate complex contracts. Her tenacity and business acumen helped to lay the foundation for her real estate successes, consistently ranking her in the top 10% of REALTORS® in the Sarasota area.


If you’re thinking of selling or buying, the time is now - 941.356.4552.

13 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate. Peg Davant 941.356.4552
Siesta Key | Sarasota, FL the moment IS NOW With the number of listings under contract and the level of inventory still low, buyer demand will continue. The time is right to list your residence with Peg and a brand known for achieving financial results.

What better way to start the new year than with a luxurious spa visit on Siesta Key?

“Taking a few hours off from the world to relax, refresh and to be taken care of by trained spa professionals is incredibly beneficial for your wellbeing,” said Connie Lewis, owner of Spa Experience Siesta Key, of the idea.

During a professional career spanning close to 30 years, Lewis has owned and managed two spas on Siesta Key. She has treated and counseled thousands of clients who have benefitted from her knowledge and dedication to health and wellness. As 2023 begins, Lewis is celebrating the second anniversary of her new spacious spa at 5700 Midnight Pass Rd.

With the winter season in full swing, Lewis is excited about the future of her business and for Siesta Key. “So many long-time clients and visitors have returned to the Key and to our spa,” she said. “It’s just wonderful to see our clients and friends again.”

In 2021, Lewis made the decision to expand and move ahead.

“Spa Experience Siesta Key is an extension of my former day spa in Siesta Key Village that served clients for 22 years,” she said. “Our new larger space gives us the ability to enhance our services and offer acupuncture, couples massage and to offer small groups of up to eight at a time. All of which have proven to be very popular.”

Last year, Lewis attended the three-week Life Transformation Program at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach.

“While there, I discovered the valuable healing modalities of two therapeutic treatments: The QRS, a pulsed electromagnetic therapy mat, and the FDAapproved H-Wave energy therapy. Both have been proven successful in treating a variety of health challenges,” she said.

“Professional education is something that I value highly. I felt that it was important to bring both of these back to Spa Experience Siesta Key.”

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Connie Lewis (front row, center) and her staff at Spa Experience Siesta Key. (photo by Jane Bartnett)
Ahhh, it’s
Spa Experience’s Connie Lewis continues to expand expertise, services
time to spa
Continued on page 36 Also offering Private Charters and Special Events Book online at 941-253-5404 The Original Fun Tiki Cruises, Sandbars, and Sunsets! The Original Fun Tiki Cruises, Sandbars, and Sunsets!


“This is a small family run restaurant and the owners are onsite there. The owners and staff are friendly and welcoming. The service is great, but the food is phenomenal ! We had the blackened grouper, crab cakes and fish stew. It was seasoned and prepared perfectly! We found it because we were looking a place to eat after a movie, and if we hadn’t looked for reviews on TripAdvisor we would never have found it. It’s in a small plaza in the back corner and does not stand out. It was 45 minutes from where we were staying but it was so good we had to go back again. Each of the last 3 years we have stayed for 2 months on longboat key and this was the best seafood restaurant we’ve been to, hands down! It was nice to meet the owner who it turns out was from the town next to us in Connecticut. You must try it, but I would recommend reservations at dinner time as it’s a small place.”

15 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC 941-413-7133 | 7119 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota Just off the Key, 1/4 mile south of Stickney Point Road 11 AM - 8 PM Monday-Saturday • Full menu available for takeout
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★★★★★ From the Market... Large selection of fresh seafood. Special Orders Welcome! It’s Stone Crab Season! We have medium, large, jumbo, and colossal! Come on in for FRESH stone crab! From the Grill... Fresh fish your way: Grilled or Blackened & topped with Lemon Butter, Pico or Salsa, Soups, Sandwiches, Steam pots & more! Now accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day! Treat your Valentine to some Seafood Delights!

Reeling in the years

Captain Rick Grassett made a hobby into a career that has cast him as a local fishing phenom


he waters around Siesta Key swarm with redfish, sea trout, tarpon and innumerable other denizens of the sea. If you’re a serious angler eager to know where to find them, what makes them tick and, most importantly how to coax them onto your line, the man you need to meet is Captain Rick Grassett.

Captain Rick, as his clients call him, has led fishing enthusiasts through these waters for 33 years. He has seen –and caught – it all. Fishing-supply company Orvis has even honored him as Outfitter of the Year.

Countless anglers, including a U.S. Supreme Court justice, have signed up for six-hour charters in his boat, the 17-foot Snook Fin Addict, or for the occasional exotic expedition to locations like Belize, the Bahamas and Venezuela. If, as he says, his clients are “students of fishing,” Grassett is a professor with a PhD.

Grassett specializes in the most challenging angling techniques in the forms of fly and lure fishing, which he also teaches in group classes. If you thought fly fishing is solely for bucolic Montana rivers, you’d be wrong. It is popular in these parts, and heavily catch-and-release.

“He is humble, polite, very patient and an excellent teacher,” said Aledia Tush, the longtime owner of Grassett’s base of operations, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. “He takes care of people. He’s a pro.”

And his knowledge is encyclopedic. Consider his monthly fishing column in this newspaper (page 40). It is a veritable treasure trove of information.

For example, did you know that tripletail can be found around crab trap floats and channel markers? That you should follow diving or hovering terns if you’re out for bluefish and mackerel? Or that there’s great fishing in the shallow waters surrounding the Key away from the Gulf?

He is skilled at providing such advice without making it feel like criticism, says angler Keith McClintock, a Grassett client for more than 20 years: “He works a little harder to make sure you have a good time. He deserves every plaudit you can give him,” McClintock said.

How did Grassett become the fisherman’s fisherman? This sea tale starts in a seafaring Delaware town off the Chesapeake Bay, where his dad was an avid recreational angler. Young Rick had a rod and reel in his hands at age 3.

At 26 years old – motivated by “divorce and unemployment,” he recalled – Grassett moved to Florida although “I knew nothing about fishing in Florida.”

Addicted to the sport, he was determined to learn. For eight years, while working full time in marketing, he studied articles, joined fishing clubs, and spent days off on the water. Then he was ready to reach for his dream: earning a living as a fishing guide.

Still in his day job, he started as a night fishing guide. “I saw it as paying for my habit,” he said with a laugh. Business grew, and soon he crossed paths with Tush and CB’s. She saw his talent, and in 1989 offered him a fulltime job as a guide and instructor.

Remarried with two small children, he took the leap and quit the day job. “I was scared to death,” he recalls. “But Aledia felt there was enough business in the shop that I’d

have no trouble making it.”

She was right, and the rest is history. Word of his skill spread, even reaching U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The late jurist told him, “Call me Nino” and hired him for a two-day charter pursuing sea trout, bluefish, pompano, and Spanish mackerel. His Honor was “very patient,” Grassett recalled, and successful.

Grassett is also active in conservation efforts. “I’ve always felt that conservation and teaching is an important part of what I do,” he said. “Our resources aren’t infinite and there are many factors that affect our fisheries and water quality from red tide to toxic spills and intentional releases, freezes, increasing fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation.”

He has long served in various roles including board member with the Coastal Conservation Association, a leading fishery conservation group. He has held similar posts for the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers organization, which supports local conservation activities and promotes fly fishing. He’s helped run Sarasota Sportfishing Anglers Club, fly fishing tournaments.

The biggest fish a Captain Rick client ever caught? A 150-pound tarpon. Experienced clients often reel in big ones weighing 90 to 100 pounds.

As for that prototypical tale anglers love to tell, the one about the big one that got away? That’s the one story Grassett doesn’t have, or won’t tell.

If he or his client gets one on the line, it’s coming in.

16 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Copyright©2012 Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. C4CE276337 04.12 YOU PICK IT OUT. W E’LL PACK A ND SHIP IT WITH CARE. 15 PARADISE PLAZA, SARASOTA, FL 34239 (941)957-1776 Brennan, Shelter, Toni, Sam, Chevy and Conner
Above, Rick Grassett relaxes outside CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. (photo by Dan Basko). Right, in action in the Siesta-area waters. (submitted photos)
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Marisa Mangani had a burning desire for a life in the kitchen, then burned out on it all.

So, what did she do next? She designed kitchens!

In fact, the kitchen at Sun Garden Cafe in the Siesta Key Village was one of her projects, so naturally business owner Rick Monroe invited the now-author to hold a book-release party at his establishment. There, Mangani talked with book enthusiasts and read excerpts from her recently published works entitled Mise en Place -- Memoir of a Girl Chef.

The meaning of the phrase is a culinary process in which ingredients are prepared and organized (as in a restaurant kitchen) before cooking.

The book takes the reader in many directions, as did Mangani’s career. The native of Hawaii cooked her way to the big-stage culinary spotlight of New Orleans, and then to several worldwide expos in the 1980s. All while fighting what was considered a male-driven landscape.

“Being a chef took a lot of drive for an insecure girl like me,” said the Sarasota resident. “I had to pull myself up through the ranks and, believe me, with that there came many adventures -- good and bad.

“But working hard toward what you want despite the odds is my universal message, and that’s what this book presents.”

A glowing book review by Ian McNulty, food writer for The TimesPacayune in New Orleans, said the following:

“Mise en Place is the rollicking

memoir of Marisa Mangani, a talented chef who takes readers on her journey through the mostly men’s club of restaurant kitchens as she travels from Hawaii to Oregon, New Orleans, Canada, Australia, and Florida.

“Along the way she shares raw revelations: abuse at the hands of her stepfather, stories of love and loss, the pain of stuttering, a great passion for cuisine, and the heady sensations associated with food and motherhood.

“Not just a gifted chef, Mangani is a very accomplished writer who brings us into her world with brio and humor. She holds nothing back, as she describes her struggles

for acceptance in her field and her stumbles and hard-won successes along the way.

“Mise en Place will appeal to all who love food and restaurants, but it’s also a vivid travelogue of the places the author has lived. Mangani has a beautifully hedonistic take on food, wine, and life — and her intense descriptions bring readers front and center into her world as she tries to carve out a living.

“Her details of the inner workings of restaurant kitchens are quite enlightening. If readers don’t already know how hard the hospitality business can be on anyone who works in it, not

just chefs, but owners, managers, servers, and dishwashers, they will once they’ve walked in Mangani’s shoes.

“Mise en Place is a bold, new memoir that readers will find hard to put down. Mangani charts a deep dive through the roots of our modern American food obsession with a highly personal tale of memory, character, flavor, and place.”

Meanwhile, seeing as food flow is associated with the book’s title, Mangani said she food the concept so interesting that kitchen design landed on her radar. She’s particularly proud of the job she did at the kitchen-space-challenged

Sun Garden.

“It’s always tricky in this kind of place, but I think I made it work. Had I not, I wouldn’t be here having this party,” she said with a laugh. “It’s often a logical formula but not always easy.”

Several of her guests are members of the same writing group. Jan Schuneman is one of them.

“I like the way she writes -- very descriptive,” she said of Mangani. “I’ve never been to New Orleans, but now I feel I have. She described places and a lifestyle of which I do not know.”

Greenleaf is the book’s publisher. It is available at and

18 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Tales, triumphs, and tribulations of a chef’s life
Trout Almondine, Macadamia Nut Encrusted Grouper, Cult favorites like Pizzas, Duck, Fish Tacos Exec Chef Mike Yoder, one of the best chefs in the world GM, Felicia O’Brien, and our friendly staff will provide a most entertaining experience. Clayton is a fun, spirited, community guy and lifelong resident Best Eatery in the country, says his mom “Kitten” High School mentoring program teaching work ethic and responsibility Locals’ Gathering Spot Great Happy Hour from 4-6:30 ECO friendly restaurant Proves you are not a member of the Chain Gang 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. TOP 10 REASONS TO VISIT CLAYTON’S SIESTA GRILLE 1265 Old Stickney Point Road Siesta Key 941-349-2800
Left, a special cake celebrating Marisa Mangani’s new book. Above, a display at Sun Garden Cafe. Right, Mangani (left) and writing-group friend Jan Schuneman. (photos by John Morton)
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The oral arguments were initially scheduled for early November but were postponed due to conflicts with lawyers with Benderson Development, the firm that’s been given approval to build the project.

After the Jan. 17 hearing, no decision was made and no timeframe for one was presented. If Wallace wins his appeal, not only would the stoplights have to come down but other sections of infrastructure put in place would

have to come out. A case study Wallace presented to FDOT determined that the stoplight would result in a cycle of stops at the lights every 85 seconds.

The stretch of Stickney Point Road from U.S. 41 to Midnight Pass Road is less than a mile and is not only crowded with beach-goers but is home to an active drawbridge.

It’s considered the main access to Siesta Key and is known for traffic back-ups that go for miles.

“The people of Siesta Key need to understand how detrimental this is,” said Wallace, who lives near the south bridge in the Marina Del Sol condo complex. “This would take us from a tourist attraction to a tourist trap.

“The residents here need to work overturn these decisions by the (Sarasota County) commissioners. And the FDOT doesn’t take

into consideration that we are a barrier island – it has no notion whatsoever that what is already a difficult decision would get much worse.”

FDOT has countered that Wallace has been unable to show he has suffered, or will suffer, more harm than others from the installment of the signals.

Wallace has said that leaving and returning to the island for basic needs, including doctor appointments, have become

increasingly difficult for him and many others.

Wallace first filed his complaint with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings and, after making no progress, filed with the Second District Court of Appeal in June 2021.

Wallace was also a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Sarasota County for the 2021 approval of two highdensity hotels, but dropped out of the case. Three other plaintiffs remain.

Open the (back) door to a Roth IRA

There aren’t many drawbacks to having a high income — but being unable to invest in a Roth IRA might be one of them. Are there strategies that allow highincome earners to contribute to this valuable retirement account?

Before we delve into that question, let’s consider the rules. In 2023, you can contribute the full amount to a Roth IRA — $6,500, or $7,500 if you’re 50 or older — if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $138,000 (if you’re single) or $218,000 (if you’re married and filing jointly). If you earn more than these amounts, the amount you can contribute decreases until it’s phased out completely if your income exceeds $153,000 (single) or $228,000 (married, filing jointly).

A Roth IRA is attractive because its earnings and withdrawals are tax free, provided you’ve had the account at least five years and you don’t start taking money out until you’re 59½. Furthermore, when you own a Roth IRA, you’re

not required to take withdrawals from it when you turn 72, as you would with a traditional IRA, so you’ll have more flexibility in your retirement income planning and your money will have the chance to potentially keep growing. But given your income, how can you contribute to a Roth?

You may want to consider what’s known as a “backdoor Roth” strategy. Essentially, this involves contributing money to a new

traditional IRA, or taking money from an existing one, and then converting the funds to a Roth IRA. But while this backdoor strategy sounds simple, it involves some serious considerations.

