Siesta Sand - March 2023

Page 1

Most of beach to be open during project

The South Siesta Key Beach Repair Project is still targeting a March start, and many of the logistics were shared during a Sarasota County-hosted webinar on Jan. 24 that featured a question-and-answer session.

One detail that is particularly noteworthy is the fact that only a small part of Turtle Beach’s public area will be off-limits as the project occurs.

The endeavor will renourish the south portion of Turtle Beach with more than 92,000 cubic yards of sand during a 60-day work

window. It will be delivered from an upland sand mine at an average of 2,000 cubic yards per day by an average of 11 dump trucks per hour per day. The trucking will take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays only.

The sand will replace much of what was washed away in 2016 by Hurricane Hermine, with the upcoming project expected to add an average width of 10 feet of sand to what currently exists.

Continued on page 33

Not just another pretty face on the wall

Monica Condon’s portrait is still hanging in there at the ol’ Crescent Club

‘Olaf’ returns to parlor’s name

In a measure to preserve more than 40 years of history at its Siesta Key Village location, the ice cream parlor formerly known as Big Olaf Creamery has finally settled on what one could consider a compromise, but certainly effective, new name: Olaf’s Siesta Village Ice Cream.


servers at the Crescent Club ask Monica Condon “How can I get my portrait on the wall?” her answer is a simple one.

“I guess you just need to hang in there long enough,” she says with a smile.

Indeed, Condon has been hanging in there for a little more than 50 years, as far as the walls of this classic tavern are concerned. Her likeness is one of two remaining charcoal drawings to survive, created in 1972 by renowned pin-up-girl painter Gil Elvgren whose innocent-yet-naughty work took on international

Continued on page 29

New signage at the business, located at 5208 Ocean Blvd., features the new name. After Big Olaf’s production plant in Sarasota was shut down in July 2022 due to a deadly listeria outbreak, the Siesta location was one of many franchisees to no longer carry the product, instead switching to the Yoder’s Southern Creamery brand.

As a result, all branding associated with Big Olaf was directed to be removed. After being closed for about a week for cleaning, the Siesta location operated for months without a name. Then, it temporarily switched to Siesta Village Ice Cream before settling on the name that still featured the word “Olaf,” known to so many longtime patrons, and dropping the word “Big” to avoid a possible trademark issue.

Continued on page 35

MARCH 2023| 941.312.0665 | 27TH STATE MEDIA LLC | | COMPLIMENTARY Page 8 It’s family first at Captain Curt’s 1398 • Village Map/business listings PAGES 24, 25 • Crescent Beach Map/ business listings PAGE 28 • Music Calendar PAGE 34 •Gulf Gate Shops PAGE 39 • Accommodations Map PAGE 47 YOUR HOME FOR MARCH MADNESS! LIVE MUSIC NIGHTLY! see our ad on page 5 Page 10 Stickney stoplight backed by ruling © Why the world comes to Sarasota Page 23 The kayak is where it’s at Karaoke Tues & Thurs Entertainment Every Day, Every Night Captain Curt’s Village aiquiri o o Captain Curt’s Village Getting into the Siesta swing of things
This Minnesota family made the most of a perfect afternoon on Siesta Key by giving the kids a loving lift. (photo by John Morton)
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Greetings from the Gulf

Memory Lane, give us space. Because here we come.

My intent today was to go down Memory Lane, where for me on Siesta Key it might as well be called the Autobahn. When you consider that my whirlwind visits were that of a hardcharging tourist between 1972 and a couple years ago, every second mattered.

I was always racing against time. Only a few more days before I’m back in Wisconsin. And I’m barely sunburned. Pass the oil.

And, again, because our time to enjoy fair weather was always fleeting, every in-the-moment stupid decision seemed spot-on right. I mean, they’re not going to come to the frozen tundra to nab a punk like me, right?

So, yes Mom, I drove on the public beach in 1976 en route to a badapple bunch at a bonfire down the way who were expecting assorted “supplies.” I’d like to claim it was an early version of a DoorDash, but I don’t recall our dull-red Wisconsinborn Buick Invicta even having any doors at that point. Indeed, that kind of behavior belongs in the hood -but it sure helps if you have one!

Gas cap? Nope. Windshield wipers? Please.

But hey, those snow tires worked great on that powerdy quartz.

My, were those the days. And the “I Got the Crabs at Captain Curt’s” T-shirts would eventually rule. There were few high school parties back home where I wouldn’t wear this great giggler, and I’d match it with a photo I took at our Gulf Gate Publix

when lights on the “L” were missing. Welcome to “Pubix!”

My tales of this far-away party place known as Siesta Key captivated my friends. And I was delivering them with prepubescent perfection. Had only Pee-Wee’s misadventure happened around the same time!

A stroke of bad luck, eh? (Insert laughing emoji.)

Anyway, back on the road. Here I am, approaching the Key, and looking at that hideous mess that is the Siesta Promenade war zone. Can those folks please put up some nonsee-through fencing?

Save Siesta Key’s Tracy Jackson has commented several times on how the entryway to the country’s No. 1 beach sure doesn’t represent. For the next few years, that will be the ultimate understatement.

Speaking of Siesta Promenade, its workers knocked down the grand trees that were supposed to be protected. This topic is one of many covered in this month’s issue. And don’t forget how Dave Balot, builder of the approved new hotel on Midnight Pass Road, had to revise his plans in a big way because of the

big tree out front.

Anyway, finally reaching the island, good ol’ Memory Lane gave me a pat on the back. First, there was Captain Curt’s. Read about its history in this issue. What a spot!

And then there’s the Crescent Club. I don’t know where to begin with how much the place means to me. It’s hard to put into words (despite that being my job).

How could a swinging-saloondoor-style joint, including the Wisconsin supper club-like red tablecloths and candles with wood beams above, exist in Florida?

Some Crescent Club history is also part of this month’s Siesta Sand. In fact, as you read the front-page piece on Monica Condon and her portrait, we remind ourselves how there’s nothing quite like the power of having memories captured through an art form.

Having folks yell-out “Norm!” is one thing when you enter a tavern. Pointing to a portrait as you settle in, like Monica gets to do, is another. Total mic-drop.

By the way, I am living in a villa owned by Rick and Linda Valley,

Word on the beach

who lived here nine years before relocating. Before they left, they shared with me their treasured painting by the late Shawn McLoughlin, the beloved muralist whose work here lives on and on in more ways than meet the eye.

Rick and Linda met at the SKOB, holding hands eventually on the bench, with a pooch in tow. Well, they knew about Shawn’s popular painting of the tavern’s exterior and told him about their connection to that scene. Guess what happened?

McLoughlin painted them all into the setting and handed them a gift. No charge.

Check it out to the left.

By the way, his memory lives on in another form through the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce’s Shawn McLoughlin “Selfless Award.” Go to page 16 to see whom upon that great honor was bestowed.

Finally, we all love memories. In many ways, it’s all we’ve got. But here they really seem to matter more. Vacations will do that.

And oh, Midnight (Good Luck Trying To) Pass Road, while you are loaded up with tourists and road projects this spring, I’ve decided I’m going to call you something else. Maybe because, in part, there is no longer a MIDNIGHT PASS! Can our main drag bear this name until justice is served? That waterway was another place full of memories. Now, it’s just full of sand.

So, for now, Mr. MPR, Memory Lane you are. I’ll be happy to change it back when the dredging is done and the time is right.

(John Morton is managing editor of Siesta Sand.)

Do you feel safe as a pedestrian or bicyclist on Siesta Key?

Dave Peoria, Illinois

“Somewhat. I think some decent measures are in place, but adherence to them seems to be a completely different matter.”

Lisa Dayton, Ohio

“I feel it’s a little troublesome. There aren’t the flashing lights along the crosswalk near the bars and restaurants like you’d expect.”

June Siesta Key

“Not really. We feel nervous riding our bikes around here. People get hit by cars all the time.

Hannah Milwaukee “Not at all. I was almost hit at one of the crosswalks with the blinking lights. A car going the other way at the crosswalk was even honking at the driver, but he just kept right on going like he didn’t even see me.”

3 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC




Gilligan’s desire for later music denied by county

Despite unanimous planning support, commissioners say no ... twice

It was quite an about-face for Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill, supported unanimously by planners one day, but denied by a 4-1 vote by commissioners the next. The business was seeking a special exception for live indoor and outdoor music to play as late as 2 a.m., when it stops serving at its Village location of 5253 Ocean Blvd. Currently, without such a permit, live music must end at 10 p.m.

On Jan. 31, the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners rejected that request. On Dec. 1, the Sarasota County Planning Commission had voted 5-0 in support of the new hours – in part because Gilligan’s had removed from its request the playing of live music in its rear parking lot, which faces a residential neighborhood. What seemed to cause the

commissioners their largest concern was the late hour being proposed.

Said Commissioner Joe Neunder, “2 o’clock – that’s pretty late in my book.”

Added Commissioner Nancy Detert, “The 2 o’clock is the dealbreaker, I think. The later time brings you a different clientele.”

Commissioner Mark Smith, a Siesta Key resident who held is election party at Gilligan’s, cast the only vote in favor of the late hours. However, when the attorney for Gilligan’s owner Scott Smith spoke of the establishment’s “20-year unblemished record of compliance,” Smith noted his research did find a citation for a noise violation in 2010.

Six residents spoke in opposition of the idea. Joseph Reagan was one

of them, saying “It will be the Wild West” if such late-night hours are allowed.

“Can you sleep at 2 o’clock in the morning with a bad rendition of the Rolling Stones through your windows? No, you cannot,” he added. “How would anyone be expected to live in those conditions? You will turn Siesta Key into a honky-tonk. These people do not have the right to ruin the lives of the people who live there.”

Resident John Doherty said such a move would cause the county to be officiating what will seem like a fight. “You’ll have Gilligan’s in one corner, and the sleepless in another,” he said.

And Tim Haake, who said he hears music at his residence even

Continued on page 30

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Island Chatter

Beach Access 8 has new look Sarasota County employees have altered the pathway for Beach Access 8, and will do so for other access points in the coming months. A county press release on the matter:

“Earlier this year, the public pathway at Siesta Beach Access 8 was realigned to fall within the boundaries of public right-ofway and to stabilize and protect the vegetative dune habitat. With funding from the Tourist Development Tax, the beach access was surveyed, and the path was rerouted and lined with native plants. Visitors will notice new signage encouraging to stay on the new pathway which veers slightly to the right when heading to the Gulf of Mexico.

“Similar plans for Siesta Beach access points 3B, 9 and 10 are expected to begin later this year. While the pathways are being rerouted, they will be temporarily closed; however, all other public beach access points will remain open.”

Continued on page 24

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Community Spotlight

There’s so much more to Jann Webster than the extra ‘n’ in her first name

Known for Save Siesta Key, the making of key decisions, and fake mac n’ cheese, she’s an undisputed local dynamo

QJann, let’s address the two “n” letters at the end of your first name before I am accused of yet another typo. What gives?

AMy shortened name was caused by a typo. In high school, the art class students were painting names on megaphones for the cheerleaders. Apparently, my artist was overly artistic on the first three letters of Janice and did not have room to paint the final three letters. So, it was quickly decided to shorten my name to four letters -- JANN – and it’s become a nickname that has stuck to me ever since!

QCanyou please share your history with Siesta Key?

AMy parents retired to Cape Coral in the 1980s. We thought that area was delightful, so my husband and I purchased a retirement lot in Cape Coral. Everything was going along smoothly until we visited a friend who lived on Longboat Key. As we drove from Cape Coral to Longboat Key, we toured Siesta Key. We walked the beach and ate in the Village. We looked at each other over a glass of wine and said, “We didn’t know this place existed. We need to re-think retirement!”

A couple months later, we scheduled a real estate trip to Sarasota. We toured three different areas (Longboat Key, Sarasota, and Siesta Key) and decided that the laid-back family vibe of Siesta Key was the perfect location for us. We purchased our Siesta Key property

in 2008, 10 years before we planned to rebuild our retirement home. We moved into our retirement home in February 2020, the month that the pandemic started. We have no regrets and are grateful every day that we landed in Siesta Key.

By the way, the name of our boat is “Key Decision,” representing our decision to retire here.

QWeunderstand you are the creator of one highly

acclaimed mac n’ cheese recipe. Please dish-up that story for us. AMy extended Italian family gave me a passion for cooking. I have dabbled in cooking contests for quite some time and won several, but the macaroni-andcheese winner was a fluke.

I made-up a recipe for “Macaroni and Cheese -- International Style” without ever actually making it.

The Kraft rules stipulated adding three ingredients, so my international twist included

Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese and French-style green beans. So corny!

But apparently, it was catchy! My recipe won the local contest and 52 weeks’ worth of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Fast-forward a couple more months and I received a second phone call, this time stating that I won the national first prize for the “1-2-3 Recipe” campaign. My prize was a spa vacation, which my husband and I enjoyed at the Marriott Hotel and Spa on Maui.

By the way, my kids wouldn’t even take a bite of “International Style” macaroni and cheese. They said it was horrid!

QYou are an ambassador with the Save Siesta Key group. Why did you get involved and what has been included in your volunteer duties?

AI’ve been involved with the Save Siesta Key group since the initial formation meetings in

Continued on next page

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Left, Jann Webster spreads the word at a rally about her desire to see Siesta Key become incorporated. Above, Jann and her husband Mike aboard the Key Decision. (submitted photos)

Community Spotlight

Continued from previous page

January 2021. I serve as a neighborhood ambassador and a communications specialist.

I’m involved because I’m convinced we need a grass-roots effort to protect Siesta Key from rampant overdevelopment. In my view, a strong, united community is the only way to counterbalance the fact that Siesta Key represents only 2% of Sarasota County voters. Together, a united community can ensure the future viability of the island. We need our officials to abide by zoning regulations rather than “redefine” zoning. We need to protect the environment from overuse. We need to safely guard pedestrians and bikers. And we need to take a long-term view of infrastructure before we overburden aging systems.

QIf you could deliver a few sentences to the Florida Legislature in regard to the incorporation issue, what would you say? (It is considering the bill this month.)

AI’m most proud of the grass-roots support and overwhelming unity in our community. Despite the fact that many voting residents are often in other states, we came together to demonstrate our unified belief that Siesta Key would benefit from watchful local governance. We want to ensure that Siesta Key continues to be revered for its accessible white beaches, its laid-back friendly vibe, and its family friendliness and safety.

QAny other dreams for Siesta Key?

AI have tried unsuccessfully to convince Sarasota County parks and rec that we need permanent pickleball courts installed on Siesta Key.

People who live on the Key commute off the Key to play, which adds to our traffic problems. The county painted pickleball lines on two tennis courts, but playing there requires people to bring their own nets with them, which is not practical. Nets are expensive and tourists don’t bring nets on the plane!

After watching the huge success of other area pickleball installations (Pompano, GT Bray, Venice, Naples), my proposal is to convert the largely unused tennis courts to permanent pickleball courts, and then install two new tennis courts in the same area. That ratio of space would more accurately reflect usage data.

Another monster listing strikes the Siesta Key luxury market

Siesta Key has joined the luxury real estate marketplace.

Joel Schemmel of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has witnessed the rapid evolution firsthand. He is the listing broker for a $22 million single-family Siesta Key home at 3799 Flamingo Ave. -- the highest-priced resale property currently on the market in all of Sarasota County.

Found on the north end of the island, the home (according to is an 8,138-square-foot, four-bed property with four-and-one-half-plus baths that boasts more than 700 feet of gulf-front footage.

Built in 2016, the property last sold in 2019 for $10.5 million. At the time of that sale, it was the second-highest-selling Siesta Key home on record. If the property now sells at the asking price, it would be the highest-selling single-family home in island history.

In 2021, a property named “Aquadisia” in the Sanderling Club, at 7760 Sanderling Rd. at the southern end of the Key, sold for $14 million. It holds the current record.

An outdoor seating area at the Flamingo Avenue home features a fire pit recessed into the infinity edge pool, a large koi pond with foot bridges, a swim-up bar, dining pavilion, and boat dock with a paddle board and canoe launch. The interior includes a home theater, game room, and fitness area. Furnishings are included with the sale price; however, art work and other specific items are not.

Speaking about the evolution of the Siesta Key luxury market, Schemmel said that there has been a recent sea change. “The last three years have drastically impacted prices across the board in Sarasota and specifically for the luxury market on Siesta Key,” he said.

Buyers, he said, are gravitating to Siesta Key and Sarasota in part due to pricing. He has also seen a geographic shift in from where buyers are coming. “We have seen a very significant increase of buyers from the Northeast. There are many reasons including tax savings, workplace mobility, and Sarasota’s recognition nationally, and internally, to name a few,” he said.

He added that there has also been a “significant number of sales to people from California.”

Buyers, said Schemmel, are also migrating to the region from Naples. Although international buyers are only beginning to regain their footing after COVID-19, he believes that will change.

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Views of the $22 million listing at 3799 Flamingo Ave. on Siesta Key. (submitted photos)

It takes a family to raise a village

The popular Captain Curt’s compound is a salute to the Stewart family’s commitment to the Key and to each other

“We’re not professional restaurateurs,” said Brad Stewart, who’s operated the famed Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar with his brother Brett since 1994. “We’re just a family who’s got a good thing going, and we’re trying to keep improving on it.”

Despite their aversion to the “professional restaurateur” title, Brett and Brad have not only kept the Old Stickney Point Road restaurant’s iconic status going over their 29-year tenure; they’ve overseen tremendous growth in the Captain Curt’s physical footprint, its staff, and its brand reach — all while touting “quality food, family and friends.”

“We don’t want to be twice as big,” said Brett. “It’s not about the money. It’s about the dining experience.”

The Stewart brothers grew up in Vicksburg, outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan, where their father, Dave, had a plastic-injection-molding company. After graduating high school, the brothers moved together to the family’s vacation home in Sarasota.

Meanwhile, Captain Curt’s had originally been opened in 1979 on south Midnight Pass Road (Turtle Beach Grill occupies that spot now). A new owner moved the restaurant up near the south bridge in 1982, to a building that had previously been a Davidson Drugs.

When the brothers took over in 1994, Captain Curt’s was only a fraction of the space it takes up now.

“It was a nice little restaurant,” said Brett. “[The previous owner] didn’t really change a lot or do a lot of upgrades. We just kind of ran it the way he did for the first year or two. But it wasn’t doing that well. Brad and I were like, ‘We gotta do better.’”

They started making changes to the menu and ran specials in the summer. They bought advertising. Brett hired a plane to fly a banner over the beach.

But the real turnaround, they agree, came when they built a bar

area in a previously closed off space behind the original dining room, what Brett called the “Back Room Saloon.” There they hosted live entertainment and karaoke; Sundays were Elvis nights, Mondays were for the Beatles.

But Brett and Brad were still just tenants on the property. One day a “For Sale” sign appeared out front, sparking concern in their customers — and in the brothers themselves, who worried what another landlord would do to their rent.

“We’d painted ourselves into a

corner,” said Brett. “That’s when Mom and Dad came down and took a look at everything.”

In fact, the Stewart parents arrived unannounced and proceeded to make the purchase themselves, without asking or even notifying their sons beforehand.

“They’d just showed up. We didn’t know they were coming. Brad and I were on our way to go fishing,” said Brett. “Mom and Dad were like, ‘We just want to let you know that we bought the property.’”

Now thriving

With their parents as landlords, the Stewarts spent the next 15 years paying off the mortgage while taking full advantage of new space. They grew their souvenir shop. A makeshift tiki bar they’d set up to shelter people waiting for tables grew into a permanent outdoor space that became iconic in its own right. The expansion continued into the next-door space, previously the Dragon Chinese restaurant.

8 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665
Above left, the Captain Curt’s Village is captured by photographer David Geyer in an aerial shot that shows off its iconic giant flag and new tiki hut in the foreground. Above right, members of the Stewart family pose in front of the crab logo we all know so well: From left are Brad, David, Brett, Joyce, and Brian. (photo by John Morton) Continued on page 37
9 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC

Judges deny Stickney Point stoplight appeal

A three-judge panel on Jan. 25 ruled against Siesta Key resident Jim Wallace in his fight against the Florida Department of Transportation plans to activate traffic signals along Stickney Point Road at Avenue B & C.

The stoplights, which are already erected, were a requirement from Sarasota County when it approved in 2018 the Siesta Promenade project at the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road. That spot will serve as a main entrance into the 24-acre mixed-use

development that will feature 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 ruling, which came in Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal in Tampa, came after Wallace’s attorneys made oral arguments Jan. 17. It upholds an earlier ruling by an administrative law judge.

Wallace, who lives near the south bridge, has said that an increase in congestion will further hinder

the quality of life on Siesta Key. A traffic study he commissioned showed that the Avenue B & C lights will bring traffic to a standstill there every 85 seconds. It is located just a couple block from a light at U.S. 41 and less than a mile from the light at Midnight Pass Road.

Furthermore, the drawbridge along Stickney Point Road is an active on, causing additional backups.

On Feb. 7, Wallace said he was granted an uncontested two-week

extension to decide how to move forward. He said he’d be working with his lawyers on a new plan of attack, but declined to offer details. He did speak of his disappointment in the ruling.

“Everyone on Siesta Key needs to understand that they were denied due process by this decision of the court. It’s a matter in which folks on Siesta Key deserve to have a say. It’s our primary access road.

“But the FDOT is behaving as if this is like any other light on the mainland. And that’s insane.”

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Sweet ‘n Spicy Chicken & Shrimp … $22

Pasta Primavera … $16


Turtle Pie … $9

Key Lime Pie … $9

Sample Platter … $12

Ice Cream Bar … $6

*Prices subject to change*

11 MARCH 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 Clam Chowder Cup … $6 Bowl … $8 Signature Crab Bisque Cup … $9 Bowl … $13 SALADS Turtles Salad … $20 Turtles Deluxe Salad … $16 Caesar Salad … $19 With grilled shrimp or chicken Kale Salad … $20 SANDWICHES Grouper Sandwich … $20 Salmon BLT … $19 Mahi Mahi Sandwich … $19 Chicken Sandwich … $13 Cheeseburger … $13 Vegan Burger … $12 ENTREES Stuffed Shrimp … $23 Potato Crusted Haddock … $21 Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi … $21 Gulf of Mexico Grouper … $24 Salmon
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Brunch starting at $11.99 from 10am-1pm.

County takes case-by-case stance on protected trees

New ordinance, in some ways, comes too late for future Siesta hotelier

If only this went down, so to speak, last year when it mattered greatly for Dave Balot. But it didn’t, and now the future Siesta Key hotelier finds himself in yet another wait-and-see scenario.

The Sarasota Board of County

of Commissioners on Jan. 31 approved a tweak in the county’s confusing ordinance regarding “grand trees” and their protection and possible removal. Now, instead of their fate falling under hardand-fast rules per something in the

books without exception, people can approach the commissioners on a case-by-case basis, even with potential appeals in play, regarding the potential removal of a grand tree – notably if it can be determined as a hazard.

The issue is most prevalent with developers who come across trees that are older and larger than usual, as far as their species is concerned. How is a grand tree defined by the county?

Grand trees are determined by adding points calculated for the diameter, height and spread of a tree together. If the sum equals or is greater than the defined point total for your tree species, it is considered a grand tree.

The issue recently went to the front burner when reports came out in late 2022 that grand trees, which are protected by the county, were knocked down on the property Benderson Development is clearing at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road as part of the massive 24-acre, mixed-use Siesta Promenade project.

Commissioners said at the meeting they were being inundated with comments of concern.

The new ordinance approved by the board does include penalties for leveling such trees. Whether Benderson will face fines is unknown.

And, is the new approach beneficial to developers? That also seems uncertain.

As far as Balot is concerned, his initial design plans for his nowapproved hotel at 5810 Midnight Pass Rd., home to the former Wells Fargo bank, required a do-over because county staff notified him that the grand oak in the front of his lot couldn’t be touched.

As a result, new plans were drawn with an overall buildable footprint loss of at least 20 feet his new reality. It led Balot to tighten his design and add an extra floor (now at six floors and 112 rooms on 2.15 acres). The revised height increase did not sit well with some opponents.

Meanwhile, as this new approach from the county shakes out in terms of interpretation and implementation in its early stages, Balot said he has no intention of reconfiguring his hotel design for what would be a third time.

Continued on page 44

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A far-reaching, sprawling large oak tree that is protected by Sarasota County sits in front of the old Wells Fargo bank, at 5810 Midnight Pass Rd., where a new six-story, 112-room hotel is proposed for future completion. It was approved last year. (file photo)
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“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.”

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We have medium, large, jumbo, and colossal! Come on in for FRESH stone crab!

From the top of the Key to the top of Africa

Siesta Village businessman Mike Granthon makes a mid-life pledge that he finally keeps by scaling Mount Kilimanjaro

For his 50th birthday in 2020, Mike Granthon wanted to do something spectacular. He was already a successful hospitality entrepreneur — he’d co-owned the Beach Club in Siesta Village for more than a decade — but the late nights in the service industry were wearing on his health. He told himself he was going to revamp his diet and his lifestyle. And he wanted to mark the change with a phenomenal adventure.

He set his sights on the highest peak in Africa: Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro.

“When you change something big in your life, you want to replace it with something just as monumental,” he said this spring. “I wanted show myself I can still do crazy things.”