Specifically, you need to evaluate how much of your traditional IRA is in pretax or after-tax dollars. When you contribute pretax dollars to a traditional IRA, your contributions lower your annual taxable income. However, if your income is high enough to disqualify you from contributing directly to a Roth IRA, you may also earn too much to make deductible (pretax) contributions to a traditional IRA.

Consequently, you might have contributed after-tax dollars to your traditional IRA, on top of the pretax ones you may have put in when your income was lower. (Earnings on after-tax contributions will be treated as pretax amounts.)

In any case, if you convert pretax assets from your traditional IRA to

a Roth IRA, the amount converted will be fully taxable in the year of the conversion. So, if you were to convert a large amount of these assets, you could face a hefty tax bill. And since you probably don’t want to take funds from the converted IRA itself to pay for the taxes, you’d need another source of funding, possibly from your savings and other investments.

Ultimately, then, a backdoor Roth IRA strategy may make the most sense if you have few or no pretax assets in any traditional IRA, including a SEP-IRA and a SIMPLE IRA. If you do have a sizable amount of pretax dollars in your IRA, and you’d still like to convert it to a Roth IRA, you could consider spreading the conversion over a period of years, potentially diluting your tax burden.

Consult with your tax advisor when considering a backdoor Roth strategy. But if it’s appropriate for your situation, it could play a role in your financial strategy, so give it some thought.


5011 Ocean Blvd., suite 205 Siesta Key, FL 34242

(941)-346-0560 phone (941)-320-4030 mobile

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones. Member SIPC. -- Advertorial --

20 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Joe St. Onge, ChFC® Advisor, Edward Jones Investments
Continued from page 8

Every Tuesday is Appraisal Clinic Day: make an appointment to come in and get an updated value on your jewelry by one of our very experienced GIA gemologists. It's very important to update the valuable pieces in your jewelry collection especially since all precious metals, diamonds, and colored stones have gone up dramatically in the last few years. We aim at becoming your trusted go-to family jeweler. We carry a vast selection of diamonds and colored stone jewelry and are proud to carry the new fresh & trendy Imperial Pearls Collection.

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Did you know that Siesta Key has a Gemstone?

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It’s no secret that the sand on Siesta Key Beach is composed of 99% pure quartz. The crystalline white sand of Siesta Key is luxurious, soft, white and cool to the touch 365 days a year. This is why our beloved beach has been revered as one of the most beautiful in the world. Wanting to capture the experience and essence of Siesta Key beach was the goal of the proprietor of Silver City, Monica.

“Tourists always wish they can somehow take their vacation memories with them,” so with this in mind, Silver City designed the Siesta Key Watercolor GemstoneTM. They were able to capture the colors of Siesta Key’s blue/green water and put it into a quartz gemstone. This quartz gemstone is a fusion of the tropical colors that surround us. Just looking into the clear, beautiful gemstone will transport you back to our island paradise representing the Sea, Sky and beautiful sand of Siesta Key Beach.

Silver City has now become a “Must Stop” destination for tourists (Currently named #1 shopping destination on TRIP ADVISOR on Siesta Key). Shining brightly among the cases of this uniquely mirrored store lies the much raved about Siesta Key Watercolor GemstoneTM Every jewelry piece is designed and made by Silver City Sarasota. The staff of Silver City Sarasota is very proud of their unique collection and variety of designs in Sterling Silver and in 14K gold.

21 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
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Midnight Pass

The pass, which was a natural waterway between Siesta Key and Casey Key that connected the Gulf of Mexico with Little Sarasota Bay, had sand brought in in 1983 in an effort to change the path of the flow. Two homeowners -- Syd Solomon and Pasco Carter -- had homes along the pass and they were at risk of water damage. Sarasota County approved the measure, with the homeowners promising to pay in part for the rerouting of the pass, but efforts failed and the parties gave up on the effort. Eventually, the pass closed up and subsequently choked off Little Sarasota Bay.

Now, Gruters will take the cause to the state in an effort to get commitments on studies and permits with a cure as the goal.

New county commissioners Mark Smith and Joe Neunder have also voiced support, noting Midnight Pass as a priority during their election campaigns.

Neunder even call it his No. 1 priority, and on Jan. 18 proposed to his fellow commissioners that a “Health and Quality of Little Sarasota Bay” initiative become part of the group’s strategic plan for 2023. The vote was unanimous in favor.

“I’ll be knocking on doors and getting opinions,” said Neunder, whose District 4 is home to Midnight Pass and who personally used to enjoy the waterway. “This has been an issue since I was a young man. There

couldn’t be a better thing to get my arms around.”

Neunder has met with Congressman Greg Stube on the matter and plans to contact state Rep. Fiona McFarland, who represents Siesta Key, on the issue.

Stube has publicly voiced his support.

“Dr. Gary (Kompothecras) deserves a lot of credit for bringing Stube on board,” Lewis said of the Siesta Key resident and businessman.

Meanwhile, Gruters has extended an invitation for members of Midnight Pass Society II to make a trip to Tallahassee in late March to meet with key lawmakers and agencies.

“That would be another big step for getting out the word and hopefully opening up the pass,” Lewis said. “There is a lot of money out there for cleaning up our waters. There’s a real desire to help our manatees, to save our sea grass.”

In the next month, members of Midnight Pass Society II will be writing letters to lawmakers to express the urgency of the matter.

Other concerned residents will soon be asked to do the same.

“It’s become a real group effort at this point,” Lewis said. “We just brought on 36 new members (to the Facebook page) yesterday.”

The group has now raised in excess of $80,000, Lewis reports, and has hired an engineer and public relations specialist. Otherwise, the group’s members are all volunteers.

Lewis said it is searching for an expert in hydraulics to join the board, and needs a volunteer coordinator and an event coordinator.

“We hope to have a gala sometime soon,” Lewis said.

Visit for information on how to help.

Support has also come from the business


Midnight Pass. Today, it is pretty much a continuous beach. (submitted image)

Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, the Old Salty Dog on City Island donated $1 to Midnight Pass Society II for every 16-ounce Kona Big Wave draft it sold.

Meanwhile, Siesta Key Rum has created a special “Let it Flow” rum, using an expression that’s popular with the cause, and is donating 10% of every sale.

“Everyone wants to see this happen,” Lewis said. “We are receiving little to no opposition.

“The bay is in cardiac arrest. Something needs to be done.”

Objects of Magic is now offering organized healing mini retreats at the South Gate Community Center.

In today’s frantic world, the idea of having two hours for yourself, with no interruption, is becoming a luxury. It is quite common to think we need to relax more yet, somehow, we never get to it. These healing mini retreats could be your answer to this challenge.

What exactly is a healing mini retreat? Here is what you can expect to experience:

To start, a session offers a variety of light stretching exercises to loosen up every muscle. Each session is different as the instructor changes the stretching exercises to keep the experience fresh. Then, there is a guided mediation that is a spectacular way to let go and fully relax the mind, accompanied with a powerful healing sound bath or, perhaps, laughing therapy and Reiki -- or all of these elements.

Afterwards, founder Gaëlle Wizenberg speaks on the “power of intentions” and shares lifecoaching tips.

Wizenberg explains how it’s better to go with the flow than against. “Each moon cycle is an opportunity to grow better and stronger and to review your actions and your desires. You can light a candle, visualize, plant some seeds, and experience the miracle of designing your life. We all need to allocate time to design our life plan,” she said. “Everyone feels so wonderful afterwards and repowered to tackle whatever is going on in their life. Anxiety and stress are on the rise and major shifts are happening all around the world.

“Now is a time of change, adjustments and rebuild. We need to be connected and build a strong community. So many people have been moving to the area and are

rerouting. Our mini retreat is a fun safe place to relax, heal and a great way to connect with great people, too.

“I started the mini retreat because it was needed. I love going to yoga classes but always feels like it is not enough to unwind. Having the light breathing exercise and moving around in different ways is a great start, but adding the meditation, the sound bath, the laughing therapy, Reiki, power talk and whatever else we feel like incorporating that night is wonderful -- the two hours flow, and you come out feeling rested and powered up.”

Object of Magic offers two evening events per month at the South Gate Community Center, located at 3145 Southgate Cr. For details, contact Objects of Magic at or by phone at (818) 793-7834. Or, visit

22 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 , .,t� ~ 7(/uee, ~ g'ee,r LUNCH & DINNER -SERVED 11 AM -9 PM L i v e M u s i c T h u r s d a y - S a t u r d a y 5 - 9 p m o n t h e p a t i o d e c k q)ill=�� 886 Midni ht Pass Road 539 S. ORANGE | 941-955-7859 | OPEN MON-FRI 9-4 & SAT 10-4 | DONATE SHOP CONSIGN VOLUNTEER  The joy of shopping  The joy of giving  The joy of recycling  The joy of supporting students and the arts in our community Find your joy Sarasota’s #1 consignment shop This purchase helped award $250,000 in grants and scholarships during our 2021-2022 Fiscal year. THANKS TO YOU... Est. 1962
Continued from page 1
WELCOME BACK SNOWBIRDS! Consider letting Citizen Jack watch your home when you depart again. Citizen Jack HOME WATCH SERVICE,LLC Accredited, Bonded, Insured & Certified Jim Farley 941.350.3610 PRESIDENT’S DAY! Healing awaits at Objects of Magic mini retreats
The area that used to be home to

Thanks to the trolley, getting around here is a breeze

There’s something special about trolleys. They are much more fun to ride than a bus.

San Francisco may have one of the most famous trolleys of all, but the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley has become a celebrity in its own right. Visitors from around the world have taken a ride and the word on the street is that the trolley is a wonderful way to get around. Best of all, it’s free!

Every day of the year, the colorfully painted trolley sets off at 8 a.m. from Turtle Beach on its way north to Siesta Village. It continues to make its way up and down the Key through the day and into the night. Sunday through Thursday, the trolley rides until 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday nights, the trolley ends its run at midnight. Both tourists and many Siesta Key residents have discovered the trolley’s hop-on and hop-off service as a way to get where they’re going.

Service of the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley began in 2017 when Sarasota County Area Transit launched the service. In June, 2022, the trolley held a celebration when it recorded its one-millionth rider. Since then, riders continue to make the trolley an often photographed and popular attraction. In addition to its cheery and welcoming tropical appearance, the trolley also serves an important role by reducing the number of cars traveling the Key and transporting people quickly and enjoyably.

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is a strong supporter of the trolley and devotes a page on its website to the service, encouraging everyone to “hop on!” The trolley also has strong support from the Siesta Key business community. Elana Rubinfeld, manager of the Turtle Beach Resort & Inn, recommends the trolley to all of her guests vacationing in the southern part of the island. She encourages visitors to leave their cars behind and to take advantage of the easy access that the trolley provides to Siesta Beach and the Village.

“It’s a great way to see the Key,” she said.

Added Catherine Luckner, president of the Siesta Key Association civic group, “It’s made a big impact in reducing cars and parking issues.”

The free Siesta Key Breeze App is one of the best and easiest ways to learn about the trolley and track Siesta’s Key’s coolest way to get around the island. Available on Google Play or the Apple App, it’s easy to navigate and lists all 46 trolley stops with addresses. It also shows a map of the route and offers realtime tracking to determine when the trolley will reach the rider’s location. The app also reports service notices.

For more information on the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley, call 311 or visit the Sarasota County government website,, and find a link for the Breeze Rider app.

23 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
VILLAGE MAP, pages 24, 25 CRESCENT BEACH MAP, page 28 GULF GATE SHOPS, page 39 LIVE MUSIC, page 32 ACCOMMODATIONS, page 47 941.312.0665
“Our goal,” said Jane Grogg, Sarasota County Area Transit director, “is to continually provide innovative solutions for travel.”
Ridership on the Siesta Key Breeze Trolley was reported to be the highest of all Sarasota County Area Transit services in the first six months of 2022.
VISIT OUR SIESTA VILLAGE LIQUORS JUST NEXT DOOR! Morton’s Siesta Market is your one-stop shop for easy island living. We offer a large selection of staple groceries, beer and wine, as well as fresh produce, meats and seafood. In keeping with our Morton’s tradition, we also carry a delicious array of prepared foods, perfect for take-out, picnics, parties and more. Please stop in and say hello! 205 Canal Road, Siesta Key • 941-349-1474 • Your Go-To Store on the Island



Siesta Key Association meets Feb. 2 at St. Boniface Church

The monthly meeting of the Siesta Key Association civic group will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the St. Boniface Church’s community room, 5615 Midnight Pass Rd.

The group meets the first Thursday of each month to discuss local issues. Visit for more information.

Sea Shell condos to get new tiki hut, commissioners decide

The Sea Shell Condominiums, 6500 Midnight Pass Rd., was given permission to build a new tiki hut

by the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners on Jan. 18 by a unanimous vote.

A coastal setback variance was required for the project.

The new hut replaces an older one that was first built in 1974 but torn down. It was 14 feet high, 16 feet wide, and 24 feet in length.

The new one, to be built in the same spot, will be 16 feet high, 24 feet wide, and 24 feet in length.

Neighbors to the south at The Crescent condo complex argued to commissioners that the additional height will block first- and secondfloor views and the increased size will draw heavier usage and noise, disrupting residents at the pool which is only 100 feet from the proposed structure.

Siesta Key Chapel to continue with beach services

On the heels of a Dec. 18 beach service it is calling a great success, Siesta Key Chapel has announced it will continue to hold its weekly beach service through April 2.

The worship service is Sundays at 9 a.m. at Sunset Point near Beach Access 2, located at 10 Beach Rd. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket and/or folding chair. Shuttle service to the beach, courtesy of the Frog Hop, will be available for those who wish to park at the church, located at the corner of Gleason Avenue and Ocean Boulevard. It begins at 8:30 a.m.

Volleyball event is Feb. 4, 5

The annual East End Beach Volleyball tournament is slated for Feb. 4 and 5 at Siesta Beach, 948

Beach Rd. Prizes adding up to $4,000 are on the line for both male and female competitors. Action begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. For more information, visit eevb. net or email

Beach walks return Feb. 1

Beginning Feb. 1 and going through March 29, Sarasota County is sponsoring a free Wednesday morning Siesta Beach Sunrise Walk along Siesta Key. It begins at the public beach’s main pavilion, 948 Beach Rd., and goes from 8 to 9:30 a.m. No registration is required.

Renew your vows on Siesta

The annual Say “I Do” Again event is set for Feb. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Rd. At 5 p.m., light refreshments will be served and live music will be

performed. Photo opportunities will also be available.

At 6 p.m., a non-denominational service will be at held.

Cost is $15 per couple in advance and $25 the day of the event (on-site registration begins at 4:30 p.m., credit card only).

Register by visiting parks or by calling (941) 861-7275.

Siesta Village Dentistry to host Valentine’s party Feb. 10

Siesta Village Dentistry, 5136 Ocean Blvd. in Davidson’s Plaza, is holding a Valentine’s Love and Appreciation Party from 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 10.

Enjoy live music, food and champagne, and a tour of the business’ high-tech office.

RSVP by Feb. 3 by emailing or by calling (941) 505-1200.

25 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC 24 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 ACCOMMODATIONS Beach Palms B-#74 Siesta Key Beach Resort & Spa Map-A #38A ATM BANKS PNC ATM Map-C #61 Sun Trust Bank & ATM Map-E #4 BARS & NIGHTCLUBS Blase Café Map-A #38 Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar Map-B #42-43 Gilligan’s Map-B #33 My Village Pub Map-C #53/54 Siesta Key Oyster Bar Map-B #45 The Beach Club Map-D #22 The Cottage Map-C #58 The Hub-Baja Grill Map-D #59 COFFEE SHOPS Bean Coffeehouse Map-D #62 Mojo Risin’ Coffee Company Map-B #31 DRUGSTORE Davidson Drugs Map-D #65 FASHION & ACCESSORIES Beach Bazaar’s & Swin Shack Map-C #28 Blvd. Beachwear Map-B #30 Casa Smeralda Fashion’Style D #12-11 Comfort Shoes-Birki & More Map-D #64 Foxy Lady Fashions Map-A #40 Gidget’s Coastal Provisions Map-B #44 Island Boutique Map-B #50 Island Style Map-C #53 Lilly Pulitzer Map-D #66 Sea Shanty Map-C #24 Siesta T’s Map-B #30 The Sandal Factory Map-B #46 GAS STATION Circle K Store Map-E #6 GIFTS & SOUVENIRS Beach Bazaar Map-C #28 Gilligan’s Gift Store Map-B #32 Island Trader Map-C #51 Sea Pleasures & Treasures Map-C #29 Siesta Key Outfitters Map-D #13 HEALTH & FITNESS Indep. Lifestyle Solutions Map-D #10 Siesta Healing Map-D #9 Siesta Key Fitness Map-B #73 Studio Yooga ................................... Map-B #51 ICE CREAM/SWEETS Big Olaf Creamery Map-C #52 Curly Cream Ice Cream Map-D #9 Local Chill Ice Cream Map-D #60 Made in Rome Organic Gelato Map-C #53 Meany’s Mini Donuts Map-C #24 Stefano Versace Gelato Map-C #50 SubZero Ice Cream/Yogurt Map-D #16 The Fudge Factory Map-A #36 INTERNET WiFi SERVICES Davidson Drugs Map-D #65 Mojo Risin’ Coffee Company Map-B #31 JEWELRY Created Gems Map-C #51 Mount -N- Repair Jewelers Map-D #9 LIQUOR STORES / FINE WINES Gabbiano’s Wine Club Map-D #70 Gilligan’s Map-B #33 Siesta Key Wine Bar Map-C #61 Siesta Village Liquors Map-C #26 The Beach Club Map-D #22 MAILING SHIPPING US Post Office Map-D #65 MARKETS/FOOD STORES Circle K Store Map-E #6 Morton’s Siesta Market Map-C #25 MASSAGE Hands of Light Massage Map-B #35 The Spa at Calle Minorga Map-E #74 Sassy ... the Little Day Spa.............Map-D #62 MEDICAL - DENTAL Siesta Village Dentistry Map-D #63 Siesta Dental Map-B #49 Siesta Key Physical Therapy Map-D #20 MISCELLANEOUS Chamber of Commerce Map-D #67 Prime Audio Video Map-E #1 Roberti Enterprises Map-A #39 Village Arcade Map-C #53 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Attorney Fleming Map-E #1 Edward Jones Investments Map-D #68 Smith Architects Map-E 74 REAL ESTATE / RENTAL SERVICES Amy Robinson RE Map-E #1 Beach Palms B-74 Coldwell Banker Realty Map-D #20 EXP Realty Map-E #4 Judith Guzzi & Assoc Map-E #74 Keller Williams Real Estate Map-D #11 Michael Saunders Realty Map-E #72 ReMax Alliance Group Map-C #29 Map-D #9 Robasota Rentals & Real Estate Map-A #39 Siesta Key Rental Prop Map-D #10 The Ringling Beach House Rentals Map-D #9 Tropical Sands Accommodations Map-D #67 RESTAURANTS / CAFÉS Another Broken Egg Map-C #54 & 55 Blase Café Map-A #38 Bonjour French Cafe Map-C #47 Café Gabbiano Map-D #71 Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar Map-B #42-43 Flavio’s Brick Oven & Bar Map-B #29 Flavio’s Italiano Ristorante Map-B #30 Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill Map-B #33 Island House Bar & Grill Map-D #69 Lobster Pot Map-C #23 Mojo Risin’ Coffee Company Map-B #31 Old Salty Dog Rest. & Pub Map-E #2 PI Pizza & Craft Beer Map-A #3 Ripfire Pizza Map-B #47 Siesta Key Oyster Bar Map-B #45 IL PANCIFICO Map-D #15 Summer House Map-C #57 Sun Garden Café Map-D #19 The Cottage Map-C #58 The Hub Baja Grill Map-C #59 The Seafood Joint Map-D #15 The Star Thai Sushi Map-D #17 & 18 Village Café Map-D #14 SPAS - HAIR & BEAUTY Sassy Hair Salon Map-A #40 Sassy ... the Little Day Spa.............Map-D #62 Siesta Key Nails & Spa Map-D #9 Shaman Sanctuary Salon Map-D #9 SPORTS INTEREST/RENTALS CaliFlorida Map-C #29 Robin Hood Rentals Map-B #34 Island Chatter Continued from previous page Island Chatter Continued from page 5 Siesta Key Oyster Bar, or “SKOB” as the locals call it, is the hangout with the laid-back, beachy atmosphere that will get you right into the Island Spirit. One of the things that set SKOB apart from the other restaurants in Siesta Key Village is that we have some of the best food on the Key. Live Music Every Day and Night Big G’s Oyster Happy Hour from 3-6 Every day 1/2 Priced House Oysters Daily Drink Specials MARKET & GRILL 217 AVENIDA MADERA SIESTA KEY 941-552-8826 CATERING AVAILABLE Chamber guides available All are invited to stop in the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce office, 5114 Ocean Blvd., to pick up copies of the new 2023 Siesta Key
Guide & Local Resources
brochures and area maps are also available.
DAIQUIRIDECK.COM SIESTA KEY 5250 Ocean Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34242 SOUTH SIESTA 1250 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL 34242 ST ARMANDS CIRCLE 325 John Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34236 ISLAND OF VENICE 300 W. Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34285 Anna Maria Island 107 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, FL. 34217 ISLAND OF VENICE LET US CUSTOMIZE SHIRTS FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT! 5131 Ocean Blvd. Siesta Key Village 941-349-3490 CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN SHIRT FROM HUNDREDS OF DESIGNS T-SHIRTS • SWEATSHIRTS • SOUVENIRS Continued on next page Coffee Shop • Tea Room • 5138 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key Village 941-260-6400 WHAT BETTER WAY TO START YOUR DAY IN PARADISE! • Organic and Fair Trade Coffees & Teas • Cold Pressed Coffee • Organic Smoothies • Light Lunch (Sandwiches) • Breakfast Sandwiches, Bagels & Lox • Homemade Pastries
& Mart ini Bar Blasé Café T WO GREAT PL ACES ONE LOCATION! 5263 Ocean Blvd. | Siesta Key TWO GREAT PLACES ONE LOCATION! 5263 Ocean Blvd. | Siesta Key Awesome pizza, wings & bartenders! 941.346.1188 HAPPY HOUR 5-6 PM Daily 941.349.9822 HAPPY HOUR 2 - 6 pm Daily $5 Wells $2.50 Bud Light Drafts 3.14 PI 5128 Ocean Blvd. Siesta Village 941-346-7425 Bringing you quality and comfort for more than 40 years! Gift Certificates Available Birkenstock & More Gizeh Pearl White Mayari Licorice Granada Habana Arizona Tobacco Brown Arizona Habana Hey Dude & Birkenstocks Back in Stock! Bogg Bags in Stock!

American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Recently, an early morning stroll down Turtle Beach yielded the magnificent sight of a lone white pelican foraging for breakfast in the company of several brown pelicans. As both types of pelicans helped themselves to the Gulf’s plentiful buffet in the shallows just offshore, their table manners were strikingly different.

The smaller, more agile brown pelican espies its entree from the air and then plunges head-first below the surface to scoop up unsuspecting fish in a grandiose splash. The much larger white pelican first locates a target-rich environment on wing, then calmly paddles to trawl the surface, and

finally dips its head and bill into the water to net the catch of the day. The size differential between the two pelicans is noteworthy. Mature brown pelicans reach 9 to 11 pounds with a wingspan of 6 to 6.5 feet. However, the white pelican weighs in at 15 to 19 pounds with a wingspan of 8 to 9 feet—making it one of the largest birds in North America!

Winter is the best time for viewing white pelicans along the coastal bays and inlets of Siesta Key and Sarasota County before their spring migration to breeding grounds in the northern Great Plains.

Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards are available at Sunshine & Sand Hidden Treasures, 6635 Midnight Pass Rd., in Crescent Plaza.

Blooming this month: Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii)

The common names have alluded that the crown of thorns worn by Christ at the time of his crucifixion was made from stems of this plant. They are pliable and can be intertwined into a circle.

It’s a native to Madagascar, and thought to have been brought to the Middle East before the time of Christ. It is a woody, spiny, climbing succulent shrub.

This plant is suitable for growing indoors. Allow cut surface to callous over before planting. Collect seeds when flowers fade. Allow pods to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds.

Drought tolerance has made it a favorite of landscapers and homeowners wanting to conserve

water. Salt tolerance has made it a useful shrub for landscapes near bodies of salt water, as many Florida landscapes are.

When working with crown of thorns you need to be reminded to wear gloves. Not only are the spines a menace to the ungloved hand, but the plant produces a poisonous milky sap that can irritate the skin. If sap gets on your hands, rinse it off immediately.

Visit our grounds at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. Or visit our website at

26 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
* Authentic Italian food from Italian chefs Open for dinner from 4pm - 9pm 3900 Clark Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233 (941) 952-3186 BEST HAPPY HOUR IN TOWN Daily 4pm - 6:30pm * Fresh housemade pasta 4832 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota• The Landings • 941-706-4225 Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 7:00am to 2:00pm (Closed Mondays) Opening this Winter! Place your orders now! Review our menu at ORDER NOW: TurDucKens Shipped Anywhere in the U.S. GREAT GIFT! Prime Aged Steaks, Chops, Seafood, NY Deli Meats, Sausage and Salads Voted Sarasota’s Best Philly Cheesesteak and NY Reuben Serving Sarasota Since 1975 We offer takeout and complete catering services. Sarasota’s only old-fashioned Meat Market, Deli and Restaurant under one roof Voted Sarasota’s best non-chain Steakhouse 4 years in a row! Home of the Sarasota TurDucKen, as seen on The Food Network with Guy Fieri, host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Time to order: • Beef Tenderloin • Prime Rib • TurDucKen • Crown Roast (Pork or Lamb) • Party Platters • Stone Crab Claws