If successful, he would make the climb a central part of his memoir—another goal he’d just set for himself. “I thought, ‘I’m going to write a book; I’m going to climb a mountain,’” he said. “Life’s too short.”

Mount Kilimanjaro rises 19,342 feet above eastern Africa, near the border between Tanzania and Kenya. Guided trips to the peak typically take eight days, with everything above 18,000 feet — “the Dead Zone ”— considered extreme.

Midway through 2019, Granthon shared his plan with a childhood friend, who hesitated at first. “He said, ‘You’re crazy,’ and hung up” before agreeing to join Granthon on the adventure. Then the Siesta Key resident set about trying to prepare his body for the climb.

“There’s not much altitude training you can do in Florida,” he said. “I did about 20 miles a week, running three to five miles at a time.”

Training wasn’t the only obstacle. By March 2020, COVID-19 had shut down most international travel. The delays would continue until January 2023. Granthon bided time while working on his book. For Granthon, who was born in Peru, traveling long distances against the odds was emerging as a lifelong theme.

“My mom and I came to the U.S. with nothing,” he said. “I’m describing all the ups and downs, my life as an immigrant.”

Finally, in January 2023, the trip to the mountaintop became a reality. Granthon and

his friend joined 11 other travelers from the U.S. and Canada, led by two guides from the local Maasai ethnic group, along with porters, cooks, and medical staff. The group quickly bonded over shared experiences, the effort of the climb and the increasing effects of altitude sickness. Granthon exchanged recipes with the cooks and learned about wildlife as they progressed upward through different environments.

One night they were warned that they might be awoken by territorial “locals.”

“Our guide said, ‘Hey, go to sleep early tonight, because the monkeys will be fighting,’” Granthon said with a laugh. “It was very interesting.”

Two people from the group had to turn back before the week was out. Everyone else completed the trek. But in the end, due to the extreme altitude, they were only allowed 10 minutes at the peak.

Many people were affected by the moment.

“Here you are, you’re working hard toward the top, you spent days in the tent, overcoming whatever medical conditions or difficulties or temperatures. A lot of people were very emotional,” Granthon remembered.

“But once I got to the top, I didn’t get that high. I realized it’s the same kind of metaphor for life. We get to where we need to get, and it’s like, ‘Now what?’ Life’s not about the end goal, it’s about the journey. The different camps have these amazing sunsets, the people we met, the amazing food. Things we thought we would never do.”

Granthon took the lesson to heart.

“On my way back down is where I saw the mountain in a different light, now I was enjoying every step more than I did on the way up,” he said. “If I were to do it over again, I would be savoring every camp day, every story I heard, every picture. Maybe I’d slow down a little more. Take some pictures of some of the birds I don’t get to see here.”

He returned to Florida a mere 14 days after he left and immediately began dreaming of his next feat — this time in the Alps.

“I love the adventure of climbing,” he said. “I’ve got Mont Blanc in my crosshairs.”

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Above, Mike Granthon (left) and climbing partner Luis Ruiz celebrate their arrival at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Right, Granthon puts his personal spin on the concept of being a “tree hugger” when discovering an exotic growth seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Below, a no-frills tent life demonstrates the rugged conditions of being on the climb. (submitted photos)
15 MARCH 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

And the winner is ...

Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce honors business leaders, community volunteers, organizations at Marina Jack event

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 25 at Marina Jack held its annual Awards Dinner, as recognition in several categories went out to members of the business community, orgaizations, and volunteers.

They are:

• Small Business – Key Sailing

• Large Business – CB’s Saltwater Outfitter’s

• New Member Business – Sun Served Bespoke Picnics

• Business Person – Sean Altice, Altez Vacations

• Shining Star – Kade Nelson, Tropical Sands


• Community Partner –Christine Robinson

• Volunteer of the Year – Peter Barnhart

• Shawn McLoughlin Siesta Selfless – Wendall Jacobsen

• Service & Leadership – Lisa Cece

• Visitor Center Volunteer of the Year – Jeanne Holpp

Also, the new Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors was established. The members are:

• Mike Gatz, chairman

• Steve Cavanaugh, immediate past chairman

• Eric Fleming, incoming chairman

• Gabe Garcia, treasurer

• Doug Black, secretary

• Kara Altice Montes, Kathy Elliott, Wendall Jacobsen, Mason Tush, Helene Hyland, Syd Krawczyk, Angela Carlson, Nathan Reid, and Jerry Williams

• Helene Hyland and Mason Tush were recognized for six years of board service.

Two community donations were also presented, thanks to the success of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival held in November.

The chamber made a $10,000 donation to the Ringling College of Art Scholarship Program and a $3,200 donation to the SRQ Vets.


16 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665
Small Business -Key Sailing
A donation to SRQ Vets. Volunteer of the Year -- Peter Barnhart (left) Shawn McLoughlin Siesta Selfless -Wendall Jacobsen (left) A donation to Ringling College of Arts Scholarship Program Community -- Christine Robinson Shining Star -- Kade Nelson (left), Tropical Sands Accommodations Large Business -- CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Service & Leadership -- Lisa Cece (left) Business Person -- Sean Altice (left), Altez Vacations Visitor Center Volunteer of the Year -- Jeanne Holpp (far left)


Unlike big chain stores, Diamond Bay Jewelers is a locally owned, family business offering the most complete in-house repair services backed by over 30 years of experience.

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.

We look forward to serving Sarasota, Osprey, and Venice from the beautiful Bay Street Plaza.

What we offer:

• Jewelry and watch appraisals by a GIA certified Gemologist

• Laser jewelry repairs: unlike traditional fire torch use, repairs can be done with modern laser technology on even the most delicate gemstones.

• Custom design and redesign services: create new pieces or breathe new life into your old pieces.

Did you know that Siesta Key has a Gemstone?

Looking into the water at Siesta Key Beach is an incredible, captivating feeling - hues of blue and green dancing in light waves on top of crystal white sand with sunlight reflecting on it. Undeniably, the “Siesta Key Watercolor GemstoneTM” has captured the colors of this experience.

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.

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Time for financial ‘spring cleaning’

Now that we’ve put winter behind us — at least on the calendar — it’s time for us to think about sprucing up our homes, inside and out. But it also may be time to do some financial spring cleaning.

Some of the same ideas involved in tidying up your home can also be used to help put your financial house in order. Here are a few suggestions:

• Dust off your investment strategy. As you look around your home, you might find that many items — tables, desks, bookshelves, and computer and television screens — could benefit from a good dusting. And, once you’ve accomplished this, you’ll get a clearer view of all these objects. Similarly, your investment strategy needs to be “dusted off” every so often, so you can see if it’s still working to help you move toward your financial goals, such as a comfortable retirement. Over time, your personal circumstances and

Sarasota Local Brings Experience & Trust to Siesta Key

risk tolerance can change, and these changes may lead you to reexamine your future financial and investment decisions.

• De-clutter your portfolio. If you took a survey of your home, would you find duplicates or even triplicates of some things — brooms, vacuum cleaners, toasters, and so on? If so, it may be time to do some de-cluttering. And the same could be true of your portfolio — you might have several identical, or substantially identical, investments taking up space. If so, you might want to replace these redundancies with investments that can improve your diversification. While diversification can’t guarantee profits or protect against losses in a declining market, it may help reduce the impact of market volatility on your holdings.

• Get organized. If your closets are overstuffed, with clothes and miscellaneous items crammed on shelves and the floor, you may well have trouble finding what you’re looking for — but with a little straightening up, your searches will become much easier. And when you’re trying to locate financial documents, such as investment statements or insurance policies, you’ll also benefit from having everything organized in one central location. Even if you get most of these documents online, you can save what you need and keep them in a file on your desktop, laptop or tablet. (And it’s also a good idea to tell your spouse, adult child or another close relative how these documents can be accessed, just in case something happens to you.)

• Protect yourself from dangers. If you look around your garage, shed or other storage area, you may well find some objects — such as gardening tools, paint thinners, engine fluids and leaning ladders — that could be dangerous if they aren’t stored properly.

As part of your spring cleaning, you’ll want to remove these hazards to safeguard yourself and your family. But have you addressed the various financial risks that could threaten your loved ones?

For example, if something were to happen to you, could your family members maintain their lifestyle? Could your children still go to college? To guard against this risk, you may want to discuss protection strategies with a financial professional.

Spring cleaning can pay off — in a cleaner, safer home environment and in helping ensure your financial strategy continues to work hard for you.

18 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665
Joe St. Onge, ChFC® Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investments 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 -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 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 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 Stay connected to life on Siesta Key. Like us on Facebook

For art lovers, this is one fine day in the park

The free Sarasota Fine Art Show, scheduled for March 11 and 12 and again on the weekend of April 1 and 2, will be held on the grounds of the historic Phillippi Estate Park on South Tamiami Trail.

Named as one of the Top 100 Art Fairs in America, the open-air juried show is a celebration of modern-day visual artists and their art. The show was also held earlier this season in late November, January and February. Featuring one-of-a-kind art work from up to 100 artists from the Sarasota region and around the country, the show offers Siesta Key and Sarasota art lovers a chance to meet the talented artists in person and purchase their art.

Live music, food from local vendors and a pet friendly atmosphere make a trip to this art show a weekend highlight.

First held in November 2020, the Sarasota Fine Art Show was founded by artist and arts advocate Patty Narozny, whose nonprofit organization hotworks. org produces the Sarasota Fine Art shows as well as others in Boca Raton, Naples, and Estero. Another fine art show is also held in Michigan in late July.

“In 2020, the Sarasota show saved a lot of artists. It was one of the only shows happening in the country,” recalled Narozny, referencing the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have been voted among the best 100 art shows in the country 18 times. Our shows offer something for everyone and every show is different. All art is original and handcrafted by the artist who is present at the show.”

Narozny is also the founder of nonprofit Institute for the Arts & Education that recognizes the work of young

artists. Each show features a youth art competition open to ages 5 to 13, and a “Budding Artist” competition that awards four cash prizes totaling $250 for grades 6 to 12, or ages 9 to 19.

Visitors attending the March and April Sarasota Fine Art shows will discover original art ranging from abstract, contemporary, art deco and impressionism. Much of the art work presented at the shows depicts the tropical beauty of our region in all its many forms. Exhibiting artists feature original wall art designed in watercolor, oil, or acrylic paint; color photography in large and small formats; and sculptures created from art-glass, ceramic and wood.

Talented local Sarasota furniture makers and artists who design and create unique accessories for the home in a range of styles will also be on hand to sell their designs both large and small. Fine jewelry lovers will enjoy discovering handmade creations of 14 karat and 17 karat gold and silver, cloisonné, lost-cast wax, and enamel necklaces, earrings, bracelets. Wearable textile designs in colors will also be featured for sale.

This fall, the Sarasota Fine Art Show will return to Phillippi Estate on November 18 and 19. For 2024, three shows are planned for January 20 and 21, February 10 and 11, and March 9 and 10.

Admission to the Sarasota Fine Art Shows is free. A $5 parking fee benefits the Institute for the Arts & Education. Hours for the March 11 and 12 and April 1 and 2 shows are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phillippi Estate Park is located at 5500 S. Tamiami Trail. Visit for more details.

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Above, and clockwise at the March Sarasota Fine Art Show: Patty Narozny of with artist Nalin Isme; Joni Marhula organizes her display of glass artwork; Leo Hong Mao’s “Happy Sharks” painting; Marhula’s glass parrot.

Catching that vibe with just one sweet ride

Our author’s debut on a state-of-the-art golf cart leaves him stylin’ and smilin’

The road ahead was open, sunny, and smiling at me. How often can you say that while navigating Beach Road traffic and construction in peak tourist season?

I was a rookie driver in a new type of vehicle and, if there was traffic, I didn’t notice or care.

“Thank you, Good Vibes Island Rides,” I thought, “for showing me – and everyone on the Key – a new way of getting around.” An eco-friendly way, at that.

Good Vibes Island Rides is the brainchild of local residents Joe Kiss and Kelly Coican, and I was enjoying a test drive of the service’s state-of-the-art, all-electric rental golf cart.

I was having fun.

Honestly, the last time driving made me smile was when I was 19, so that’s saying a lot. Thank you, Joe and Kelly.

The fun and smiles came not only from the general convenience of golf carting, but because Good Vibes is taking this humble transportation mode to new heights.

Consider the Bluetooth soundbar. Hook up your phone, crank up the volume and, as I was, you’re rock-and-rollin’ down the road. That humdrum market run for eggs and milk? Everyone in the family with a driver’s license will now be fighting to do it.

Then there’s the flashing undermount LED light show.

Any color pattern you choose. So, the party continues after dinner, as you cruise home (safely and responsibly, please).

You’ll feel comfortable and secure … the seating is practically plush, and the safety features are ample and reassuring: sturdy seat belts, well-positioned side and rear mirrors, turn signals, backup camera and windshield wipers.