Turtles Salad … $20

Turtles Deluxe Salad … $16

Caesar Salad … $19

With grilled shrimp or chicken Kale Salad … $20


Grouper Sandwich … $20

Salmon BLT … $19

Mahi Mahi Sandwich … $19

Chicken Sandwich … $13

Cheeseburger … $13 Vegan Burger … $12


Stuffed Shrimp … $23

Potato Crusted Haddock … $21

Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi … $21

Gulf of Mexico Grouper … $24

Salmon … $22

Sea Scallops … $22

Shrimp and Seafood Au Gratin … $16

Fisherman Platter … $32

Baby Back Ribs … $24

Orange Pecan Chicken … $16

Filet Mignon … $24

Filet Mignon & Stuffed Shrimp … $34

Filet Mignon & Maine Lobster Tail … $48

Stuffed Shrimp & Maine Lobster Tail … $42

Twin Maine Lobster Tails … $54


Coconut Shrimp … $22

Large Gulf Shrimp … $20

Fish & Chips … $19

Fried Combo … $28


Shrimp & Crab Scampi … $24

Salmon Pasta … $21

Chicken & Shrimp Curry … $21

Sweet ‘n Spicy Chicken & Shrimp … $22

Pasta Primavera … $16


Turtle Pie … $9

Key Lime Pie … $9

Sample Platter … $12

Ice Cream Bar … $6

27 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC TURTL E S On Little Sarasota Bay Casual Waterfront Dining Fun, Fresh & Affordable 8875 Midnight Pass Rd. • Siesta Key 941-346-2207 • turtlessiestakey • turtlessiestakey Ride the Siesta Breeze Trolley from the Village It’s Turtles Time! Turtles All Day Menu APPETIZERS Sweet ‘n Spicy Shrimp … $12 Coconut Shrimp … $12 Shrimp Cocktail* … $12 Calamari … $13 Stuffed Mushrooms … $12 Fish Bites … $12 SIDE SALADS Fresh Garden Salad* … $7 Caesar Salad … $8 Turtles Wedge* … $12 Kale Salad … $11 SOUPS
New England
Chowder Cup … $6 Bowl … $8
Signature Crab Bisque Cup … $9 Bowl … $13
Outdoor Waterfront Dining! Open 11:30am-9pm Daily. Sunday Brunch starting at $11.99 from 10am-1pm.
28 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 941.346.0202 1220 Old Stickney Point Road HAND MADE: • Ice Cream • Sundaes • Shakes Home of the Orange Squeeze OPEN DAILY 11AM - 10PM BARS & NIGHTCLUBS Capt. Curt’s Backroom Saloon B-3 #7 Crescent Club C-3 #13 Sniki Tiki B-3 #8 COFFEE SHOPS Coffee Garden B-3 #8 DELIS / BAKERIES Anna’s Deli & Sandwiches C-3 #14 Nutritious You C-3 #14 DRUG STORES Davidson Drugs C-3 #14 FASHION & ACCESSORIES Fin Island Co A-3 #2 CB’s Saltwater Outfitters A-3 #4 Coconuts Resort Wear B-3 #1 Green Turtle Swimwear C-3 #14 Key Casual Fashions D-3 #17 Things You Like C-3 #14 GIFTS & SOUVENIRS Capt. Curt’s Souvenirs B-3 #8 Green Turtle Shells & Gifts C-3 #14 Sunshine Sand Hidden Treasures D-3 #17 Silver City Jewelry C-3 #14 HEALTH & BEAUTY Eye Style Optical ....................................C-3 #17 Sanctuary Siesta Key A-5 #12 Siesta Key Salon & Spa D-3 #17 The Key Spa & Salon A-5 #12 ICE CREAM & TREATS Orange Octopus B-3 #8 Siesta Creamery C-3 #14 INTERNET / WiFi SERVICES Davidson Drugs C-3 #14 Mail Pack Center C-3 #14 LIQUOR STORES Crescent Club B-3 #13 Siesta Spirits C-3 #17 MAILING & SHIPPING Mail Pack Center C-3 #14 US Post Office Sub Station C-3 #14 MARKETS 7-11 Store C-3 #16 Big Water Fish Market C-3 #17 REAL ESTATE / RENTALS Beckmann Properties C-2 #15 Homes & Condo Rentals D-3 #17 Re/Max Tropical Sands B-3 #1 Siesta 4-Rent C-3 #14 Waterside Realty C-3 #17 RESTAURANTS / CAFES Big Water Fish Market C-3 #17 Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill A-5 #12 Capt. Curts Crab & Oyster Bar B-3 #7 Clayton’s Siesta Grille B-3 #9 Daiquiri Deck A-3 #2 Pizza ‘N Brew Siesta Key D-3 #17 Spear Fish Grill A-4 #5 Toasted Mango Cafe C-3 #17 Miguel’s Restaurant C-3 #17 WATER SPORTS - FISHING - RENTALS A to Z Beach & Bike Rentals A-5 #12 FIN Island Co. A-3 #2 CB’s Saltwater Outfitters A-3 #4 Parasail Siesta A-3 #2 Siesta Key Bike & Kayak B-3 #8 Siesta Key Marina A-4 #5 Siesta Key Jetski A-3 #2 Siesta Sports Rentals C-3 #14 Waves Boat & Social Club A-5 #12 CRESCENT BEACH SHOP INDEX MAP C-3 #14 Anna’s Deli 6535 Midnight Pass Rd. MAP B-3 #1 Crescent Beach Grocery 1211 Old Stickney Pt. Rd. MAP A-3 #4 CB’s Saltwater Outfitters 1249 Stickney Point Rd. MAP B-3 #1&8 Coconuts Fashion 1215 Old Stickney Point Rd. MAP C-3 #17 Toasted Mango Cafe 6621 Midnight Pass Rd. MAP C-3 #14 Siesta 4-Rent 6555 Midnight Pass Rd. MAP C-4 #17 Big Water Fish Market 6641 Midnight Pass Road MAP A-5 #12 Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill 1500 Stickney Point Rd. MAP C-3 #14 Davidson Drugs 6595 Midnight Pass Rd. SHELL& GIFT CITY SHELL & GIF T THE GREEN TURTLE TUR 349-4751 349-4751 SiestaKey’s Largest Seashell& CoralSelection! SOUTHBRIDGEMALL CRESCENT BEACH SIESTA KEY SiestaKey’s Most Friendly& Unique Shopping Spot! 6525 Midnight Pass Road In South Bridge Mall “A Tropical Department Store Department Store“ MAP B -3#14 FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! With This Coupon No Pu r chase Necessary green TURTLE COUPON green TURTLE COUPON Just ForStopping In AF ree Tropical Gift! AF f t! EXPIRES:12/31/2020 VA59¢ LUE GIF TS& SOUVENIRS BEACH FASHIONS BEACH SUPPLIES BEACH COVER-UPS L ADIES & JUNIORS FASHIONS SUPER MEN'SLINE TS & ASHIONS JUNIORSFASHIONS S LINE $ T Siesta Key BestDiner in Florida 6621 Midnight Pass Road Just S. of Stickney Pt. Road 941-552-6485 Open 7 Days A Week ~ 7 AM - 3 PM BREAKFAST and LUNCH SERVED ALL DAY Full Breakfast and Lunch Menu All Natural Fresh Fruit and Veggie Smoothies Beer, Wine and Bloody Marys MSN Food and Drink Jan. 2015 To advertise in Siesta Sand, call 941-312-0665

New Energy Medicine Technologies are Now

at Spa Experience, Siesta Key

After completing the Life Transformation program at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, and experiencing firsthand the cutting-edge energy medicine offerings there, Connie Lewis is excited to bring Qrs and H-Wave healing therapies to Spa Experience Siesta Key. Lewis has created a new service that encompasses all her areas of expertise including trigger point therapy, Reiki, Cupping, CBD massage Hot stone Massage, Sports Massage, and now QRS and H-Wave therapies. Consultation and coaching time are included with your session.

Qrs is energy medicine that utilizes PEMF (pulsed electric magnetic therapy via a mat laser and ear and eye accessories. These noninvasive therapies are painless and ultra-relaxing and healing in nature. Some of the many benefits of the Qrs Mat and laser are improved and speedier recovery from physical tiredness and over-exertion. Qrs balances the body’s acupuncture points in 8 minutes leaving you feeling stress-free, energetic, and ready for whatever the day may bring. Qrs aids in healing muscle soreness and post-workout stress while healing the muscles joints and bones.

H-Wave is an FDA-approved medical device used to flush lymphatic fluid, increase circulation and eliminate pain and restore function. If the space around the cell is congested, the cells cannot uptake the oxygen

and nutrition it needs resulting in pain sickness, disease, and premature aging. If the space around the cells is free of congestion and metabolic waste products, the cell can now uptake oxygen and nutrition resulting in less pain sickness, more energy better health, and slower aging physically and mentally.

Incorporating these technologies into her Spa treatments will be an incredible leap forward in assisting clients live a more painfree relaxed life.

Spa Experience Siesta Key was opened in January of 2021 when Connie decided to expand her Spa in scope and services. Having owned and operated Massage Experience Siesta Key for 22 years she wanted to offer a wider range of services now including Acupuncture, Qrs, H-Wave energy medicine,

and Spa Parties. Lewis continues to offer her pampering results-driven facials using Pevonia Botanica Skincare and body line. Pevonia Botanica products are available for purchase by calling or stopping by the Spa.

Spa Experience Siesta Key boasts 5 treatment rooms that can accommodate up to 8 guests at a time. We are happy to help you make arrangements for your Bridal party, family reunion, or a spa day with friends. Please call for details and package options.

Spa Experience Siesta Key is conveniently located near the Siesta Key public beach at 5700 Midnight Pass Road, Suite 4b, Siesta Key, FL 34242 Our phone number is 941-349-4833 and our website is

29 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
LICENSE #MM 40045 & MA 17596

spoke to us by phone, noted that “Over the years we’ve had wonderful guests from all over the world. Many have become our friends.”

For more than 30 years, this intimate boutique resort has been an almost secret getaway, known mostly to many well-versed travelers, families and couples who return year after year. It has also been discovered by honeymooners and those looking to escape the world for a few days.

Divided into two separate locations, the resort, on Little Sarasota Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway, is designed for families, couples and pets. The inn, on the opposite side of Midnight Pass Road, faces the Turtle Beach lagoon.

The resort holds 10 spacious and well-appointed cottages. Each has a full kitchen, indoor and outdoor seating, and a deck. Six have two bedrooms and two have


one bedroom. There are also two townhouses that sleep six.

A common-area pool with seating and an outdoor barbecue faces the water.

The Turtle Beach Resort & Inn, Elana reported, is the only waterfront hotel on the south end of Siesta Key that sits directly on the Intracoastal.

“Some of our guests arrive by boat from as far north as Tampa and as far south as Naples,” she said.

I was sold. The idea of spending a few days in your own private cottage or suite, complete with a deck to watch the sun rise and set, is certainly appealing.

Once guests arrive for their stay, Elana explained, there’s no need to leave. Even groceries can be delivered before arrival. “We have a full team on site and a virtual concierge service,” she said. Questions are sent and answered by text.

Continued from page 8

ordinances attached to the plan – namely Future Land Use Policy 2.9.1 – were under heavy scrutiny. Debated throughout out the process has been whether hotel rooms are considered dwellings.

David Pearce, the county’s assistant attorney, provided examples of ordinances dating back to 1975 that indicated, in his opinion, that traditional hotel rooms are not dwelling units because they don’t have kitchens.

Prior to the hotel vote, the commissioners approved an amendment to the county’s Unified Development Code (it defines landuse and zoning regulations) that opened the door to the notion of unlimited density. The

“We work with many local vendors. We can arrange for special meal deliveries as well as on-site couple massages,” she added.

Guests who bring their four-legged furry friends also can receive advice about local dog-friendly places. Canoes, bikes, beach chairs, and fishing equipment are also available for guests. Those who want to enjoy their own cookout can use the grills at both locations.

A quick stroll across Midnight Pass Road brought us to the Turtle Beach Inn. Reserved for adults only, the private inn accommodations face the Turtle Beach Lagoon. “We direct guests with children and pets to the resort,” Elana said.

The inn features three onebedroom suites and seven studios. Each has a private hot tub, kitchenette and bathroom. The inn’s common pool area is undergoing a complete renovation

mindset was that hotels fell into the category of being commercial entities, not residential dwellings.

“Would this hotel have been allowed in 1989?” Pearce asked. “Yes.”

Attorney Richard Grosso argued on Ramirez’s behalf that most land-use ordinances put in place throughout the years were done so to actually discourage hotels and overdevelopment. Since the Calle Miramar hotel has been approved, two more have also received the green light.

“Never was the intention unlimited density – to build whatever you can fit,” Grosso said. “There’s no way. If it was, why did they have to change the code?

that Elana expects to complete later this winter.

Guests of the complex who want to explore the Key can either drive or take a short walk to Turtle Beach. Ophelia’s on the Bay, the celebrated fine dining restaurant, is next door. For casual dining, the popular Turtles on Little Sarasota Bay restaurant is also just a short walk away.

For a visit to the Siesta Key Village, Elana suggests that guests hop on the free Siesta Key Trolley that stops at the nearby Turtle Beach trolley stop.

Discover the one-of-a-kind establishment at 9049 Midnight Pass Rd. Visit its website at, email it at, or call (941) 349-4554.

Also, Ramirez’s lawsuit argues that county leaders didn’t follow the proper procedures in reaching their decisions.

“If the makeup of the current commission wants mega hotels on Siesta Key, it needs to amend its comprehensive plan,” Grosso said.

Ramirez’s case argues other points, including that the influx of guests to an already cramped area will hinder hurricane evacuation efforts. The 1981 amendment to the comprehensive plan, Gross said, addressed this issue by suggesting that development be carefully limited on barrier islands.

The county is facing another hotels-related lawsuit at this time, it being filed late last

year shortly after Ramirez did so. Resident Robert Sax, his Marina Del Sol condo complex (near the south bridge), and the 222 Beach Road complex (near the Village) have teamed up to dispute the approval of not only the Calle Miramar hotel (being built by developer Robert Anderson) but the seven-story, 120-room hotel approved at the corner of Old Stickney Point Road and Peacock Road (being built by resident Gary Kompothecras).

That second project also includes a separate five-story parking garage across the street on Stickney Point Road.

That case is set for a June trial, also under Walker’s jurisdiction.

30 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Turtle Beach Resort & Inn Continued from page 12

Our extraordinary dogs transform lives. Beyond the Dark invites you to experience this transformation and connect with our mission. You’ll engage your senses while immersing into the challenges of people with vision loss and veterans with disabilities. You’ll meet graduates of our programs and hear their triumphant stories. You’ll witness our highly trained guide dogs and service dogs at work, and see the powerful difference they make. And you’ll come away with a greater connection to the human-dog teams who journey beyond the dark

31 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC

Arts on the Horizon

Where to see it

One of the world’s best collections of Tiffany art glass is housed in the Morse Museum in Winter Park, just on the other side of Florida. It really is worth a trip. However, it being February, the flowers in the lovely parks in that town are not in bloom. Where there is a fabulous combination of Tiffany art and flowering plants is at Selby Botanical Gardens, off Mound Street, starting on February 12 and continuing through June 25.

This year’s Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition is titled Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature, and the title says it all.

The Art Nouveau movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries showcased nature that really seemed to move and be alive -- sinuous and seductive. And the art of Louis Comfort Tiffany embodied the essence of that period: flowers, dragonflies, vines, in stained glass depicting glorious sunsets, sunrises, and trumpet flowers.

As always, the play of light on Tiffany’s work, set amongst the flowers and plants at The Selby, will be breathtaking. And the light scent of early spring and summer flowers will only enhance the effect that those colors have on our senses.

Tiffany started his career in the arts as a painter but soon found that medium to be too limiting. A better use of his imagination would direct him to stained glass and sculpted decorations, where the layered depth of glass and metal would produce a more visually intense rendering of his ideas.

His art, being done in a time when there were still enough craftsmen working within a lower wage structure, could be produced in small batches and still be affordable to a large enough segment of the art buying public

Because his work was so well accepted, documented, written about, and loved, there are many artists who have produced works in a similar vein, but, simply not comparable. What one needs to do is view high resolution representations and actual originals of his work in compatible settings. to appreciate, today, what Tiffany did 100 years ago.

Another way to appreciate his art is to understand it.

And speaking of which, Louis Comfort Tiffany’s great-great granddaughter, Nadia Watts, will be speaking about his work -- and about him -- at the Selby, on Feb. 14. And, by the way, what is her field of endeavor? Interior design, of course.

Dappled daylight, filtering through flowers and trees, is a wonderful setting in which to view

Tiffany’s Gilded Age works of art. Another, more exotic way might be to see those works and more, in the evening’s afterglow at The Orchid Ball: The Gilded Age, on Feb. 11.

More info at

Three cheers for music

There will be three times this month to hear cheery -- and celebratory, romantic, fun, and classic -- music. The Suncoast Concert Band has two concerts lined up at Northminster Church, at the intersection of University and Lockwood Ridge, on the afternoons of the 12th and 26th.

The first concert, ˆLet’s Celebrateˆ, has a fanfare, an overture, three marches, a salutation and an acclamation, among other compositions. These will include Suncoast Celebration, where the band toots its own horns for in a tune commemorating its 90th anniversary. They will also be playing the new version of “God Save the Queen,” where the word queen has morphed into the word king -- but don’t worry, the music stays the same.

How many people in Sarasota know the location of Sawdust City? The audience of this concert will when the band’s conductor announces that they are playing Michael Sweeney’s Sawdust City Celebration.

The Suncoast Concert Band has three rehearsals to be fully ready for a concert, so it is not often that they take requests. However, for their concert on Feb. 26, the band members have asked their director to build the concert around their own requests. This way they will have had plenty of time to get their chops fine-tuned.

Karl L. King was a prolific composer of band music, having

written over 290 published pieces. One of his most famous is, “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite.”

It is not known if this tune was actually those circus luminaries’ favorite but the band’s favorite is King’s “Prestissimo March.” This piece is also known as the “Prestissimo Galop”). As the musical term prestissimo means “extremely fast, the fastest possible tempo”, and a galop is “a lively ballroom dance in double time,” one can expect to see the band’s fingers flying.

The band will go from one extreme (“That Old Hound Dog Rag,” “Pirates of the Caribbean Symphonic Suite” and “Theme from Jurassic Park”) to the other (the “Poet and Peasant Overture,” that some remember from grade or high school).

The Jazz Ambassadors, a swinging subset of the full band, has its own concert -- Valentine Favorites -- on Feb. 19. We don’t want COVID-19 hanging around, but we do hope that “Love Is Here To Stay,” and so does this jazzy group as they play that tune. Others will be “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” “Witchcraft,” and “Route 66.”

The big question will be, on which tunes will guest soloist Nick Bruno play the vibraphone? Probably on one that Joe Bruno is playing the trumpet. More info at

Football in February?

Alliteration is great but it is not just football that is kicking off this month. Like so many events, after a long COVID-19 winter (like a two year long winter), La Musica Chamber Music is back. And continuing the sports analogy; there will be a lot of

one-two punches on Feb. 20, at the Riverview Performing Arts Center, during La Musica’s Rachmaninov Celebration. One-two piano punches to be specific. 2022 Van Cliburn Competition medalists Dmytro Choni and Anna Geniushene will be performing two- and fourhand renditions of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite (four hands), Lullaby (two hands), and Scherzo à la russe (two hands), Rachmaninov’s Suite no. 1 (four hands), and Suite no. 2 (four hands). And just for fun, they will be throwing in Scriabin’s Piano Sonata no. 4 (two hands).

Wikipedia states that this sonata was the beginning of Scriabin’s middle period due to its new mystical sonorities (an interesting factoid of no particular value).

What is of value is the pleasure that this and the other pieces to be played that evening will bring to the ears (two) of the attendees.

And just to give fair warning, the Voices of the Americas will be performing at the same venue on March 13. They will be performing the same program two days later on the Music Society of Lincoln Center’s stage in New York, so it should be a great evening. The playlist is a melding of great North and South American composers and some of their most famous compositions: Copeland’s El Salón México, Bernstein’s Three Meditations, Ginastera’s Chacarera, and Golljov’s Mariel -- the list goes on.

More info at Lamusicafestival. org.

32 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665

Next, the Florida Legislature’s House and Senate must pass the bill at its session that begins in April, followed by a stamp of approval from the governor. Then, a local referendum would finally determine the bill’s fate. That would take place in conjunction with the presidential election of November 2024.

Had the delegation passed the measure or not, McFarland said “I think Siesta Key is better for having had this conversation,” acknowledging the frustrations some island residents have expressed frustration with a Sarasota County Commission that has recently voted to dredge Big Pass in order to renourish Lido Key with sand, to approve the massive Siesta Promenade project near the Key’s south entrance, and to approve three high-density hotels.

“I’m actually happy we got another year,” McFarland added. “You had a longer time to answer every question, every cause for concern we had. This was a true model of a grassroots organization.

Said Gruters, “You deserve a lot of credit for the groundwork that you’ve laid.”

However, Grant’s vote came at what could be considered a substantial price. His insistence on seeing a potential referendum come during a presidential election will result in an 18-month lag between the potential state approval and the decisive local vote on the island.

“I appreciate the compromise to make that happen,” Grant said.

Save Siesta Key had hoped to have a special referendum election this fall with the goal of being designated with incorporation on Dec. 31 of this year.

Furthermore, Grant wanted to see an election of a town council also take place during a major spring election, which would mean March of 2025.

“We’d like to think you’ll agree that we’re good listeners,” said Tim Hensey, the incorporation group’s chairman, regarding the delegation’s recommendations.

Added Tierney, “We were considerate of the delegation members and cooperated with them. And it paid off.”

McFarland also said the long potential wait could be good for the community.

“They’ll be completely informed about what it is they’re voting on,” she said. “I’m a big fan of voter education.”

No changes to what the legislature will be voting on will be allowed to take place during the lull.

The straw vote

Among the recommendations was the creation of a non-binding straw vote to gauge the public’s interest. It was offered by the delegation after its no vote last year.

Deciding to pursue the idea, Save Siesta

Key spent nearly $30,000 on the endeavor, Hensey reported, mailing out 7,009 ballots in November with pre-paid return envelopes to Siesta Key’s registered voters. The eventual deadline for reply was Dec. 30.

The group sent out follow-up postcards and erected signs throughout the Key, urging residents to return their ballots. It even established a dedicated phone line for people to call who hadn’t received one.

The ballot question read: “Shall the Town of Siesta Key be incorporated, and its charter created?”

Hensey said incomplete addresses, residents being gone for the holidays, and some snafus with the postal service during its busiest time made for some challenges, resulting in a 41% reply.

However, Hensey noted it was a number greater than two of the last three county elections.

What did stand out, however, was an 87% approval rate on the ballot question – a number that Grant called “impressive.”

“We ran it like a true election,” said Hensey, who had ballots printed and mailed by an independent third party in Tallahassee. They were then tabulated by an independent law firm out of Lakewood Ranch.

“We didn’t touch the ballots,” he said.

Another change the incorporation group made, based upon delegation reaction from last year, was the doubling of the proposed starting mill rate. It went from .25 mills to .5 mills, which Hensey told the delegation on Jan, 12 was adequate.

With that number, the owner of a $500,000 home on Siesta Key – which is likely near the new average value that is yet to be established – would pay an additional $250 in taxes each year beyond the taxes

already being paid to Sarasota County. A mill represents $1,000 of assessed value of a property.

Hensey pointed to island’s roughly $7.7 billion in property value as a crucial factor in the ability to operate at such a modest mill rate. He said that huge number went up by nearly $2 billion since just last year.

It will now allow for a projected town budget of $4.7 million, Hensey said, with a $1.9 million surplus in hand.

Five or six employees would be hired, including a town manager, code enforcement officer, planner, and clerk, totaling just shy of $1 million in compensation, Hensey said. He envisioned about $340,000 annually in operating expenses.

Out-sourced expenditures, he said, include $530,000 for firms that handle things like legal and engineering matters, $400,000 in law enforcement/EMS with Sarasota County, and $460,000 in side-road maintenance.

Why a no vote?

Buchanan, a former Siesta Key resident now living in Osprey and who currently serves as chairman of the delegation while representing District 74, last year voiced concerns about the .25 mills proposal being inadequate for supporting a municipality’s infrastructure. On this second vote, he said he had several concerns but only specifically mentioned the Key’s proximity to the city of Sarasota – a potential problem depending on how you interpret a portion of Florida Statute 165, which outlines the incorporation process.

It reads: “It must have a minimum distance of any part of the area proposed for incorporation from the boundaries of an existing municipality within the county

of at least 2 miles or have an extraordinary natural boundary which requires separate municipal government.”

Not only is incorporated Siesta Key within 2 miles of the city of Sarasota, but several hundred homes on the Bay Island portion of the Key’s northern end were years ago annexed into the city. Save Siesta Key has not included them in the process, noting there is no mechanism to do so seeing as Siesta Key is not its own entity.

Buchanan said he feared such an incorporation could “set a bad precedent.”

“That’s probably my biggest concern,” he said.

However, there are many cases in which that clause has been waived, the Florida League of Cities reports, in what has become a state whose population continues to overwhelm its available land.

Florida has 411 municipalities. The most recent incorporation took place in Indiantown in Martin County in 2017. As for Siesta Key’s, it’s Florida’s largest barrier island that is not incorporated. Neighboring Longboat Key was incorporated in 1866, Lido Key is part of the city of Sarasota, and Casey Key remains part of unincorporated Sarasota County.

Still, Buchanan gave the incorporation credit in saying “I don’t think any delegation member can say you haven’t spent adequate time and energy on this. For that, I’m grateful to you. You’ve worked in good faith with members of the delegation.”

At the capitol

Meanwhile, working on state lawmakers will be Save Siesta Key’s next focus. It hired a new lobbyist last year in Tallahassee-based David Ramba and is considering hiring a second one, Hensey has said.

Save Siesta Key, a non-profit 501(c)(4) (to which contributors cannot declare donations as tax-deductible), will continue to raise funds. In its first year it collected about $125,000 and did so again in 2022.

This will mark McFarland’s third legislative session, and she will be bringing the Siesta Key incorporation bill to the floor.

New House speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, doesn’t share the same closed-mindedness on new taxes that his predecessor Chris Sprowls did, Hensey has said, which may also bode well for the incorporation group.

“If he supports it and lets it be heard, we have high chances,” Hensey said of Renner after the successful delegation vote.

Hensey has also said there’s a chance that some Save Siesta Key board members may be making a trip to Tallahassee during the upcoming session. The board consists of Hensey, Tierney, John Davidson, Tracy Jackson, Steve Lexow, and Gary Rodkin.

33 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
Save Siesta Key Continued from page 1
2023 “Tweet Life” Calendar: Buy Today at Siesta Sand Online Store The beautiful birds of Siesta Key are featured in a our one-of-a-kind 2023 Tweet Life calendar. Jan Baumgartner’s photography of Siesta Key’s birds is something to enjoy throughout the year. Only $24 plus shipping & handling. Order today at
Tim Hensey, chairman of Save Siesta Key, speaks with reporters outside the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners’ chambers after his incorporation group received a favorable vote. (submitted photo)

Last month, we touched on a handful of ways you and your dog can resolve to have a great 2023. This month, we’re going to focus on just one: grooming. While we often talk about the importance of a balanced diet, proper nutrition, and plenty of exercise for your dog, grooming sometimes gets short shrift. But a wellrounded grooming routine— including bathing, brushing, nail trimming, and dental care—is necessary to keep your dog feeling good and looking their best.

Grooming Go-To’s

Your pup’s beauty regimen begins with the two B’s: brushing and bathing.

Brushing the fur from the neck down removes dead skin, hair, and mats can mitigate pests and will help spread your dog’s natural oils evenly throughout their coat. Plus, the stimulation aids circulation in their skin and helps them stay cool. Coupled with regular bathing, these activities make for a healthy start and offer some additional time for you to bond with your dog.

But it doesn’t end there.

Consistent nail trimming goes a long way to prevent discomfort for your pup—and maybe your furniture. Ears and eyes should also be monitored to guard against irritation or infection. And then, there are your dog’s teeth.

Proper Choppers

A clean, healthy coat is important, but strong dental hygiene is even more vital to maintaining your dog’s health and well-being. Unsurprisingly, proper doggie dental care also begins with brushing to rid your pup’s mouth of food particles, bacteria, and salivary proteins that can contribute to plaque buildup. All it takes is a nice, soft toothbrush, some canineformulated toothpaste, and a little patience. As you might imagine, many dogs aren’t

fond of oral hygiene. So, prepare yourself in case it’s a struggle—and maybe keep a treat nearby.

Beyond brushing, don’t forget to pay attention to two other key elements that will keep your dog’s grill looking, feeling, and smelling great: chewing, and gut health.

Much like kids, many dogs don’t adequately chew their food. Chewing bones and toys can limit plaque, reduce tartar, and contribute positively to gum health. As for their gut, you can easily check on how things are going by giving your dog’s breath a sniff. While you should be mindful of gut health regardless, you may want to take special action if they don’t pass the smell test. Bad breath is not only unpleasant, but it can also

be an indicator of bacterial imbalance. Thankfully, this imbalance can often be solved using probiotics to boost desirable gut flora while also helping prevent oral issues like halitosis and periodontal disease.

The Pros Know

Establishing a home grooming routine is great. Still, you may also want to incorporate the occasional visit with a pro. At the very least, a trip to the groomer for a nice haircut from time to time is worth putting on the schedule, but keep in mind these skilled professionals can also offer other services that your dog will love. Finally, as you update your pup’s routine, don’t forget that your local independent pet store is an excellent resource to access both grooming tools and experts.

Start the new year right by implementing a regular grooming schedule that will help your dog live 2023 happier and healthier, both inside and out.

Wally is a 17-year-old bichon shih tzu who just recently for the first time made the plane ride to Sarasota from his Wisconsin home.

He’s described as an anxious old man who is mostly blind and deaf but still enjoys his home-cooked meals.

Wally is the grandson of of Trixie, the family’s first bichon shih tzu.

(Submit your Paw Pal to the Siesta Sand at

34 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
New Year, New You! But What About Your Pup?
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Celebration of life to be held


was too short. Randy genuinely loved his life on the beach and enjoyed watching the sunset, especially the years when he had the privilege of leading the flag ceremony. There is no better place to gather than on the beach at Patriots Pier to share your stories to keep memories of him alive.

Randy loved to tell corny jokes and make people laugh. He had a very giving heart and was a man of integrity.

His time on this precious earth

Spa Experience

Lewis recommends that clients add a QRS or H-Wave session to a massage or facial.

“Having experienced the QRS myself, I can say that it is tremendously helpful for relieving tension in the body,” she said.

For those looking for a way to ease their pain and restore mobility, Lewis recommends the H-Wave energy therapy.

“It works to eliminate pain and restore function. It can also help to increase circulation in the muscles,” she said.

When it comes to pure pampering and relaxing spa treatments, Lewis has seen to that, too.

Spa Experience clients enjoy traditional hot stone massage and sports massage treatments, acupuncture, trigger point therapy, Reiki, cupping, and CBD oil massage.

“We have five large comfortable treatment rooms, a room especially for couples and a group room that can hold three people at the same time,” she explained. “Honeymooners, vacationing couples and many residents who want to enjoy a soothing massage together really enjoy it.”

Many brides-to-be have discovered Spa Experience Siesta Key as a fun destination spot, a place to share a few hours with their bridesmaids before the big day. Families and friends who are enjoying a Siesta Key reunion have also discovered Spa Experience Siesta Key.

Lewis also has a large following of clients who visit her spa for customized facials, tailored to each person’s needs and preferences.

Bring your beach chair and, using some of Randy’s common sayings, … let’s meet on “island time” and enjoy some “beachchairology.”

“We use Pevonia Botanica Skincare, an organic skin and body line, exclusively. For many clients, I recommend the Facial Sculpting Micro Current Facelift. It stimulates collagen production while lifting and tightening the muscles along the jawline,” she said.

The Spa Experience Siesta Key signature facial is also popular.

“We begin with an exfoliating fruit enzyme peel, followed by skin pampering and cleaning with light massage strokes for stimulation and relaxation. Our clients also enjoy a relaxing head, neck and shoulder massage. At the end of the facial, a licensed aesthetician performs a skin analysis to determine which specific serums, oils, and creams our clients may benefit from,” said Lewis.