And the piece de resistance: these babies are all electric! There’s no exhaust or sound pollution, no fossil fuels and no refueling. Recharging is a straightforward matter that most Siesta Key condos

can accommodate. Plus, it’s made in the USA.

All in all, it’s sort of like graduating from your dad’s Chevrolet into a sleek sports car.

Only, of course, you won’t be speeding around at sports car speeds. Like conventional carts, the gleaming top-of-line Bintelli models top out at around 25 mph: good enough to get you where on the Key you want to go, safely. (Rule #1: You don’t leave the Key with one of these.) Anyway, as Kelly points out, “You’re on island

Continued on page 43

It took Siesta Sand reporter Ned Steele little time at all to go from a novice to a natural during his cruise with Good Vibes Island Rides. (photo by John Morton)
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March 7, 2023

3:00 PM

Siesta Key Chapel

4615 Gleason Ave

MAIN: Patricia Staebler: Staebler Appraisal and Consultation

SPEAKERS: Jesse Curtis: Florida Structural Forensics

Recent FL Condominium Legislation Impact

Overview of Key Legislation Components

Condominium Structural Integrity Study Methods/Details

Required Milestone Reports Content and Timing

Reserve Study Implications

Possible Changes to Legislation

Question & Answer Session with Audience

Sheriff’s Report

Dec. 17 burglary

A vehicle burglary was reported in a carport in a condo complex parking lot. Victim’s vehicle was parked in the carport and a neighbor observed the passenger side door and window ajar on the morning of the 17th. The neighbor recalled passing the car the prior evening and did not notice the door being ajar. Upon inspection it was discovered that the center console and glove compartment had been ransacked. Deputies observed that the unknown suspect likely forced the window down slightly and was then able to gain access to the vehicle. Deputies then processed the vehicle for prints and sought security camera footage.

On the same evening a separate vehicle was also burglarized overnight in the carport. Similarly, the center console had been ransacked.

The victim believed that she

a search for the suspects remains outstanding.

Jan. 4 burglary


have left the car unlocked overnight.

Jan. 3 vehicle theft

Victim reported his 2022 BMW Alpina had been stolen from his driveway at approximately 6:10 a.m. Victim indicated that the car may have been left unlocked and that the car contained two car seats. Attempts to track the vehicle through the BMW app were unsuccessful. However, at 9:55 a.m. the vehicle was located in St. Petersburg by St Petersburg police. Video footage was obtained and

Happiness is...A Fresh Start

Spring is here and with it comes a sense of new beginnings and fresh starts. This season is the perfect time to treat yourself to something sweet and refreshing, and what better way to do so than with Abel’s Ice Cream?

Abel’s premium ice cream is made with only the finest ingredients and is available in a variety of tantalizing flavors to suit every taste.

As you bask in the sunshine and take in the sights and sounds of spring, enjoy a

scoop or two of Abel’s Ice Cream. Whether you’re looking for a classic flavor like Abel’s award-winning vanilla or chocolate, or something more adventurous like Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake ( Cheesecake ice cream swirled with a decadently rich chocolate cookie crunch and teaming with pieces of creamy cheesecake ) they have something for everyone.

And don’t forget, Abel’s Ice Cream is not just for dessert. It’s the perfect pick-me-up to

enjoy any time of day. So why wait? Head to Abel’s today. Spring is here and it’s time to start a new beginning with Abel’s Ice Cream. Go ahead, treat yourself!

Abel’s 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 online at our website, www.abelsicecream. com or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Staff from Made in Rome Organic Gelato is proud to announce that we are Best in Florida!

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!

Victim reported that her unlocked car had been burglarized at approximately 6 a.m. She reported a Mac Book and a Tory Burch purse was stolen from the car. A neighbor made his video camera footage available. DNA was taken from the glovebox and entered into evidence.

Jan. 4 theft

Victim lives in Indiana and rented a condo unit on Siesta Key for a month beginning on Dec. 31. The rental unit was rented through a real estate rental website. Victim communicated via email with respect to the rental and paid, via electronic payment, a total of $4,800 for the rental. However, when the victim arrived at the rental unit it was occupied and it became evident that the victim had been subject to an online scheme.

Jan. 9 theft

Suspect walked into business and poured a cup of coffee at approximately 6 a.m. The suspect also picked out three donuts and began to eat them within the business. Complainant asked the suspect to pay for the items and the suspect refused. The complainant stated “That’s a theft.”

The suspect then stated “I know.”

The suspect walked outside and left on a bicycle southbound on Ocean Boulevard. The suspect is described as a white male, 50s to 60 years of age, 5-foot-10, thin, and last seen wearing blue jeans, a black jacket and a gray hat. The loss to the business was $12.15.

Sierra & Paola

“We are very proud and happy each day. to be here on Siesta Key,” says Theron-Cuna.

If you’re lucky enough to catch Theron-Cuna at the shop, she will happily entertain you with stories of her earlier days as a circus performer. She comes from three generations of circus entertainers and has traveled around the world performing with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The family earned their own “Star of Fame” at St. Armands CircleThe Theron Cycling Troupe.

22 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665
Sage Kylie
Giada, Anna & Alexis Ocean Blvd. in Siesta Key Village
Diane 5204
Owner Diane Theron-Cuna invites you to watch the process as she creates a batch of her sinfully delicious gelato from scratch every 15 minutes.
Taylor & Stephania Anna Nora Alice Emma

Kayak the Key, and set yourself free

“Kayaking around Siesta Key is a must-do for any visitor to the Key,” says William Scott, owner of Siesta Key Bike & Kayak. Better known as Scotty, he has been traveling local waters for more than 20 years and knows the shoreline well.

Being away from the land but within a short distance of the shoreline in a kayak, while paddling along peaceful calm waters and taking in the beauty of the water and land that surrounds it, offers a new perspective on the wonders of nature.

“You can feel as though you’re out in the middle of nowhere but glance over and there’s Siesta Key,” he said.

Indeed, kayaking in a single or tandem kayak built for two offers a bird’s or dolphin’s view of the pristine waters and shores.

For the beginner or the veteran kayaker, Scotty recommends launching from Turtle Beach at Neville Preserve.

“It’s calm and there’s no boat traffic. It’s so neat to see all of the beautiful beach birds, the pink roseate spoonbills, osprey, pelicans and so many more,” he said.

For an itinerary, Scotty suggests heading out past the Midnight Pass beach (between Siesta Key and Casey Key) through the canal. “Stop at the Old Shark Pit where Mote (Marine) used to do their research.”

Mote, he noted, moved its shark research facility many years ago. “There are no longer any sharks there,” he said.

The next stop, he suggests, is the old Midnight Pass beach, just to the south.

“Stop there for some shelling and head on to Casey Key near (author) Steven King’s home before coming back to Turtle Beach,” Scotty said.

He also recommends taking the time to explore the many small coves along the way.

The sights and sounds on the water vary during different seasons, he reports.

“At different times of the year you can spot tons of bird life. Beginning in late April when the waters are warmer, there can be up to 20 manatees. They like the water to be about 72 degrees,” Scotty said.

Before heading out on the water, kayakers receive an overview lesson, a laminated map and a dry bag to store their keys, cell phones and suntan lotion, as well as lightweight paddles and comfortable backrests. Sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks are available. Up to 10 kayaks can be rented at the same time for a three-hour period. Kayak rentals can also be arranged for seven and 24-hour periods.

“We deliver to Neville Preserve on Turtle Beach and to resorts on Siesta Key that are on the water,” Scotty said.

The business is located at 1224 Old Stickney Point Rd. in Captain Curt’s Village. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Kayak reservations can be made online at or by calling (941) 346-0891.

23 MARCH 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 34 ACCOMMODATIONS, page 47 941.312.0665
Please stop in and say hello! 205 Canal Road, Siesta Key • 941-349-1474 • Your Go-To Store on the Island
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.

Siesta Key Oyster Bar, or “SKOB”

Island Chatter

Island Chatter

and Casey Key that was closed off in the early 1980s, now has an online store that helps raise funds and awareness toward its cause.

Visit openmidnightpassnow. to get access to the variety of items for sale. All money goes to the organization, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Spiegel no longer at helm of anti-hotel Siesta Key Coalition

into a “holding pattern” as it awaits the outcome of lawsuits fighting those hotel approvals that came in late 2021 and 2022.

Also, president Mark Spiegel has stepped down from his role in order to focus on other commitments.

Vice-president Bob Luckner will be now president, pusutant to the group’s bylaws.

The Siesta Key Coalition testified in opposition to all three Sarasota County approvals of three hotels: One on Calle Miramar, one on Old Stickney Point Road, and one on Midnight Pass Road where the old Wells Fargo bank stood.

Online store supports Midnight Pass cause

Midnight Pass Society II, which is fighting to restore the Midnight Pass waterway between Siesta Key

The Siesta Key Coalition, which was created in 2021 to fight the proposed high-density hotels that were looking for county approval at the time, saw its board of directors in November vote in favor of going

The group is also known for distributing hundreds of “NO HIGH-DENSITY HOTELS” yard signs in 2021.


Bicyclist on Siesta Key suffers serious injuries when struck

An 80-year-old male bicyclist was struck by a 2016 Nissan vehicle at 4:20 p.m. Feb. 1 on Midnight Pass Road near the south end of Siesta Key, the Floirda Highway Patrol reports. The man was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with serious head injuries.

The man’s handlebars struck a trash can that was partially in the bike path, causing him to swerve into the path of the vehicle, according to Sgt. Dan Smith with Siesta Key’s substation of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Ofiice.

Egg hunt will be at Chapel

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce’s annual Easter egg hunt has a new home: Siesta Key Chapel, 4615 Gleason Ave.

It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 8. Pre-registration is required and limited to 200 children (ages 1-6).

There is a $12 fee per child. To register, visit and click on the event calendar tab at the upper right of the homepage.

Beach University slate is set

The free and informative Beach University program runs each Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in March at the pavilion at Siesta Beach. This year’s lineup is as follows:

March 2: Got Sand? with Jonathan Poyner, Siesta and Lido beach coordinator, Sarasota County.

March 9: Human Behaviors on the Environment with Jason Robertshaw, program manager for virtual learning, Mote Marine


March 16: Where Do Shells

Come From? with Armando J. Ubeda, Florida Sea Grant agent, UF/IFAS Extension, Sarasota County.

March 23: Turtle Tagging and Satellite Tracking with Jim Grimes, GIS Professional, Sarasota County EIT - GIS Services.

March 30: Fire in Coastal Ecosystems with Matt Brady, environmental specialist, Sarasota County. For more information, visit

Prop Map-D #10

The Ringling Beach House Rentals Map-D #9 Tropical Sands Accommodations Map-D #67


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 &


25 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC 24 Siesta Sand MARCH 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
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
from previous page
Continued from page 5
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.
Day and Night
G’s Oyster Happy Hour from 3-6 Every day 1/2 Priced House Oysters Daily Drink Specials
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
on next page
& 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! • SEGWAY RENTALS • PADDLEBOARDS • SCOOTER CARS • GOLF CARTS • BIKES • SCOOTERS • BEACH GEAR 5255 Ocean Blvd • Siesta Key Village 941-554-4242 Hours Sunday - Thursday 11 am to 10 pm Friday and Saturday 11 am to 11 pm 941-34 9-9392 5208 Ocean Blvd Sarasota, FL 34242

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

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.

* Authentic Italian food from Italian chefs

* Fresh housemade pasta


Daily 4pm - 6:30pm

Open for dinner from 4pm - 9pm 3900 Clark Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233 (941) 952-3186

Reddish egret (Egretta rufescens)

Two color patterns, or morphs, are found in reddish egrets—the common dark morph with its steelgray and rust colored plumage, and the rare all-white morph. The birds don’t notice plumage color during breeding season as chicks of both color morphs may be found within a single nest.

Along the Gulf coast of central and south Florida, the reddish egret is a year-round resident and is typically found foraging in shallow salt flats or inlets during low tide. With a flair for the dramatic, it’s “dinner and a show” when the reddish egret appears. Racing around a tidal pool on foot,

turning tight circles punctuated by animated hops and wing-flaps, the egret’s erratic movements certainly keep the fish—and the photographers—guessing. Wings are alternately tucked then extended to cast shadows on the water, giving the bird a better view of the main course. Favoring small minnow-like fish, it is common for this agile performance artist to consume a dozen or two in a single meal.

The reddish egret is easily identified by size, as it is larger than a snowy egret but smaller than a great egret.

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

Blooming this month:

The dark and sultry clerodendrum quadriloculare explodes each spring with an incredible display of gorgeous blooms. This bush is in the Lamiaceae Mint family, and often called starburst or shooting star.

The leaves are dusty gray green, backed with deep purple. The blooms are in the tubular flowers that are a bright pink with white tips full of nectar that attracts pollinator butterflies,

bees, and hummingbirds. This bush can get about 10 feet tall and wide. It is a drought-resistant plant once it is established, can be grown in full sun, and is a nice addition to your garden.

It’s currently in bloom in the Butterfly Garden at Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts.

Submitted by Sarasota Garden Club

26 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665
Place your orders now! Review our menu at ORDER NOW: TurDucKens Shipped Anywhere in the U.S. GREAT GIFT!
Clerodendrum shooting star bush

Look No Further

This is Peg.


“Peg is the best agent we have ever worked with. She is smart, professional and knowledgeable. She listens and asked great questions to help us make the right decision. She covers all the details. We highly recommend her.” – Bruce and Liz, St. Louis, Missouri.

“Peg is the consummate professional. Extremely responsive, patient, knows the market, detail orientated but also sees the big picture. She strategized how to approach our transition and was a true partner in listing, marketing and closing the sale.”

Dina, Chicago, Illinois.

PEG HAS SUCCESSFULLY SOLD... real estate on Siesta Key since 2006. She is a graduate of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and has called Sarasota her home since 1985.

So, if you are ready to sell or buy, look no further, call Peg – 941.356.4552.

27 MARCH 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
28 Siesta Sand MARCH 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

acclaim between the late 1930s and late 1970s. The artist had a part-time home and studio on Siesta Key and frequented the Crescent Club, where Condon (then Monica del Carmen Castro) was a bartender. Her time there lasted nine years, from 1970 to 1979, ending when it was time to become a first-time mother.

A native of Chile who came to the Milwaukee area at age 4, and then eventually to Siesta Key where she lived in a variety of spots that included a little house across from Siesta Beach, Condon would next follow her husband’s career all the way to Toronto for a 30-year stay.

With each return visit to the Key throughout the years, however, she’d marvel at the fact that her portrait still shares the place with the patrons.

“I’d say to myself, ‘How can this still be here?’ I’m humbled, but also kind of embarrassed,” said Condon, now 77. “Mostly, I’m just amazed. I was just a bartender. A bartender gets a portrait?”

Nonetheless, it’s certainly an historic conversation piece for many, and even an inspiration for others.

Take Crescent Club general manager Mary Pisano for example, who started a few years ago as a server and worked her way up the ranks.

“I love seeing Monica’s picture continue to grace the walls,” Pisano said. “The nostalgia it adds to our 74-year-old bar is extraordinary.

“I love when she visits us to this day and shares her great stories. I hope one day I can share the honor of having a picture right next to hers and build a legacy and reputation as wonderful as hers.”

Visiting the bar is easy these days for Condon, considering that in 2015 she and her husband, Frank Condon, moved into the Palm Bay Club condo she had owned but had mostly rented.

She swears it’s just coincidence that she typically sits right in front of her portrait, mostly because a handful of regulars take the seats at the other side of the semi-circle bar. Of course, it lends itself nicely for striking up conversations with people who ask the bartender “Who is the gal on the wall?”

Often, people will even ask Condon, after a few looks back and forth, if it’s her.

“I get it a lot,” she said. “Especially from young people.”

Then there was the customer on a recent weekend who, within earshot of Condon, declared that he knew the person in the picture was dead.

“No, she’s not!” Condon jumped up and exclaimed. “I’m right here!”

Sadly, the only other woman whose portrait remains, right next to Condon’s on the left, has indeed passed. It’s Patty Keegan,

who died while still working at the club. She spent 25 years there.

Two other bartenders (Linda Needs and the late Patty Gergen) had their portraits done by Elvgren, and both took them at the time of their departure. In Condon’s case, she was also given the green light to take the original, but tavern owner Charlie Walker asked that she replace it with as good a copy as copy possible. And she did.

“Just don’t tell anyone,” Walker, according to Condon, said to her.

“Well, I guess now the secret is out,” Condon added.

A certain mindset

“He never believed in finding bartenders, but in finding the right people,” Frank Condon said of Walker. “None of the girls back in those days had ever bartended before. And most have never bartended since.”

That includes Monica, who at 24 was recruited away from her waitress job at Red Lobster. Since then, she has been a school teacher for a second time and a marathon runner – including years of involvement with the annual Sandy Claws 5K run and

walk event on the Key.

Despite being a bartending novice, Condon learned to improvise and make a name for herself.

“When my mother was in one day, she said she wanted to try these two drinks she had heard of – a pina colada and a margarita. The place was beer and shots only,” Condon said. “So, I had to bring in my own blender because Charlie wanted nothing to do with it. Well, they were a hit and added to the menu.”

Meanwhile, there was no better method to advertise that this sudden smash-hit-ofa-bartender was on duty than Condon’s yellow convertible, always parked out front. It caught many an eye, including that of her future husband, then living in a different unit of the Palm Bay Club as a bachelor.

“It was mostly locals back then, and everyone would look for that car,” Frank said. “There it is! Monica’s working! Time to stop in for a bloody Mary. ‘

“Trying to date Monica was tough. She was quite popular.”

So, it made sense that Elvgren sought her out as one of his models. Condon recalled that it took three or four sessions to get it right – he would almost be done but say

“That’s not you,” Condon said, causing him to start again.

Part of the challenge, she said, was that Elvgren was known for accentuating breasts and curves in his drawings. In the end, Walker suggested that the portraits be classy and, hopefully as a result, more timeless.

“Charlie didn’t even want any cleavage,” Condon said. “And I think he was right in that thinking. All the girls were so important to him.. We were like daughters to him.

Elvgren was the same way, despite his ooh-la-la reputation.

“He said, ‘I wouldn’t want something that didn’t feel right, if it was my daughter, on the wall forever,’” Condon said of Elvgren’s mindset.

Walker also treasured the pictures as much as anyone, so when he sold the bar after 25 years of ownership to longtime employee Julie Brown in 1990, part of the clause, Condon said, was that the interior of the club did not change. Soon thereafter, not a drawing but a beautiful photograph of Brown would join the other girls on the wall. Elvgren died early that same year, so matching a portrait of Brown with the others wasn’t to be.

The tradition continues

When Brown in turn sold the Crescent Club to Gary Kompothecras in late 2018, he too embraced the traditions and decided to leave the old-world interior intact, including the cigarette machine and phone booth, and especially the pictures.

The new, state-of-the-art outdoor sports bar would be built shortly thereafter, giving customers the feel of entering different dimensions when going through the swinging saloon doors.

“There was a rumor around town that I would level the building or make drastic changes to the inside. It was never my intention to change anything inside the bar, as it was what I loved most about the structure,” Kompothecras said. “It’s a locals’ bar and I wanted to keep it that way.

“Way too much history in that old bar. It’s my happy place.”

In fact, then-general manager Keith Green put out requests for people to bring in artifacts that showcase the history.

“I really appreciate how they kept the history in place, and so do many others,” Condon said. “And I love the outdoor area. It’s the best of both worlds.”

And, when she gazes at that stunning portrait that will likely outlast all of us, what crosses her mind?

“Well, I’m just glad something was documented from that time,” she said. “What would I say to it? I’d say, ‘You were OK back then.’”

She’s got the picture to prove it.

29 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
Crescent Club portrait Continued from page 1
6721 S. Tamiami Trl • Sarasota 941.924.1770 • Sarasota’s Family Diner since 1972. Over 100 menu items Open 7 days a week Daily specials Breakfast served all day, every day! “The Landings Plaza” 4982 S. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34231 941-925-3955 Fax 926-0066 View menu at Explore Our $4.99 Daily Specials Great Sandwiches Since 1994 Sandwich Construction Specialists
Gil Elvgren in a self-portrait (above) and an example of one of his iconic pin-up-girl paintings. Left, Condon with the original. Above, Patty Keegan’s portrait. (photos by John Morton)

with his new windows shut, said “None of you would approve this if it were in your neighborhood.”

Smith, who resides on Siesta Key near his establishment, has stated that he loses business when patrons leave at 10 p.m. because the live music stops.

Three other Village establishments have been granted special exceptions for live music past 10 p.m. – The Hub Baja Grill for indoor live music (granted in 1992) when the business was the Fandango Cafe, the Daquiri Deck for indoor live music (1992), and the Siesta key Oyster Bar (2001), whose permit allows both indoor and outdoor live music. However, its live shows end at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays when the business closes.

Both the Daiquiri Deck and

Siesta Key Oyster Bar are directly across the street from Gilligan’s.

The Beach Club has also had live music past 10 p.m. grandfathered into its operations. Its music is played in an indoor setting.

In a move that caught commissioners off guard, attorney Casey Colburn during the meeting’s closing public comment segment, told them that the staff report on the topic had inaccuracies. Thus, he asked them to rescind their vote, readvertise the matter, and discuss and vote again on the Gilligan’s proposal. Otherwise, the establishment would have to start all over again with a new application, which costs $7,500.

The board voted 3-2 against the request, with Smith and Detert in support.

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Gilligan’s Continued from page 4 An aerial night view of Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill, located on Ocean Boulevard in the Siesta Key Village. (photo by David Geyer)
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New Energy Medicine Technologies are Now Offered 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

32 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665
LICENSE #MM 40045 & MA 17596

A FEMA grant of $4 million expires June 30, but with turtle nesting season beginning May 1 the project is on the fast track.

Robert Neal of Geosyntec Consultants, the firm Sarasota County hired in October to organize and lead the project, explained that trucks will enter the county park at Turtle Beach and drive over the dunes to a staging area toward the south part of the beach that will be 275 feet in length and 30 feet in width. No staging will take place to the south of that area along Blind Pass Road.

Then, each day, up to 500 feet of public beach will be temporarily closed and roped off as the dumping moves northward. The progress is expected to be about 200 feet per day and will go as far north as the sand lasts with that 10-foot average width in mind.

At no time will the public beach be entirely closed, Neal said, and two-way traffic in the parking lot will be the goal. He said trucks will always give the right-off-way to pedestrians.

After the sand is dumped, it must be tilled to minimize it

being too compacted for turtle nesting, Neal said. Then it will be smoothed.

Previous renourishment efforts at the location were done by barge, but county officials said during the webinar that doing so this time would cost an estimated $5.7 million – far exceeding the grant.

The Siesta Key Association civic group is among the opponents of the plan, saying that the trucks will lead to increased traffic and danger to pedestrians and bicyclists during the busy spring break time. Also, the wear and tear on roads is a concern, with the trucks traveling over the south bridge and then southbound on Midnight Pass Road to the tune of 100 times per day.

The association sent a letter to the county to ask it to delay the project and reconsider the trucking approach. County commissioner Nancy Detert has also said she plans to speak with federal leaders in Washington, D.C. on the same matter.

The project was originally slated for as far off as 2026, but has been moved up on the calendar several

times. Finally, in August, FEMA set the June 30 2023 deadline while noting that Sarasota County was the only community to have yet to use the grant money.

Neal said his firm will be monitoring the traffic flow to see if any adjustments are needed.

“We are not expecting large groupings of trucks. They will be spread out,” he said. “It will not be a stampede.”

In response to another webinar question about potential damage by the project contractor, which was expected to be named sometime

in late February, Neal said the firm that’s hired will be responsible for any substantial property damage as part of the terms of the contract. That includes damages to roads, signage, and dunes and/or vegetation at Turtle Beach. Regarding the sand, it will be different than the tan-colored, coarse sand for which Turtle Beach is known. That combination, according to county Planning Services manager Curtis Smith, is primarily the result of crushed shells. The new sand will be mostly free of shells, as dictated

by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, so it will be lighter in color and texture and easy on the feet of beachgoers. The average grain of sand at Turtle Beach is more than a millimeter in size, Smith added, and the new sand will be smaller in size. This in part helps with turtle nesting, he added.

Smith also explained why the sand at Siesta Key’s Crescent Beach is different, noting the remarkable quartz sand comes mainly through Big Pass to the north and stays put thanks to both the beach’s curved shape and the Point of Rocks barrier to its south. In fact, Crescent Beach has never required a renourishment effort, also in part because it is aligned in somewhat of an east/west fashion and not as subject to wash-away from the strong of Gulf of Mexico currents. Turtle Beach is aligned more north and south, Smith said, as is thus more susceptible to having its sand move with the waves. Questions related to the project are still being accepted. Send them to capitalprojectsmeetings@scgov. net.


33 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
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Arts on the Horizon

Is 13 an unlucky number?

Not if you’re the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. That great show, about back-up girl singing groups, opened on New York’s Great White Way to great acclaim (13 Tony nominations) back in 1981. The original production ran for 1,500 performances, went on tour, and has been revived and been on tour many times over.

Note: This musical is not based on the early days of The Supremes and Diana Ross. Dreamgirls, was performed in Venice in March, but that was in March 2018. It will be performed through all of this March (and on through April 9) here in Sarasota, at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s comfortable new theater on North Orange Avenue. Nate Jacobs directs. Note: this musical is not based on the Primettes, which later became The Supremes.