“I am committed to offering my clients the finest spa services. It’s a very exciting and rewarding time. Spa Experience Siesta key is an oasis where our clients can relax, improve their sense of well-being and retreat. They leave us feeling beautiful, happy and relaxed,” she added.

All clients are offered the option of a private consultation and coaching time. Since 1994, vacationers and residents have come to know Lewis and her handpicked experienced, trained staff.

Trip Advisor has awarded Spa Experience Siesta Key a five-star certificate of excellence for many years in a row.

Visit Spa Experience Siesta Key at 5700 Midnight Pass Rd., suite 4B. For appointments, call (941) 349-4833 or visit

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Connie Lewis applies a facial sculpting microcurrent facial. (photo by Jane Bartnett) The family and friends of Randall Townsend are holding a celebration of life gathering at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Patriots Pier, also known as Sunset Pier, at Beach Access 2. died Feb. 9, 2022, at the age of 63. The informal event will provide family, friends, and acquaintances an opportunity to share their memories of Randy. -- Family of Randall Townsend Randall Townsend

There’s a small corner of France in Gulf Gate that is home to the most French of French delicacies.

At the L’Opera Bakery Bistro, the art of French baking and dining is a family affair. Each morning, owners David and Frieda Cherki and their son Adam, a trained French pastry chef, begin their day baking and preparing French breads, classic French pastries called viennoiserie, and French dishes that have made this charming 4-year-old bistro and bakery a favorite among Siesta Key- and Gulf Gate-area visitors and residents alike.

David, who serves as the manager and runs the front of the house, greets each customer with a friendly “Bonjour” as strains of French music fill the air. Traditional baskets of classic French baguettes and other breads, baked fresh each morning by Frieda (a French chef) and Adam stand at the store’s entrance ready to be whisked off to someone’s home.

“The baguettes and breads generally sell out by mid-

morning,” David advised. “It’s a good idea to come early.”

As anyone who has tasted an authentic French baguette will attest, there is nothing quite like it.

The humble baguette, a vital part of French life and made

with only four ingredients, recently gained international status when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization named it to its “intangible cultural heritage list.”

French President Emanuel Macron

went so far as to call these long thin loaves of bread that emerge from the oven with a crispy crust and soft interior “250 grams of magic and perfection.”

Although L’Opera’s baguettes are truly worthy of high praise,

there is so much more to discover and appreciate in this welcoming and distinctly French bakery and bistro.

On a recent morning, a steady stream of customers dropped in. Some stopped briefly at the counter and selected several loaves of bread to take home. David quickly seated other patrons who settled in for a late breakfast.

By 11 a.m., the early lunch crowd began to stream in.

At one point, two women came in together, chatting and laughing before taking their seats. Spotting the glass pasty section filled with French baked goods, one of the two friends stood and became transfixed as she stared at the array of delicacies. With hands clasped in front of her face, a look of sheer joy came over her.

While pointing at a tall baked delicacy shaped like a cupcake she said to her friend, “You have to try this! It’s a kouign-amann, pronounced qween-ah-mahn.”

37 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC 2621 Mall Dr., Sarasota 941-924-2330 Working with Sarasota Buyers & Sellers since 1969 • Local Expertise • Proven Track Record • Happy Clients Condos, Villas, Single Family Homes & Investments We are with you every step of the way! John Garner Broker Associate Diane Shane Broker Associate Roberts Realty CBD + DELTA 8 THC Legal / No prescription needed RELIEF FOR PAIN, ANXIETY, INSOMNIA, DEPRESSION + MORE 6557 SUPERIOR AVENUE SARASOTA, FL • 34231 {IN GULF GATE VILLAGE} 941.312.5630 WILDGINGERAPOTHECARY COM OPEN MONDAY – SATURDAY 10-5 PM 941.312.5630 WILDGINGERAPOTHECARY COM OPEN MONDAY – SATURDAY 10-5 PM 6557 SUPERIOR AVENUE SARASOTA, FL • 34231 {IN GULF GATE VILLAGE} DROP-IN PSYCHIC, TAROT AND ASTROLOGY READINGS DAILY METAPHYSICAL GIFTS + CRYSTALS PSYCHIC READINGS
Say bonjour to L’Opera Bakery Bistro
on page 44
941-800-5570 • 215 Avenida Madera • Siesta Key Curbside Pickup • Delivery • Dine-In • FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED, SERVING SARASOTA SINCE 1991 DINE WITH US Beer • Wine • Pizzeria • Wings Subs • Salads • Catering
Left, L’Opera owner David Cherki serves-up an order. Right, the business exterior on Gulf Gate Drive. (photos by Jane Bartnett)


With our map on the next page you’ll be able to navigate your way to our featured shops with ease.

The Shop SRQ (G-2) offers flattops, fades, tapers, blowouts, razor cuts, and straight razor shaves. Owners, Erick and Dawn use a back to basics approach to grooming with a precise attention to personal detail.

Their commitment to excellence has provided them with many loyal customers. They welcome the opportunity to earn your trust.

Hours: Tues. – Fri. 8:30am – 6pm, Sat., 8:30am – 3pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Gulf Gate Barber Shop (G-7) has been an institution in the community for years, owned by Kyle Flannery. The super-clean barbershop’s clientele is comprised of primarily men, but the shop services children as well.

Scott Reich, formerly of the Siesta Key Village Barber Shop has relocated to this location.

West End Pub (G-49) Where else can you watch your favorite game with a great selection of beers, wines and liquors served by a friendly staff AND where you’re allowed to bring your own restaurant or deli food? Right here. 6500 Gateway Ave. 941554-8905.

Tony’s Chicago Beef Company (S-16) is owned and operated by true Chicagoans. Dedicated to deliver Chicago’s best food - Chicago style Hot Dogs wit’ the works...dragged through the garden on poppy seed buns with fresh cut fries, Italian Beef Sandwiches anyway you like, dipped or dry, sweet or hot. All served in true Authentic Chicago Style.

Solórzano’s Late Night Pizzeria (S-34): At every Solórzano’s, they

offer an experience familiar to those who understand the importance of family and dedication. Their recipes and techniques have been perfected through three long generations based on the traditional simplicity of the methods used by their Italian ancestors. Dine inside, outside, pick up, or DELIVERY anywhere on Siesta Key, or in Sarasota until 3:30 a.m. 6574 Superior Ave., 941-924-5800.

Gulf Gate Food + Beer (S-51): Sarasota’s late-night hot spot for the service industry, night owls, and midnight snackers. It’s not your typical sports bar, offering unique menu selections for carnivores and vegetarians. Be sure to check out their menu online at: eatfooddrinkbeer. com. Hours: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. (Sun.Thurs.) open until 2 a.m. (Fri & Sat.).

Roberts Realty, Inc. (M-5) John Garner, Broker Assoc. & Diane Shane, Broker Assoc. have a combined 40 years’ experience in Sarasota of making dreams come true for our clients. For buyers, we have had great success in finding the right property for our clients because we listen closely to their wants and needs and matching that as close as possible. For sellers, over the years we have successfully listed and sold many, many properties throughout Sarasota County. Our philosophy is to have fun, enjoy the experience, achieve great results, make friends and receive referrals. We’re with you every step of the way! Call 941-9242330 or drop by our office.

Only Eyes Optical (S-24) brings a new, exotic, eclectic, eccentric, unique collection of vintage, hipster, contemporary eyeglasses and sunglasses to the community.

Licensed and experienced optician available to fill your prescriptions. Only Eyes Optical has a large assortment of free frames with the purchase of new lenses. Call 941-4447984 to set up an appointment with their licensed optician.

Zuzu’s & Moondoggy’s (GG26, GG25) Ready for an evening out? Choose from Zuzu’s -- an exotic Polynesian top shelf cocktail lounge where you can dress to impress and enjoy cocktails with friends, or Moondoggy’s -- a fun surfing-theme atmosphere where you can chill and have fun. Located at 2234-2236 Gulf Gate Drive, Zuzu’s & Moondoggy’s has 13 big screen TV’S, MLB Package, ACC, BIG10, SEC, NFL Package, pool table, SUPER CHEXX BUBBLE HOCKEY and a punching bag!

Zuzu’s is open 12:00 PM – 2:30 AM daily. Moondoggy’s is open 7AM –2:30AM daily.

Scandinavian Gifts Baked Goods and Grocery (GG-37) A fixture in Sarasota for 32 years, Scandinavian Gifts offers an assortment of linens, glassware, cookbooks, jewelry, candles, food items, and Christmas collectibles. Located at 2166 Gulf Gate Drive, the store is open MondaySaturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Skinny Dip (G-26) Established in 2020. The Sarasota Skinny Dip location is a family-owned business, with husband-and-wife Alex and Sorelly, and their kiddos, Sophie and Noah. The business specializes in letting you make your frozen yogurt the way you want it! We specialize in Skinny8 Froyos, which are only 8 calories per once! Also available vegan and low-fat options so that all Dippers can, well, dip!

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Myakka Magic Retreat

Finally a local place to rejuvenate : Bone Fire, Digital Detox, Sauna, Salt Bath, Yoga, Reiki, Massage, Sound Bowl, Meditation, Fast or Farm to table delights close to Siesta Key & Myakka! We’re so excited to share it with you soon. Powerful Healers For You. 2106 Bispham Rd, Sarasota, FL 34231 - 818-793-7834

gic Retreat Opening Jan 2023 rejuvenate : Bone Fire, Digital Detox, Sauna, assage, Sound Bowl, Meditation, Fast or Farm to Siesta Key & Myakka! We're so excited to you soon Powerful Healers For You L 34231 - - 818-793-7834

38 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
We’re So Much More Than Frozen Yogurt! 20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE FROYO: The guilt-free classic packed with probiotics GELATO: A fancy shmancy name for lowfat ice cream SORBET: Sorta like a non-dairy soft serve snow cone SKINNY 8: Froyo 8 CALORIES per ounce! VEGAN: A dairy free froyo 6616 Gateway Ave • Sarasota • 941-923-6680 GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE Customized sunglasses available, with or without prescription. Polarized lenses enhanced colors, contrast and clarity, also protect from glare and 100% of harmful UVA & UVC rays. FREE FRAMES, pay for lenses only, from selected collections, bring your prescription. More details in the store. Full Service Optical Boutique. Call today and make an appointment with our Board Certified Optometry Physician. Discover this hiding gem in Gulf gate. Unique Contemporary & Vintage Eyeglasses. The Gucci name evokes high fashion, so it’s no surprise that the designer’s line of eyeglasses for men and women reflects Gucci’s reputation as a sophisticated trendsetter. Now here at Only Eyes Optical Boutique. 6541 Superior Ave. • Sarasota, FL 34231 GULFGATE Business District 941-444-7984 Welcome to our Sarasota store. Passionate French Designer Gaëlle Wizenberg created a whole new product line locally, to give you the tools needed to ORDER THE LIFE YOU WANT. Keeping your dream alive, nurturing Your WHY, building Your inner faith is key. It requires good personal management skills to keep a Powerful Mindset. To achieve success you have to solve life's constant challenges, stay healthy and stress free. Visit our store or order online Intentions Candle Gift Sets - Smudging Kits - Gorgeous CrystalsCrystal Singing Bowls - Crystal Sex Toys - Private Coaching & RetreatsFeng Shui & Spiritual Interior Design consultation. We offer Sound Bowl & Reiki Healing for you and your Pets. Try it, it's Magic. Peaceful Retreat - Team buildingCompany Party for your Team? We offer tailored packages depending on group size &
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39 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC 6500 Gateway Ave • 941.554.8905 MLB/College Packages FULL BAR HOTTEST BAR IN GULF GATE... Oldest barbershop in Gulf Gate, styling all the locals since the 60’s. Our barbers bring over 100 years combined experience and local knowledge to your haircut. We’ve seen and heard it all. Swing by and we can have a laugh, drink a beer, and figure out all the problems in your life. If we like you, it’s $22, if you’re a P.I.T.A. its $45+ Voted “Best Local Barber Shop” 20 years running. Ask for Al, Anthony, or Kyle 6575 Gateway Ave., Sarasota, FL 34231 941-809-9028 Walk-ins Welcome KRINGLE Danish Pastry Made in Racine, WI The Original O&H Danish Kringle OVER 15 FLAVORS TO CHOOSE FROM Beautiful Scandinavian Crystal & China Colorful Kitchen Linens and Cooking Accessories Quality Imported Candles, Jewelery, Greeting Cards Christmas Collectibles • Scandinavian Grocery 2166 Gulf Gate Dr. • 941-923-4313 Open Monday through Saturday from 10am - 5pm S13 S9 S17 S24 S15 S11 S19 S26 S14 S10 S18 S25 S16 S12 S20 S27 S21 S28 S29 S22 S30 S23 Iberia Bank 1 2 3 4 5 S31 S32 S33 S38 S34 S42 S40 S36 S44 S39 S35 S43 S41 S37 S45 S46 S47 S48 S53 S49 S55 S51 S54 S50 S56 S57 S58 S59 S52 M1 M5 M3 M2 M6 M4 M7 M11 M9 M8 M12 M10 M13 M17 M21 M15 M19 M14 M18 M22 M16 M20 GG22 GG14 GG18 GG10 GG20 GG12 GG16 GG8 GG4 GG21 GG13 GG17 GG9 GG19 GG11 GG15 GG7 GG3 GG6 GG2 GG5 GG1 GG44 GG36 GG40 GG32 GG42 GG34 GG38 GG30 GG26 GG43 GG35 GG39 GG31 GG41 GG33 GG37 GG29 GG25 GG28 GG24 GG27 GG23 GG52 GG53 GG54 GG48 GG50 GG46 GG51 GG47 GG49 GG45 G24 G1 G2 G10 G6 G14 G4 G12 G8 G16 G3 G11 G7 G15 G5 G13 G9 G17 G18 G19 G20 G21 G22 G23 G25 G33 G29 G37 G27 G35 G31 G39 G43 G26 G34 G30 G38 G28 G36 G32 G40 G44 G41 G45 G42 G46 G47 G48 G49 G50 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A B C D E A B C D E Ross Dress for Less Bed Bath & Beyond Marshall’s PetsMart Michaels Publix Hooters Sun Trust Panera Bread HornLong AmericaBankof Beall’s Outlet © Island Visitor Publishing, LLC 2018 GULF GATE S8 S5 S1 S7 S3 S6 S2 S4 Five Below To advertise in Siesta Sand, call 941-312-0665

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Forecast

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters (941) 923-7799

You may find reds and big trout concentrated in potholes on low tides this month. Action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and more on deep grass flats can be good, depending on conditions. There should also be good catch-and-release snook action in rivers, creeks and canals, although fishing docks for snook and other species is also a good option.