A touring version of Dreamgirls played in Tampa back in November of 2010, and was put together after the success of the 2006 film, which starred Jennifer Hudson as Effie White, Beyoncé as Deena Jones, and Eddie Murphy as James Early. Note: this movie is about a fictional group called the Dreamettes, not the actual Motown group, the Primettes.

The long ago origins of Dreamgirls date back to the mid-1970s when Nell Carter was just finishing up performing in the Eyen and Krieger musical The Dirtiest Show in Town. They wanted to do another show with Carter and dreamed up a show to be called One Night Only as a vehicle for her. When she went on to do other shows, Eyen and Krieger shelved that idea. But, having a life of its own, it kept being re-written until they finally were able to put together the finished product –which had nothing to do with the group the Supremes or its individual stars, or any of the actual incidents that happened in real life.

While Nell Carter went on to additional successes, like Ain’t Misbehavin’ on Broadway in 1978, she did have a musical, based on her own life, titled From Birmingham to Broadway, that had its own world premiere here in Sarasota last year. So, even though she

never played one of the fictional singers in Dreamgirls (which is not based on the group The Supremes), she made it to Sarasota all by herself.

More info at

Blue Sky, Blue Eye, Blue Tears

For 20 years Embracing Our Differences has been gracing Bayfront Park on beautiful Sarasota Bay – making it more meaningful and thus more beautiful. A total of 124 artists submitted artwork for the first show, in 2004. The first 48 paintings shown were by children from around the world and were coupled with statements by famous writers and statesmen – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the Bible, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, etc. – and were all about coexistence. The very next year, both the paintings and the thoughts to which they related were mostly by children.

Things have gotten bigger over the years. For this year’s show there were close to 14,000 submissions from 119 countries, 48 states, and 424 different schools. In 2022, more than 370,000 visitors viewed these billboard-size statements of caring and inclusion. What do all these numbers mean? That people do care – about other people.

A few samples from past years, and this year, are:

• 2007: “The world is a library. It is only as good as the VARIETY of books on its shelves. No one wants to visit a library with only one book.” –Sarasota, sixth grade.

• 2008: “If you see discrimination and say nothing, what are you saying?”

– Sarasota County School Board member.

• 2009: “Blowing out my candle doesn’t make yours SHINE any brighter.” –Sarasota, seventh grade.

• 2009: “Our skin is just an envelope. WE are the letter” – Bradenton, 11th grade.

• 2014: “Although WORDS are merely sound waves, they can hurt more than any solid object.” – Osprey, sixth grade.

• 2018: “I like me but I’m glad everyone isn’t like me.” – St. Petersburg, kindergarten student.

• 2023: “We have to stop saying we are OK when we’re not OK. OK? --

Columbus, Ohio.

It is interesting that these sayings, illustrating the giant paintings, that have come down to us during the last 20 years are (mostly) by children. Written by children! Are they the adults in the room? Someone once said, “And a little child shall lead them.”

When you visit this exhibit (good parking is available) that runs through March 12, you will probably notice the blue sky, green grass, sparkling water, slight breezes, friendly faces, bobbing boats, shady trees, and other good stuff. Enjoy them all as you read, and internalize, the wisdom of the young ones.

More info at

Famous quartets

Everyone can name some famous quartets. In classical music there are the Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert String Quartets; classical performance quartets are the Emerson, Juilliard, Guarneri, and Kronos; in jazz there was Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Quartet; in baseball there was Tinker to Evers to Chance (Oops, sorry, a trio).

The famous Opera Quartet that comes to mind is: Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, Ernani, and Therese. Yes, these four operas are all being performed at the Sarasota Opera House from late February through March 27.

The first, a sad and fragile one, is Madama Butterfly: A young Japanese lady who, it seems from these performances, was able to sing in fluent Italian, albeit the Italian of 1904, the year Giacomo Puccini wrote this opera.

Cio-Cio-San, called Butterfly, is a young

innocent girl from a once wealthy family who gets in a family way after marrying Lt. Pinkerton, a U.S. naval officer. Pinkerton returns to America for three years and then revisits Japan with his U.S. bride, to collect his love child. The opera ends tragically before Pinkerton’s wife Kate can offer Butterfly a job as her soon to be adopted son’s nanny. Sad

Don Giovanni is an opera that takes place in Spain, is sung in Italian, was composed by an Austrian (Mozart) who considered himself to be German, and premiered in what is now the Czech Republic. Oh, and Don is not Giovanni’s first name, it means a man of noble birth in Spanish. Giovanni loved many women – usually one at a time. To paraphrase Cole Porter, “Young love, old love, even slightly used love.”

Giovanni was a real Don Juan who, eventually, paid for his sins. Sad.

Ernani, on the other hand, was a good guy – Spanish, but, of course, sang in Italian (Hey, it’s an opera by Verdi). He, like Butterfly was from a wealthy family, and had lost it all. Ernani becomes a bandit and, after trying to kill the king, is forgiven, regains his land, marries his sweetheart, Elvira, and lives happily ever after until he commits suicide. Sad.

Thérèse, on the other, other hand, is a lovely opera by Jules Massenet about a woman’s faithful honoring of her husband. It takes place at the time of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. She is in love with her husband’s best friend who flees France while her husband is arrested and sentenced to death – to be beheaded by the guillotine. She goes to his side to die with him. Beautiful music, but sad.

More info at

34 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665

Ice cream parlor

Continued from page 1

The business’ owner declined any comment, manager Caitlyn Bray said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in November announced its investigation into the outbreak had been concluded. It caused 28 illnesses, including one death and a miscarriage, during a span of 20 months. A wrongful lawsuit was filed against Big Olaf by the family of former Sarasota resident Mary Billman, who died Jan. 29, 2022, after eating Big Olaf ice cream at its Bahia Vista location. A jury in January of 2023 awarded the family $4 million.

Big Olaf was presented with information of concern from the CDC on July 1, with Big Olaf responding in

A sweet get-together

part that the accusations were “speculative” and that the company was being unfairly targeted.

However, health inspections first conducted July 7 at the Cattleman Road production facility resulted in positive tests for listeria among nine of the samples collected. Big Olaf then issued a recall of its products on July 13.

Further inspections took place between July 19 and Sept. 1. On Dec. 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified Big Olaf that it had not addressed violations outline in a report relating to those inspections, warning the company it had 15 days to act. The results of that warning have yet to be reported.

35 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
New signage at the ice cream parlor formerly known as Big Olaf Creamery has again incorporated the word “Olaf” into its title. (photo by John Morton) Sheri Riley (left) and Dr. My-Huong Ta organize the treats and other offerings that the dentist shared with the community during a Feb. 10 Valentine-themed customer appreciation party at her Village business. (photo by Jane Bartnett)

“We expect the international market to get stronger and stronger but a majority of the luxury buyers are national,” he said. “We are now on the radar screen for all buyers who historically focused only on Naples, West Palm Beach, etc. The result is an influx of luxury property buyers. Sarasota and Siesta Key have been discovered.”

Schemmel added, “Generally, you still get more for your money in Sarasota. Another reason is that particularly, in the ultra-luxury market, buyers are less tied to a geographical area and more focused on the lifestyle they seek and what a property offers.”

The pool of buyers interested in purchasing high-end luxury properties in the $10 million range and above narrows,

said Schemmel.

“They are certainly still there and are more focused on finding the right home and lifestyle,” he said. “There are homes and properties in the area that would command prices in the $20-, $30- and even $40-million range. However, none of these homes are on the market. They were built as custom homes for end users.”

Looking ahead, Schemmel predicts that the Siesta Key luxury market will continue to grow.

“We will see new price thresholds achieved in the coming months and years,” he said. “The north and the south end of the Key both define the luxury Siesta Key Market. I would predict new benchmarks

every year. We met with one of our builder clients and talked about the amazing amount of building that is going on, on the island. There are incredible properties in both locations. There are many bayfront and beachfront estates under construction in each area which will set new precedents.”

Reflective of the dramatic changes impacting the high-end Siesta Key property market are two current listings, both for the north-end property of 4221 Higel Ave.

One is listed on as a 1.42-acre waterfront lot with a private beach facing the Gulf of Mexico for $9.995 million.

The other notes the same property is also offered in a separate listing as a preconstruction home that has not yet been built

along with the 1.42-acre property, for $32.5 million.

Included in that latter listing are

architectural plans for the future home designed by Sarasota architects Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors. Building permits, plans, and a full construction package call for a 9,754-square-foot, sixbedroom, nine-bath house. Mark Coppens of Living Vogue Real Estate is the broker.

“Is you had to use one word to describe what happened in the real estate market in 2022, the word ‘shift’ or ‘change’ would be on the top of the list for most Realtors,” Brian Tresidder of William Raveis Real Estate, and also president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, said.

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36 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665
$22 million listing Continued from page 7
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At the same time, the Stewart brothers stayed committed to buying high-quality ingredients and prioritized the importance of a talented, well-run kitchen producing excellent food. In 2007, they brought Captain Curt’s famed clam chowder to the Great Chowder Cook-Off in Rhode Island — and won.

Captain Curt’s now had national bragging rights to go with its passionate local following. Brad spearheaded the effort to create a clam chowder take-home kit that could accurately reproduce their recipe’s now-famous “twoand-a-half times more clams than potatoes” ratio. (The key, he said, is a two-part process he likens to boxed macaroni-and-cheese dinners.) The chowder kits still fly off the shelves at the Captain Curt’s gift shop and are even stocked at some grocery stores in Ohio.

“It makes a great souvenir,” said Brad. “You don’t have to size [a chowder kit]. You bring home a T-shirt and it doesn’t fit. Instead, you just say to folks, ‘You have got to try this.’”

From top to bottom, from Sarasota to Newport to Kalamazoo, Captain Curt’s was a hit.

“It was almost kind of easy for us,” said Brett of their overall success. “The concept was, we just [created] what did we would have wanted to do when we came down to Florida on vacation.”

When they first took over the restaurant in 1994, they had 12 employees. Now they have 130.

But in 2020, COVID-19 forced temporary restaurant closures and a massive staff layoff — what Brad and Brett call “the worst time of our life.” Still, they took advantage of the downtime to upgrade their outdoor space, expanding the

seating area to add even more outdoor tables and building a firstclass performance stage.

When restaurants were allowed to reopen with strict indoor restrictions, Captain Curt’s was uniquely suited to accommodate outdoor diners at safe distances from one another. Even when restrictions were lifted, the brothers refused to pack more tables into their outdoor seating, instead keeping diners comfortably spaced for the best possible dining experience.

They started hosting live music seven days a week, shows that have become a favorite of guests and performers alike.

Still guided by the kinds of places they’d like to visit on vacation, the Stewarts added “coffee shop” to their beer garden service. “Now I tell the coffee folks, ‘You guys are the last to go, because nobody’s going to mess with my cup of coffee in the morning,’” said Brett.

The Captain Curt’s “nice little restaurant” from 1994 is now officially Captain Curt’s Village.

‘Family and friends’

“We’ve been changing and adapting from the get-go,” said Brad, and Brett added, “If there’s one thing that we do, we change and adapt.”

But after all the changing and adapting, the brothers attribute their longevity to one of the few constants in their restaurant career: the people they work with — including each other and the rest of the family.

“The real story is that we’re family and we’re still doing this,” said Brett. “When we were younger, maybe we struggled a little bit. But we realized pretty

quickly that that’s not the way to go. We work together. If you don’t worry about who gets the credit on things, it’s amazing what you can get done.”

Now their nephew Brian (“the son of our other, military brother”) handles their computer and kitchen automation services. Some of their other employees have been here almost as long as the Stewarts themselves.

“Brad and I still have lunch together five days a week with our mom,” said Brett. “Our dad, Dave, is like the mascot. Everybody loves Dave.”

In trying to create the kind of spot they’d like to visit on vacation, the Stewarts seem to have made for themselves a permanent home.

“We wouldn’t keep doing this if we weren’t having fun,” they agreed.

37 MARCH 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!
Park March 11 & 12
Carol & Jason Parsley, Clay
Phillippi Estate
Sarasota Fine Art Show
Continued from page 8
Above, Brett (left) and Brad Stewart pose with their clam chowder kits in their gift shop. Below, local guitarist Bobby Schneck performs at the Sniki Tiki stage. (file photos)

6541 Superior Ave. • Sarasota, FL 34231

GULFGATE Business District 941-444-7984


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 flat-tops, 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. 941-554-8905.

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., 941924-5800.

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:

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 941-924-2330 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 941-444-7984 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 Monday-Saturday 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!

Apothecary Shoppe (S-6) Eric and Laurie’s knowledge of pharmaceuticals and natural/holistic remedies enables the safe integration of traditional and natural therapies. Their organic skincare line is compounded on site by Laurie who started her career as a make-up artist for the Today Show, Saturday Night Live, and so many more. Eric is a pharmacist and also certified in naturopathy, wanting the best natural options for his clients. Open M-F 10-5 pm, Sat 10-3 pm.

Welcome to our Sarasota store.

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.

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

To achieve success you have to solve life's constant challenges, stay healthy and stress free. Visit our store or order online

Visit our store or order online www ObjectsOfMagic com

Intentions Candle Gift Sets - Smudging Kits - Gorgeous Crystals - Crystal Singing Bowls Crystal Sex Toys - Private Coaching & Retreats - Feng Shui & Spiritual Interior Design consultation We offer Sound Bowl & Reiki Healing for you and your Pets Try it, it s Magic

Intentions Candle Gift Sets - Smudging Kits - Gorgeous Crystals - Crystal Singing Bowls

Crystal Sex Toys - Private Coaching & Retreats - Feng Shui & Spiritual Interior Design consultation. We offer Sound Bowl & Reiki Healing for you and your Pets. Try it, it's Magic.

Peaceful Retreat - Team building - Company Party for your Team?

Peaceful Retreat - Team building - Company Party for your Team?

We offer tailored packages depending on group size & time

We offer tailored packages depending on group size & time.

Packages include: Yoga, Sound Bowl Healing, Breath-work Exercise, Tantra, Power Talk, Power of Intentions Setting, Meditation, Reiki, Laughing Therapy and much more amazing healing technic you can integrate into your daily life.

Packages include: Yoga, Sound Bowl Healing, Breath-work Exercise, Tantra, Power Talk, Power of Intentions Setting, Meditation, Reiki, Laughing Therapy and much more amazing healing technic you can integrate into your daily life

Myakka Magic Retreat Opening Jan 2023

Myakka Magic Retreat Opening Jan 2023

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.

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

2106 Bispham Rd, Sarasota, FL 34231 - - 818-793-7834 - 818-793-7834

38 Siesta Sand MARCH 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.
39 MARCH 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 Vitamins & Minerals Homeopathy Hangover Remedies Essential Oils • Enzymes Protein Shakes and more! Organic Skincare 6608 Gateway Ave., Gulf Gate 941.554.8623 25% OFF with this ad (certain restricitions apply. Valid through May 30, 2023)

Florida Fish of Siesta Key

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Forecast

CB’s Saltwater Outfitters (941) 923-7799

Martin Marlow, visiting from New York, with a snook he caught during an outing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

(submitted photo)

Paw Pals

Meet Charlie

Trout and redfish should be good shallowwater options this month. You may also find trout along with blues, Spanish mackerel, pompano and flounder on deep grass flats. Look for sheepshead, flounder, reds and more around docks. Catch and release night snook fishing around lighted docks in the Intracoastal Waterway may be a good option if it’s not too cold.

Regulations have returned to normal for reds and snook in Sarasota. Spotted Seatrout have changed in southwest Florida to a threefish-per-person bag limit and a six-fish boat limit. Trout must be from 15 to 19 inches with one allowed per vessel over 19 inches.

Since snook are temperature sensitive, I won’t target them following strong fronts when water temperatures dip below 60 degrees. However, I have had some great night trips catching and releasing snook on flies in the Intracoastal Waterway at night this time of year. Since larger baitfish aren’t that plentiful right now, snook will gorge themselves on glass minnows and shrimp.

You may also find snook in rivers, creeks or canals this month. Fishing may be good in these areas on a blustery day when it isn’t fit to fish anywhere else. I like wider profile flies and lures in these areas due to the baitfish that may be found there. Fly anglers should score with wide profile baitfish patterns, such as Lefty’s Deceiver, fished on a sink tip fly line. Spin anglers should do well with CAL jigs and 4-inch swim baits and jerk worms, DOA Baitbusters or suspending plugs. Fish the deep spots, usually on outside bends, for the best action.

You might find reds in potholes or along the edges of bars and shallow flats when the tide is low. As the tide rises, they will feed higher on shallow flats, particularly on sunny afternoons. I like 1/16-ounce CAL jigs with shad tails or jerk worms for reds in shallow water. If it is too shallow or grassy to fish an exposed hook, a Mustad or Owner weedless hook will allow you to fish plastic baits in these areas. Fly anglers should score with lightly weighted flies, like Clousers or my Grassett Flats Minnow, with weed guards on floating lines with 10- to 12-foot leaders. You may also find big trout in skinny water in the

same places you find reds. The same lures, flies and techniques that you use to target reds will work for big trout in those areas. I release all over slot trout since they are usually females and I feel that they are important to the health of our trout fishery.

You’ll find trout on deep grass flats. I like flats that have a good mix of grass and sand and good tidal flow. Flats that are close to passes are often good choices since water temperatures may be warmer there. Following fronts, silted up water will cover deep grass flats close to passes, often affecting fishing in those areas.

Other good grass flats may be on points or around bars. I like to drift and cast ahead of my drift with CAL jigs and a variety of plastic tails, DOA Deadly Combos or weighted flies on sink tip fly lines to locate trout. Once you’ve located them you can shorten your drift or anchor on them.

In addition to trout, you may also find blues, Spanish mackerel, flounder or pompano, depending on water temperature and conditions, on deep grass flats. The technique to find them is the same as for trout, although there may be other clues. Pompano may “skip” on the surface when you drift or run past them giving their presence away. When that happens, set up a drift upwind of where you saw a pompano and cast ahead of your drift. Blues and Spanish mackerel may force bait out of the water or feed on the surface. You may need to add heavy fluorocarbon or wire when blues and mackerel are mixed with trout on deep grass flats.

Fishing docks is another good option this time of year, especially when the tide is low. You might find reds, sheepshead or flounder under docks. I like docks that are deep (3 feet or more) and have a good tidal flow. Fish the end of long piers to find the deepest water. Also, look for big boats moored on docks or on boat lifts, which is also an indication of deeper water. Older docks with lots of barnacle and oyster growth usually hold more baitfish and predators. I like CAL jigs with shad tails, grubs or jerk worms or weighted flies fished on sink tip fly lines when fishing docks. Be sure to let your jig or fly get down close to the bottom.


Charlie is an 11-year-old, 8-pound morkie (a mix between a matlese and a Yorkshire terrier) who was rescued from Arkansas and has loved his Siesta Key life ever since. Says his owner, Keith, “the beach, the babes and the bourbon” are Charlie’s favorite pursuits. He was only joking, of course. Or was he? Here, the little guy takes a sun-splashed siesta at the Sniki Tiki bar at Captain Curt’s.

(Submit your Paw Pal to the Siesta Sand at

Kid Catch of the Month!

On his first-ever saltwater fishing trip, 7-year-old William caught a trifecta: a shovelhead shark, a flounder, and a sailcat (shown above) using live shrimp. If you’d like to submit a picture of a child’s fishing moment, send it to:

40 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 Sarasota, FL - Mar 2023 Date High Low AM ft PM ft AM ft PM ft Rise Set Moon 1 Wed 7:06 1.7 3:50 -0.3 6:53 6:31 2 Thu 12:51P 1.2 8:36 1.7 4:46 -0.4 2:52 1.2 6:52 6:32 3 Fri 12:37P 1.2 9:42 1.8 5:31 -0.4 4:20 1.1 6:51 6:33 4 Sat 12:42P 1.2 10:32 1.8 6:07 -0.4 5:11 0.9 6:50 6:33 5 Sun 12:47P 1.2 11:14 1.8 6:37 -0.4 5:51 0.8 6:49 6:34 6 Mon 12:50P 1.3 11:52 1.8 7:01 -0.3 6:27 0.6 6:47 6:34 7 Tue 12:54 1.3 7:22 -0.1 7:03 0.4 6:46 6:35 8 Wed 12:29 1.7 1:02 1.5 7:40 0.0 7:41 0.2 6:45 6:36 9 Thu 1:08 1.6 1:15 1.6 7:58 0.2 8:21 0.0 6:44 6:36 10 Fri 1:51 1.5 1:34 1.8 8:16 0.3 9:05 -0.1 6:43 6:37 11 Sat 2:40 1.3 1:59 1.9 8:33 0.5 9:56 -0.2 6:42 6:37 12 Sun 4:41 1.1 3:29 2.0 9:47 0.7 11:59 -0.2 7:41 7:38 13 Mon 6:15 0.9 4:06 2.1 9:44 0.8 7:40 7:38 14 Tue 4:54 2.1 1:18 -0.3 7:39 7:39 15 Wed 6:02 2.0 2:52 -0.3 7:38 7:39 16 Thu 7:40 2.0 4:18 -0.4 7:37 7:40 17 Fri 9:22 2.0 5:25 -0.6 7:36 7:40 18 Sat 1:07P 1.2 10:42 2.1 6:16 -0.6 5:07 1.0 7:35 7:41 19 Sun 1:09P 1.3 11:47 2.1 6:58 -0.5 6:14 0.8 7:33 7:41 20 Mon 1:17 1.4 7:33 -0.3 7:08 0.5 7:32 7:42 21 Tue 12:44 2.0 1:28 1.5 8:02 -0.1 7:58 0.2 7:31 7:43 22 Wed 1:36 1.8 1:42 1.7 8:25 0.2 8:46 0.0 7:30 7:43 23 Thu 2:28 1.6 1:59 1.9 8:44 0.4 9:34 -0.2 7:29 7:44 24 Fri 3:21 1.4 2:20 2.0 9:00 0.6 10:22 -0.3 7:28 7:44 25 Sat 4:20 1.2 2:45 2.1 9:11 0.8 11:15 -0.3 7:27 7:45 26 Sun 5:38 1.0 3:14 2.1 9:11 0.9 7:26 7:45 27 Mon 3:49 2.0 12:16 -0.2 7:25 7:46 28 Tue 4:33 1.9 1:29 -0.1 7:23 7:46 29 Wed 5:40 1.8 2:51 -0.1 7:22 7:47 30 Thu 7:34 1.7 4:06 -0.1 7:21 7:47 31 Fri 12:28P 1.3 9:20 1.7 5:03 -0.2 4:20 1.2 7:20 7:48 Florida Puffer Mackerel Flounder Mackerel
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

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

41 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC

The Highs and Lows of Properties Sold on Siesta Key

Provided by William Raveis Real Estate /

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.




The stunning two-story columned entry leads to a wonderful see-through view and a dazzling display of thoughtfully planned and expertly executed details and amenities throughout. The fabulous “St. John Modern” floor plan with 2,851 square feet features a private master wing, a den, a bonus room with full pool bath, two additional bedrooms with shared bath, and a powder room. Overlooking a fabulous island kitchen with walk-in pantry and premium appliances is an amazing great room with 18’ tray ceiling, electric fireplace, built-in bookcases with recessed lighting




This property is borders beautiful Glebe Park which offers 10 acres of hiking trails, picnicking facilities, playground, basketball, soccer, and baseball facilities. Just a short bike ride and you can explore all the beautiful shops and restaurants

that Siesta Key Village has to offer.

There are also golf courses, Lido Key, Longboat Key, and St. Armands Circle close by.

This home needs a full remodel or possible removal. Let your mind dream and create your own paradise!!

Courtesy of Bright Realty


1035 SEASIDE DRIVE. #305


and adjacent covered lanai.

The owner’s suite offers a huge walk-in closet and incredible bath with freestanding designer tub, double vanities, rain head shower and frameless glass enclosure. The bonus room opens completely to a covered lanai with full outdoor kitchen and wood ceiling detail. Paver decking and the 31x12 heated pool with spa and sun deck area.

Additional amenities include a 3-car garage with finished walls and epoxy floor, tile roof, irrigation system, professionally designed landscaping, impact glass and low-e windows, and 8-foot interior doors.

Courtesy of Greco Real Estate




This 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo has been gorgeously remodeled and is being offered “turnkey furnished.” From the moment you walk through the front door you will enjoy the open concept from this highly desirable end unit which has an expansive enclosed lanai which runs the entire width of the unit, adding additional natural light.

The entire condo has been remodeled with deluxe vinyl plank flooring throughout, recessed lighting and refinished textured ceilings. The kitchen offers quartz countertops,

Located directly on the sands of world-renowned Siesta Key Beach, TEN35 SEASIDE brings a new level of luxury to Siesta Key, showcasing the natural beauty of our island while offering gracious residences with the very best of beachside living. This coveted direct gulf front, three bedroom, three and a half bath residence present the pinnacle of modern architecture and thoughtfully appointed luxury. Walls of glass, open flowing interiors and an expansive 35-foot terrace will

stainless steel appliances, two-tone cabinetry, and a beautifully tiled backsplash. The living room and dining room area is very tastefully decorated with beautiful light fixtures, furnishings and built ins. The master bedroom suite features a walk-in closet and en suite bathroom with designer tiled walk-in shower/glass doors. All sliders on the lanai have newer impact windows and shades for privacy.