It may be worth checking the coastal gulf for tripletail, false albacore (little tunny) and more if it’s warm.

Spotted seatrout has reopened to harvest in southwest Florida with a three-fish-perperson bag limit and a six fish boat limit.

Trout must be from 15 inches to 19 inches with one allowed per vessel larger than 19 inches. In my opinion it’s important to protect larger trout, which are usually female breeders. Snook remains closed to harvest in the Charlotte Harbor area. Full regulations and details for all species can be viewed at

Use tackle heavy enough to catch and release snook quickly with as little handling as possible. Since snook are temperature sensitive, I won’t target them if the water temperature dips below 60 degrees.

However, fishing lighted docks in the Intracoastal Waterway at night with flies can be very good this time of year.

I often also find big bluefish mixed with snook, particularly around bridges. Small white flies, like my Grassett Snook Minnow, Gurglers and shrimp fly patterns fished on intermediate sink tip fly lines should work well. Fish peak tidal flows for the best action.

You should also find snook in rivers, creeks and canals this month. Fish deeper water in outside bends to locate snook where you may catch them with wide profile flies fished on sink tip fly lines. You may also find reds, tarpon and even largemouth bass in the same areas depending on salinity.

Reds should be a good option this month. You’ll find them concentrated in potholes when the tide is low. Fly anglers should score with lightly weighted flies fished on a 10- to 12-pound leader with a floating fly line. Reds feed on crustaceans this time of the year, so crab and shrimp fly patterns should work well. They may tail on shallow grass flats of Gasparilla Sound, and lower Tampa Bay when the tide is low.

You’ll need flies with weed guards when targeting tailing reds since they are usually in thick turtle grass.

You may also find reds around docks, along with snook, sheepshead, flounder and more. Little Sarasota Bay has numerous oyster bars and docks that often hold reds, snook and sheepshead in January. Use floating fly lines and lightly weighted flies to fish around oyster bars and sink tip fly lines to fish docks. You’re likely to find big trout in many of the same areas that you find reds. The same flies and techniques that are used for reds will also work for big trout.

You may also find trout on deep grass flats along with blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano, flounder and more depending on conditions. I like to drift and cast ahead of my drift with Ultra Hair Clouser or my Grassett Deep Flats Bunny flies fished on an intermediate sink tip fly line.

Since trout can sometimes hold very tight to a particular spot or area, try to cover as much water as possible to find them. Once you’ve located fish you can shorten your drift or anchor on them. My favorite deep grass flats all have a good mix of grass and sand with a strong tidal flow.

Even though there may not be much happening in the coastal gulf this month in the way of sight fishing it may be worth a look when it is warm. Migratory species such as king and Spanish mackerel, cobia and tripletail probably have moved further south, however they could reappear during warm ups. Also look for false albacore (little tunny) when it’s warm since they may move from offshore to inshore depending on where baitfish are located.

This can be one of the toughest months of the year to fish. However, if you are able to choose when to fish based on tides and weather, it can be good. Action is usually good as weather fronts approach. Following fronts, fishing may be tough for a couple of days so afternoons may fish better then.

I’ll let the stage of the tide determine where to look for fish. When the tide is low, look for reds tailing on shallow grass or reds, trout and more in potholes or around docks. Look for reds or big trout cruising on shallow grass flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high.

Notes from the Island Fishmonger

It’s mahi-mahi, tuna to the rescue

Due to fishing closures in the Gulf, which is causing an increase in price and a decline of availability of red snapper and local grouper, I want to tell you about some terrific alternatives for very good and less expensive local fish. Big Water Fish Market will have both the snapper and grouper, but corvina and tripletail are fantastic substitutes if you want to save a few bucks.

Meanwhile, both mahi-mahi and tuna are at an alltime low price and are expected to stay that way until Easter.

Mahi-mahi means “very strong.” I wish I could take credit for this nickname but it came from the Hawaiian Islands. A nickname includes my favorite of “the El Dorado” and in the Keys they call this fish a Dolphin. This is a surface-dwelling, ray-finned fish that thrives in offshore tropical waters.

As a part-time fisherman and golfer, this catch and a hole-in-one remain on my bucket list. Hopefully one day I will be able to tell you a fish tale about the giant Key West mahi-mahi that I caught but if I tell you that story in the next few months, it will be a true fish tale!

Mahi-mahi is distinguishable by dazzling bright colors when fresh. Golden on the sides and bright blues and greens on the back. Females are usually smaller than males and have a rounded head, while males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body.

Mahi-mahi are swift and acrobatic and one of the fastest fish in the ocean, which explains why it made my bucket list. It feeds on squid, shrimp and crabs.

The extra-dark, lean meat is firm textured with a solid flake and moist with a slightly sweet flavor. Mahimahi is great on the grill and very popular blackened and served with a tropical salsa or in fish tacos.

Amberjack is a great substitute for Mahi-mahi. Here are the basic ingredients to make blackened mahi-mahi tacos, served with a tropical salsa (serves four):

• 16 flour or corn tortillas

• Fresh chopped cilantro

• Limes

• Slaw

• Pico or salsa with or without a tropical fruit such as pineapple, mango or papaya

• Siesta Sand blackening seasoning (available to purchase only at Big Water Fish Market)

• 2 pounds of grilled mahi-mahi

40 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 FEBRUARY 2023 TIDE CHART Sarasota, FL - Feb 2023 Date High Low AM ft PM ft AM ft PM ft Rise Set Moon 1 Wed 8:43 1.8 5:11 -0.6 7:14 6:12 2 Thu 9:39 1.8 5:56 -0.6 7:14 6:13 3 Fri 1:46P 1.1 10:27 1.8 6:35 -0.6 4:45 1.0 7:13 6:14 4 Sat 1:53P 1.0 11:09 1.9 7:08 -0.6 5:33 0.9 7:13 6:14 5 Sun 1:58P 1.0 11:48 1.9 7:37 -0.6 6:16 0.8 7:12 6:15 6 Mon 2:02 1.0 8:02 -0.5 6:58 0.6 7:12 6:16 7 Tue 12:26 1.8 2:09 1.1 8:25 -0.4 7:42 0.5 7:11 6:17 8 Wed 1:05 1.7 2:21 1.2 8:47 -0.2 8:29 0.4 7:10 6:17 9 Thu 1:48 1.6 2:39 1.4 9:09 -0.1 9:19 0.2 7:10 6:18 10 Fri 2:36 1.4 3:02 1.5 9:32 0.1 10:15 0.1 7:09 6:19 11 Sat 3:33 1.1 3:29 1.6 9:54 0.3 11:20 0.0 7:08 6:20 12 Sun 4:49 0.9 4:03 1.7 10:12 0.5 7:07 6:20 13 Mon 6:59 0.8 4:45 1.8 12:38 -0.1 10:12A 0.7 7:07 6:21 14 Tue 5:40 1.9 2:06 -0.3 7:06 6:22 15 Wed 6:52 2.0 3:30 -0.5 7:05 6:22 16 Thu 8:13 2.0 4:40 -0.7 7:04 6:23 17 Fri 9:29 2.1 5:37 -0.8 7:04 6:24 18 Sat 1:21P 1.1 10:35 2.2 6:26 -0.9 4:43 1.0 7:03 6:24 19 Sun 1:27P 1.1 11:34 2.2 7:07 -0.8 5:49 0.7 7:02 6:25 20 Mon 1:37 1.1 7:44 -0.7 6:48 0.5 7:01 6:26 21 Tue 12:28 2.1 1:49 1.2 8:15 -0.4 7:45 0.3 7:00 6:26 22 Wed 1:22 1.8 2:05 1.4 8:41 -0.1 8:41 0.1 6:59 6:27 23 Thu 2:16 1.6 2:24 1.6 9:04 0.1 9:39 0.0 6:58 6:28 24 Fri 3:15 1.3 2:48 1.7 9:22 0.4 10:42 -0.1 6:57 6:28 25 Sat 4:28 1.0 3:16 1.8 9:35 0.6 11:52 -0.1 6:56 6:29 26 Sun 6:27 0.8 3:50 1.8 9:25 0.8 6:55
27 Mon 4:33 1.8 1:12 -0.2 6:55 6:30 28 Tue 5:35 1.7 2:37 -0.2 6:54 6:31 Florida Puffer Mackerel Flounder Mackerel
Fish of Siesta Key Red Snapper Yellowtail Dohlpin “Mahi-Mahi” Mangrove Snapper Lane Snapper Black Mullet Red Drum “Redfish” Florida Pompano Jack Crevalle AmberJack Spotted Sea Trout Cobia Black Drum Catfish Blue Marlin Black Grouper Sheesphead Tarpon Baracuda Snook Scoolmaster Scamp King Mackerel Gulf Flounder Sailfish Florida Puffer The reward for braving the cold was the chance to reel-in a sheepshead for Kerrigan, visiting from Illinois. If you’d like to submit a picture of a child’s fishing moment, send it to: Kid Catch of the Month!
Continued on page 46
Keith McClintock of Lake Forest, Illinois, shows off a redfish he caught in Sarasota Bay (submitted photo)
41 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
@hotworksartshows Juried Fine Art & Craft Show – Something For Everyone Free Admission - Great Food & Live Music - Sat & Sun 10-5 Daily Phillippi Estate Park – 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota While at the show be sure to visit the Youth Art Competition! Phillippi Estate Park February 11 & 12 Sarasota Fine Art Show Thank you to all of our costumers from Paola, Sierra, Kylie, Taylor, Anna, Stefania, Giada, Alexis, Alice, Sage, Emma, Anna and Nora. And, of course, Diane & Massimo say grazie to all of our costumers and staff! Staff from Made in Rome Organic Gelato is proud to announce that we are Best in Florida!
Michael Schuessler, Drawing Sage Kylie
& Paola
Anna & Alexis
Giada, Taylor & Stephania Nora Diane Alice Anna Emma

The Highs and Lows of Properties Sold on Siesta Key

The following are properties sold on Siesta Key in the last 60 days, providing a snapshot of home values on the Key for both single-family homes and condominiums.



This property encompasses over 161 feet of waterfront on two sides (98-plus-feet on the bay and 63-plus-feet on the protected water of Bayou Louise) and offers one of the area’s most coveted lifestyles. For the avid boater, there is a brand new fully equipped dock with 16,000-pound lift and seating to take in the amazing views and daily sunsets. Plus, there is a boathouse with a dock on Bayou Louise. The resort-style backyard features a private beach, a pool with a rock waterfall, covered and uncovered seating areas, and a putting green.

Complementing the exterior, the interior boasts a large living

and dining room featuring original Terrazzo floors, a woodburning fireplace, a built-in bar, and a wall of windows on either side of the home that let the natural light shine through providing incredible water views.

The kitchen remains true to the style of the home yet updated for today’s needs and features abundant natural light, functional cabinet space, stainless steel appliances, a large butler’s pantry, and a corner banquette. The master suite is located on the second floor with a private terrace overlooking the water while the three ensuite bedrooms on the main living level offer plenty of privacy for family and guests.



$1.025 MILLION

A cozy beach home! Welcome to 5520 Avenida Del Mare. Only eight houses from Siesta Beach Access 11, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath home is situated in a great neighborhood. Updated through the years, kitchen has granite countertops and all stainless-steel

appliances. Both bathrooms have been updated. Home has newer windows and Hunter Douglas blinds, with tile throughout. No carpet. Roof only 11 years young, Water heater 2018, Newer washer, and dryer. There is even an outside shower to enjoy when you arrive home from your perfect beach day! No HOA!


This stunning gulf-front, 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath townhome boasts 1,500 square feet of living space, a carport, four private terraces and deeded beach access. Upon entering, admire the modern interior shaped by neutral color tones paired with gorgeous wood plank tile floors. Sliding glass doors bring an abundance of natural light into the main gathering areas and connect you to a sun kissed balcony where you can appreciate the serene ocean view. The open-concept

floor plan allows a seamless flow from the living room to the dining area. Steps away, the stunning gracious kitchen offers a suite of stainless-steel appliances, sleek granite countertops with subway tile backsplash, a breakfast bar, a large pantry, and a balcony off the dining area. The master suite delights with views of vibrant sunsets from your gulf front balcony overlooking the water. The two guest bedrooms (one with a private balcony), large guest bath and 2nd floor laundry completes this beautiful townhome.



Charming efficiency just steps away from beautiful Siesta Key/ Crescent Beach. The condo has vaulted, beamed ceilings and tile floors. Even when the Queen Murphy bed is pulled down, there is ample space to move around the room. The kitchen has granite counters, wood cabinets, and full-size refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher,

and disposal. A covered parking space is right outside your front door. Out the back door, you will find a private 15-foot by 11-foot private patio, one of only four in the complex. One of the two swimming pools is also located in this area. A short walk down the sidewalk will take you to the white sugary sand beach, one of the best beaches in the world. Casa Mar has 74 units, and an on-site rental office to allow you to just sit back, relax, and enjoy a day at the beach.

42 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Courtesy of William Raveis Courtesy of Michael Saunders
43 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC Waterfront masterpiece on Cocoanut Bayou. 4205 HIGEL AVENUE | COCOANUT BAYOU | SIESTA KEY — 4 BR | 4.5 BA | 8,571 SF | $7,250,000 | MLS# A4539090 Reminiscent of a 17th-century Palladian villa in the south of France, this North Siesta Key waterfront masterpiece offers an extraordinary living experience. The elegantly appointed custom-built home on Cocoanut Bayou offers 120 feet of waterfront, with a private deep-water dock offering easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. The residence features travertine tile on the first floor, beamed ceilings, lavish fireplaces and a grand room with multiple French doors to a covered terrace that spans the full width of the home. Other notable highlights include all new wood flooring on the second floor, four bedrooms with en-suite baths, a commercial-grade elevator, whole-house sound system and garage for 12+ vehicles. Call Team Dunn to schedule a tour of this extraordinary home. Maurice Menager REALTOR ® 941.238.8119 Lin Dunn REALTOR ®, SRES, LSS, LSE 941.809.2154 | 11-Year Recipients of the RELATIONSHIPS for life UNE RELATION pour la vie. RUSSELL & RUSSELL -- CONSTRUCTION, LLC 941-599-4340 New and Remodeling of Commercial, Residential and Condominiums. 15 Trim carpenters on staff limited only to your imagination. 941-599-4340 |

French bakery

Continued from page 37

Her friend didn’t know what to say about such an unusually named pastry.

“Oh my,” she continued with great enthusiasm, “once you taste it … well, it is truly life changing!”

David watched the interaction from behind the counter and soon all three were laughing.

“I haven’t seen one since I was in France” the customer exclaimed.

As he delivered a kouign-amann to their table, David explained that this delicacy is seldom found outside of France. “It comes from Brittany and Western France,” he told the two women. “My family and I come from Toulouse, in the southwest of France.”

After taking a bite of her prized possession, the woman was unable to contain her delight. “It’s absolutely wonderful!” she shouted.

“French pastry is much more than croissants,” David explained. “Each one is a special creation that is meant to be enjoyed. My talented wife and son do all the cooking and baking. I just run the business. All the praise is for them.”

While discussing the couple’s decision to relocate to Sarasota from their native France, David explained that his wife began her career as a pharmacist.

“We always had a dream of owning our own restaurant and bakery,” he said. After visiting Sarasota in 2018, the couple fell in

love with the area and decided to start a new life. When the Gulf Gate space that had been a bakery became available, they knew that this would be the home for L’Opera.

“It was the right space and the right location. We belong here,” David said.

L’Opera Bakery and Bistro serves

breakfast and lunch six days a week. The breakfast menu has a selection of pastries such as plain, raspberry and almond croissants, raisin and cinnamon rolls, as well as tartines with butter and jam. Hot breakfast dishes include quiche, omelettes, French toast and several delectable baguentine selections.

The lunch menu features salads and sandwiches along with hot entrees of beef bourguignon, chicken cassoulet, and coq au vin. A vegan menu has seven selections including a Mediterranean plate and vegetable fougasse.

Having a dinner party for six people or more? Paella, couscous, poulet basquaise and an appetizer buffet may be ordered from L’Opera’s catering menu. All catering orders must be placed two days prior to pick up.

Visit L’Opera Bakery Bistro is at 2336 Gulf Gate Drive. View the menu online at Email the business at or call (941) 922-2253.

Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays.

SUMMARY: listings increased as expected and solds doubled. Pendings dropped, most likely due to the holidays. Price drops increased, a sign of getting ready for the season.33 complexes have units for sale, 20 of which have 2 week or less rental policies. For longer term living there are several very nice units available.

44 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Stay connected to life on Siesta Key. Like us on Facebook 145 Offices 4,500+ Sales Associates 8 States - CT, FL, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT #1 Family-Owned Real Estate Company in Florida and the Northeast Peace River Club 500 Woodstork Lane | $1,000,000 Timothy O’Hara, Sr | 860.209.7043 Pointe On Midnight Pass 9393 Midnight Pass Road #P5 | $830,000 Robert Ruiz | 941.544.3299 Harbor Towers 5855 Midnight Pass Road #119 | $775,000 Jennifer Thompson | 941.928.0790 To view any of the listings or if you have questions, give Bill Burns a call. If you are thinking of selling, call Bill for on target pricing and a winning sales strategy. Siesta Key CONDO Monthly Update 12/15 to
ACTIVE LISTINGS: 96 actives vs 88 last month. 24 are new listings. 46 are priced under 800k, 19 from 800 to 1.2mil and 31 over 1.2 mil. 12 have 1 bdrm, 63 have 2 bdrms and 21 have 3+. DAYS ON MARKET: a quarter have been on for 1 month, 40% for 2 to 4 months and a little over a third for 5+ months. PRICE DROPS: increased to 40 from 35 the month before accounting for just
of all
11 have had 2
and 6 three or more. PENDINGS: 19 vs 25 the previous month. 4 went pending within a week of being listed. SOLDS: 22 vs 11 in the previous month. 11 were in 2 wk or less rental complexes. 12 sold for under 800k, 4 for 800 to 1.2k and 6 over 1.2m.

Keeping it Real

From a hoosier, to peachy, to all things beachy

My love of real estate started waaaay back in 1995.

You remember that year … Seinfeld and ER were our favorite TV shows, Hillary Clinton was our First Lady, Coolio had the song of the year (“Gangsta’s Paradise”), O.J. was all over the TV, and Amazon sold its first book.

I was in college at Indiana University and working as a server at Malibu Grill, but was still broke so I took a second job with Pegasus Property Management. We managed rental properties and homeowners associations.

Initially, I just answered the phones, but I begged the owner until she let me start working with our clients and showing them properties. I LOVED it. It was like figuring out a puzzle. I would show the renters the book (yes, an actual three-ring binder with our listings) and help them find the property that worked best for them. Where were their classes? Did they want to be able to walk to campus, or would they take the bus? Were they an athlete that needed to be close to the stadiums or were they more concerned about proximity to popular establishments like Kilroy’s and Nick’s English Hut?

Fast forward a couple years (OK, decades) and here I am working my dream job. I sell luxury real estate on a tropical island with near perfect weather, with a company I love, and a person with whom I love to work.

Florida is the third state in which I’ve sold real estate. After starting in Indiana, life moved me to Alpharetta, Georgia. After taking a few years off to get my baby boy started in life, I reached out to the real estate agent we worked with when we purchased our home, Carolyn Hassel. I loved the way she did business. She was an engineer for Texas Instruments that took early retirement and ended up selling real estate. She dove deep into the comps before we made an offer, really understood all the details of a transaction and how to help her clients

Natalie’s Numbers

Siesta Key

December 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

Active listings 598 550 437 197 272

Days on market 186 153 111 38 55

Closing price to

original price ratio 95.8% 91.8% 94.8% 98.5% 95.2%

Avg. sale price $938,828 $843,857 $846,921 $ 1,329,805 $1,477,056

New listings 78 48 84 44 64

Number of sales 20 49 94 75 33

Mos. of inventory 27 10 4 2 8

Sold price by sq ft $458 $458 $438 $621 $761

navigate through that process, yet also had an eye for seeing the potential a property might have. That was exactly the type of agent I wanted to be and have since become.

Once I was able to move to Siesta Key full time, I wanted to find someone else to work with like I did with Carolyn. I wanted to work with someone that knew the area, that had deep roots here and vast local knowledge. Not someone that wanted to sell all over anywhere, but someone that concentrated on Siesta Key. That’s how I found Judie Berger, and the rest is history from there.

She and I have worked together for almost four years. The last two have been absolutely record- breaking. Drum roll, please … In 2021 Judie and I closed $121 million in real estate sales and had 63 transactions. In 2022 we closed $88 million and had 47 transactions. It’s been a busy couple of years, to say the least!

That’s enough about me. I know what you really want to know -- what’s going on with the market these days? The last two years have been quite the ride here in Florida and especially in Sarasota County. According to Redfin, six of the hottest neighborhoods in the country are in Sarasota

County with the 34238 ZIP code (Palmer Ranch) being ranked No. 1. In August 2020, the average sales price for a single-family home in the Sarasota/Manatee region was $439,569. That price peaked in May 2022 at $629,999 and has leveled out to $566,296 in December 2022. Prices seem to be leveling out and are currently down 10% from our peak.

Supply is starting to creep back up both nationally and locally. Year by year, supply was up slightly in October, up again in November, and steady in December. However, we are still nowhere near pre-COVID-19 active listing levels. According to, active listings nationally are only 65% of those years. Nationally, in November of 2022 there were 751,544 active listings. The pre-COVID-19 norm was 1,150,000.

Overall, we will remain undersupplied for the foreseeable future. We are getting closer to a balanced market for both buyers and sellers, but the low inventory will keep us from becoming a buyer’s market.

Despite all the worldwide factors that effect real estate, the economy as a whole, inflation, Putin and his antics, and interest rates, real estate is extremely local. We are selling sunshine here on Siesta Key and that alone will keep people coming here to buy property despite the turmoil. That, coupled with no income tax and a postCOVID-19 migration from people that can now work from home, have contributed to Florida being the No. 1 state for inward migration.

The real estate outlook for us on Siesta Key is good. Our property values are going to remain pretty close to the levels they are right now, give or take a little.

We have sand. We are warm. Life is good.

So, you stay sunny Siesta.

(Natalie Gutwein is a licensed Realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty’s Judie Berger Team on Siesta Key and is a member of the board of directors of the Siesta Key Association civic group. Her column will appear monthly in the Siesta Sand.)

45 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC

Island Fishmonger

Continued from page 40

Another great deal this spring is tuna. In my opinion, the only way to eat it is raw or seared. In most cases the Big Water Fish Market customer is always right, but it is definitely looked down upon to order this fish any other way than rare in this seafood haven.

But not all tuna is the same. Most common types of tuna found at Big Water Fish Market is the yellow fin tuna found in deep sub-tropical waters, blue fin tuna, and ahi tuna from Hawaii. Another well-known tuna is the albacore that is commonly used for canned tuna. This U.S. tuna is a No. 1-graded fish because of its good color and high fat content. In order for tuna to be considered a sashimi grade fish in the U.S., the whole fish or loin needs to be flash frozen immediately on the boat and stored for 48 hours then inspected to ensure our safety to eat it raw. In all there are 15 different varieties of tuna species.

Tuna is super versatile and a trendy fish, first proven when sushi became popular in the U.S. in the ‘80s. Then tuna tartare was introduced in upscale restaurants and recently tuna poke was made popular in Hawaii and has hit the local seafood scenes.

At Big Water Fish Market, we feature “Tuna Tuesday” where kitchen manager Jay Hamilton puts on a tuna clinic. With help from the staff, he puts out mouthwatering seared tuna specials such as tuna tacos served with seaweed salad and freshly made Nico’s Pico. He also serves up a blackened seared tuna plate.

A common question is do you really catch tuna in the Gulf? The answer is yes! It’s more often caught on the Atlantic Ocean side because of the deeper waters but it’s still a prized catch in the deeper waters of the Gulf. I can confirm this fact as one of our best days of offshore fishing ever was when my fishing buddies and I caught a couple of tuna about 36 miles offshore. And even better yet was the ride home where we filled our bellies with fresh tuna sashimi.

Whether it’s fresh or in the can, not only is tuna a protein powerhouse but it’s packed with important vitamins and minerals such as A, D, B6, iron, and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Plus, it’s low in fat and calories.

A whopping 90% of the U.S. population doesn’t eat enough fish. To get the most health benefits from your diet, you should be eating at least 8 ounces of seafood a week. Anywhere from eating sushi or seared tuna, to making a can of Bumblebee tuna salad at home, will get the job done.

So, come and get your seafood on at the Big Water Fish Market where I highly recommend the tuna tacos and the mahi melt.

Live well ... eat fish --

46 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 Classifieds / Here’s My Card CONTRACTORS REAL ESTATE AGENTS LANDINGS RESIDENT OWNED AND OPERATED Owned and Operated by NRT, LLC HELENE M. HYLAND REALTOR® (941) 685-2274 Cell (941) 349-4411 Office (800) 237-9403 Toll Free (941) 349-8090 Fax 5145 Ocean Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34242 POOLS HOME WATCH COMPANIONSHIP DRY CLEANERS Free Pick Up & Delivery Service from your home or business Call 941-275-4647 ExEcutivE Shirt SErvicE • houSEhold itEmS • SamE day SErvicE availablE Environmentally Conscious Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service Environmentally Conscious Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service NOW EXCLUSIVELY PICK-UP AND DELIVERY ONLY PAINTING LIMOUSINE Airport Rides Starting at $5.00 Call Jerry 941.735.4732 WINDOW CLEANING CLEANING SERVICES Residential/Office Spaces Window Cleaning/Pressure Washing Daily • Weekly • Bi-Weekly • Monthly • One Time 239.537.7194 - Bretteni Hohlt • 941.879.2265 - Michele Cochenour BAKERY Family Owned & Operated Leave a rating and Like Us on FB and Instagram! 5900 South Tamiami Tr. • Sarasota, FL 34321 • 941-926-2692 We have Artisan Breads! AUTOS SELL YOUR CAR FAST, EASY, CONVENIENT & SAFE WE COME TO YOU HOWARD HOROWITZ | General Manager 5775 Sarah Ave Unit #2 Sarasota, FL 34233 | 941-270-4400 Published by 27th State Media LLC Contributing Writers and Photographers will be noted with bylines. Guest commentary not necessarily the opinion of 27th State Media LLC Reproduction without written permission prohibited. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement. All business bios are extensions of the display advertisements. 27th State Media LLC is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. All ads are subject to the approval of the publisher. It is the responsibility of the party placing any ad for publication in Siesta Sand to meet all applicable legal requirements in connection with the ad such as compliance with town, county and state codes in first obtaining an occupational license for business, permitted home occupation, or residential rental property. DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that when you hire an unlicensed/uninsured person to do work at your home, you accept the liability. 27th State Media LLC is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. P.O. BOX 35105, Sarasota, FL 34242 ® To advertise in print or online contact: 27th State Media LLC at 941-312-0665 Send editorial and/or photos via email to: 6641
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Midnight Pass Rd.
47 FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC Sunset Beach Resort Siesta Key Dream Inn Complimentary shuttle service to and from anywhere on Siesta Key. 7 days a week from 10 AM to 11 PM. (driver tips only) • 114 Guest Rooms • One and Two Bedroom Suites Now Available • Complimentary breakfast included with every stay • Free Shuttle Service to and from Siesta Key every day. • Microwave/Fridge in every guestroom HOURS: Sunday - Thursday 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM Friday & Saturday 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM Happy Hour 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Open to the public Live music Thursday thru Sunday starting at 4:00 PM (check the schedule on Facebook or call 941-924-4900) *Amenities and services may be adjusted due to COVID-19, please contact the hotel or visit our website for details *Use of the pool for Registered Guests Only 6600 S. Tamiami Trail Sarasota 941.924.4900 Still Family Owned and Operated Since 2007 AAA-3 Diamond Property Handmade Antique Rugs Bought and Sold Florida’s Largest Selection of Antique Oriental and Chinese Rugs for 45 Years Mosby oriental rugs 941-925-1025 by appointment


Key Employee


Tyler helps man the ovens at Pizza n’ Brew in Crescent Plaza, and enjoys the special requests that come his way. “We make custom pizzas all the time,” said the cook. “ “My favorite is a Tuscan chicken pizza with a pesto base.”

A Sarasota native who knows the local pizza scene, he considers Pizza n’ Brew the best in the area. “Our dough is homemade and our toppings are almost all homemade,” Tyler said, “and our pizzas don’t go along a conveyer belt. Here. you pretty much get into the oven so you can keep close watch and make sure you made it just right. It’s a dying art.”


48 Siesta Sand FEBRUARY 2023 941.312.0665
Photos by John Morton. Garden Cafe recognizes the impact that quality workers can have on a business, and is proud to sponsor the Key Employee each month. The community appreciates Congratulations, Tyler! Your dedication has resulted in a gift certificate for breakfast for four at Sun Garden Cafe, located at 210 Avenida Madera in the heart of the Village.