The A/C was replaced seven years ago and the electrical has been updated. Best of all, Whispering Sands has its own 800 feet of private beach along with a beach-front tiki hut with grills for entertaining, shuffleboard and kayak racks/storage area.

Courtesy of Coldwell Banker

delight owners with world-class views of the sea, sand, and endless sky. Gracious appointments include porcelain woodlook tile floors, premium cabinetry, top of the line appliances and a spacious master suite with spa-like bath.

Additionally, owners will enjoy a fitness center, Gulf front fire pit, pool, spa, grills, cabanas, and spacious entertainment terrace overlooking the pool deck and beach. Offering the perfect combination of luxury and family-oriented functionality, this residence will allow residents to recharge and unwind in a truly incomparable setting.

Courtesy of Sarasota Real Estate Company

42 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665

time, what’s the rush? Everyone relax!”

You could buy one of these beauties for many thousands of dollars, but until Joe and Kelly launched the business last fall you couldn’t rent one for the vacation week or the weekend.

The idea was hatched in 2021 when Kelly’s mom, a longtime resident, did buy one.

“We thought it was the coolest thing,” Joe recalls. “It far exceeded any cart rental she’d had in the past.”

Sitting by the pool, Joe and Kelly, friends who had often discussed starting a business together, hit on the plan: why not make these attractive transportation options available to everyone, affordably and for short-term use? “We really believe in this,” Kelly says.

The timing was right: Kelly had just sold a business and Joe was solidly employed as a computer programmer, but was “still waiting

to find a passion in my life.”

It took about 18 months for everything to fall into place, and the business debuted last fall.

Good Vibes Island Rides stresses friendly customer service. Joe rolls up in board shorts to deliver your rental, walks you through safe operation procedures, and helps set up the Bluetooth sound. Pricing is competitive with standard-level cart rentals. Vehicles come fully charged – enough to last up to 25 miles – and there’s a two-day minimum rental. Carts accommodate four or six people.

Joe and Kelly hope to see more parking spaces created in the Village just for carts – they take up about half the space of a car.

The business plays up the party-fun vibe in its marketing, but the core customers are vacationing families. I wondered if the carts’ flashy features would attract undue attention, wanted or unwanted. So for my test drive

along the Key I decked out in my most garish Hawaiian shirt, loaded the soundbar with booming ’90s rock, and took off (safely and responsibly!) at full blast, occasionally waving cheerily to people.

No motorist glared at me. I passed dozens of pedestrians; virtually no one gave me a second look. Neither I nor the Good Vibes cart was perceived as a party animal. That’s probably a good thing if you’re considering one of these for your family vacation. Well, one young woman glanced up and smiled appreciatively as I zipped by.

That’s another motoring experience I haven’t had in years. Thank you again, Joe and Kelly. I’ll be back.

For rental inquiries contact Good Vibes Island Rides at 1-877-8GOODVIBES or

43 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
Good Vibes Island Rides Continued from page 20
;:cy w��� Beautifully Renovated, Spacious & Bright 2/2 Top Floor End Unit in Charming Vista Hermosa! Enjoy your investment today while building your family's equity & wealth b y utilizing the 2 week minimum rental program. Offered for $558,000. 116 Vista Hermosa Circle Enjoy Your Investment Today While Building Your Family's Equity & Wealth. Enthusiastic about real estate in Sarasota, we enjoy sharing our knowledge & experience from being investors ourselves, to assist & educate aspiring investors & families with their own investment goals. We are a Luxury & Boutique Realty Team working to find our individual customers their Perfect Property with the support of the World's #1 Name in Real Estate and the #1 Office in the Southeastern United States, RE/MAX Alliance Group. • Chartered Financial Consultant • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist • Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist • Certified Waterfront Specialist RE/MAX ALLIANCE GROUP I 5221 OCEAN BLVD. I SIESTA KEY Each office independently owned and operated. WWW.GULFCOASTGRP.COM JOE I 941.321.8585 WENDY I 941.321.7484
Good Vibes Island Rides owners Joe Kiss and Kelly Coican. (submitted photo)

“As long as my building plans are approved, as designed and approved by the BOCC, we plan to preserve the tree and build around it,” Balot wrote in an email. “If the county’s building department decides now that my approved design concept plan will not be approved because of the tree, then I would ask to have the tree removed, vs. starting all over.”

Despite possibly being left a bit in the wake of this issue, Balot likes the intent of the revised mindset.

“I do believe two of the proposed changes to be appropriate,

specifically allowing the county commissioners to consider an appeal and allowing the commission to consider appeals concurrently with rezoning or special exception petitions, where there is a binding development concept plan associated with the petition,” Balot wrote. “At times, I believe the county can be in-flexible and strict, while the developer’s ask can often be too egregious. I like the idea of having the ability to appeal to the commissioners, and having them decide, similar to an arbiter or judge, and not simply a

county administrator who, in my opinion, will often defer to, and/ or support, his or her staff the majority of the time.

“I can only speak to my project, as I am not a developer and I have only crossed this bridge once. Had I had that opportunity, I would have requested to remove the grand tree -- not because I didn’t want to protect the grand tree, but because I wanted to be a better neighbor. Had I been able to remove the tree, or ask the county commissioners during my special exception (hearing), the hotel could

have been shorter in height and had better access on and off of Midnight Pass Road.

“During both my neighborhood workshops, and in my discussions with the neighbors, protection of the grand tree was only asked about once; however, the height of the project was discussed during every conversation.

“To put it simply, the neighbors were significantly more concerned with the proposed height of the building vs. the protection of the grand tree.”

Balot, whose hotel was approved

in 2022, is awaiting lawsuits of opposition regarding two previously county-approved hotels, one being on Calle Miramar (eight stories, 170 rooms) near the Village and the other on Old Stickney Point Road (seven stories, 120 rooms), near the south bridge. That project includes an across-thestreet five-story parking garage. One hearing regarding only the Calle Miramar hotel is awaiting a judge’s decision while the other, which challenges the late-2021 approval of both hotels, is slated for a jury trial in June.

Siesta Key CONDO Monthly Update 1/15 to 2/15

Summary: we are in season and people are going to contract. Pendings doubled from 19 to 43 but actives decreased by 1 to 95 so if more actives don’t come on, the supply will get tight quickly. Speaking of supply, one fifth of actives have 1 bedroom and one fifth have 3 or more, both numbers higher than the actual market. Price drops are inching up slowly from 40% to 45% of listings, no surprise there. Sales were 24, 2 more than the previous month but 11 were in the new TEN35 complex on the gulf where Crescent Towers once stood. The decrease is most likely a result of the limited activity during the holidays. Here are the numbers:

ACTIVE LISTINGS: 95 actives vs 96 last month. 31 are new listings. 44 are priced under 800k, 19 from 800 to 1.2mil and 32 over 1.2 mil. 17 have 1 bdrm, 59 have 2 bdrms and 19 have 3+.


DAYS ON MARKET: 50% have been on for less than 2 months, while 20% more than 5.

PRICE DROPS: increased to 43 from 40 the month before accounting for just over 45% of all actives. 10 have had 2 drops and 13 three or more.

PENDINGS: 43 vs 19 the previous month. 11 went pending within a week of being listed, that’s one out of 10, down from a year ago but still respectable.

SOLDS: 24 vs 22 in the previous month but 11 of those were in TEN35. 18 were in 2 wk or less rental complexes. 7 sold for under 800k, 2 for 800 to 1.2k and 15 over 1.2m of which 11 were in TEN35.

Thinking of selling or buying? CALL BILL BURNS at 941-809-6760

Waterfront masterpiece on Cocoanut Bayou.

A new list price of $6,950,000, plus the sellers’ recent $1.5 million renovation, make this Siesta Key’s

valued waterfront home and the lowest price per square foot by almost $100. 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.

44 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665
Grand trees Continued from page 12
$6,950,000 | MLS# A4539090
REALTOR ® 941.238.8119 Lin Dunn REALTOR ®, SRES, LSS, LSE 941.809.2154
| RELATIONSHIPS for life UNE RELATION pour la vie. 14-Year Recipients of the PRICE IMPROVEMENT
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you’ll get on-target pricing and market strategy.
Bill at, or visit our website:
over 25 years on the KEY,

Keeping it Real By

A rule worthy of knowing more than 50% about

You just couldn’t take one more dreary, cold, icy-rain, wet-snow winter so you packed up your life and moved to Florida. After putting in offers on 10 properties with multiple bids and not getting a single one, you threw caution to the wind, offered 30% over the asking price plus one of your kidneys, and you were finally awarded the opportunity to purchase your dream home on this lavish tropical island called Siesta Key.

But there’s a problem. Your circa-1969 chartreuse kitchen with avocado green appliances and linoleum floor is in dire need of a Chip and Joanna makeover. Not to mention, the roof is original, the pipes have never been inspected, and basically nothing in the house has ever been updated. You call your handy-dandy licensed general contractor and for the first time in your life you hear the words “50% rule.”

What in the world is the 50% rule and why have you never heard of this? To answer that question, we need to start with a discussion on flood insurance.

After devastating hurricanes ravaged the South in 1963 and 1964, the Southeast Hurricane Disaster Relief Act was created in 1965 with a mandate to “undertake an immediate study of alternative programs which could be established to help provide financial assistance to those suffering property losses in floods and other natural disasters, including alternative methods of federal disaster insurance,” according to

This led to a study conducted by the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to determine the feasibility of a national flood insurance program.

It was determined that such a program was feasible and in 1968 the National Flood Insurance Program was created. The role of it was to provide flood insurance to communities in flood-prone areas and policy guidance to state and local governments to help mitigate future losses from flood damage. In short, the government had grown tired of rebuilding homes in areas that would repeatedly flood.

Homeowners had little to no incentive to flood-proof their homes as the federal government was required

to assist “states and local governments in carrying out their responsibilities to alleviate suffering and damage resulting from major disasters,” as mandated in the Disaster Relief Act of 1950.

The early days of the flood insurance program were rough. Each community across the country had to be mapped and their flood risk assessed. You can imagine how difficult this task was without the technology we have today.

Natalie’s Numbers

Participation in the flood insurance program was low for many years despite early subsidies. Eventually, regulations were put in place that forced enrollment. In order to receive federal assistance, property owners in communities that had been identified as flood prone were required to purchase flood insurance. Also, any loans using federally regulated funds in a declared flood-prone area were required to purchase flood insurance. Increased participation increased the available monies to fund the program.

So, why do you care about any of this? If you live on Siesta Key, the entire island (as well as all barrier islands) is in a flood zone. As a general rule, the FEMA 50% rule applies to homes in flood zones where the lowest floor is below base flood elevation, or below the 100-year flood elevation. Basically, if you have a home that is below base flood elevation, you can only make improvements to the home that are equal to or less than 50% of the appraised value of the improvements on the land. This does NOT include the value of the land -- only the structures improved upon it.

To find these values, you’ll need to look on the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s website at Pull up the property in question, cross reference the numbers under the current year and the column labeled building, and that’s the amount you have to work with. For example, if the value of the structure is $500,000, you have a budget of $250,000 to spend on your renovation.

This isn’t a hard-and-fast number; there are ways to raise the market value of the improvements and therefore get more money to work with on your renovation. According to, here’s what can be used to get what you want:

The owner can obtain an independent appraisal by a licensed appraiser, property values for tax purposes, detailed estimates of the structure’s actual cash value, the value from NFIP claims data, or the judgment of local building department staff. There are also possible exemptions. Improvements to correct code violations do not have to be included in the total project cost and buildings labeled as historic may be exempt. Also, items such as survey costs, permit fees, landscaping, fences, swimming pools, plans and specifications are not included in your budget.

There are so many details involved in purchasing and owning homes in flood zones and, in Florida in general, that just don’t exist in other areas. My recommendation, if you’re buying a home in a flood zone, you need a real estate professional that knows what the 50% rule is all about. He or she doesn’t have to know every detail or how to administer it, but should at least have a working knowledge of what it is and how it affects your ability to make the homes you are considering purchasing your dream home.

That agent should be able to direct you to architects and licensed general contractors who can advise you from there. The last thing you want is to purchase a home that you can’t make your own!

Just ask, “Do you know what the 50% rule is?” You’ll know immediately if you’re with the right agent.

You stay sunny, Siesta.

Gutwein is a licensed Realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty’s Judie Berger Team on Siesta Key and is also a member of the board of directors of the Siesta Key Association civic group.)

45 MARCH 2023 941.312.0665 27th State Media LLC
Siesta Key January 2023 2022 Active listings 180 84 Days on market 55 32 Closing price to original price ratio 96.8% 98.7% Avg. sale price $1.632,765 $1.276,254 New listings 68 70 Number of sales 17 60 Mos. of inventory 1 11 Sold price by sq ft $854 $711 For Your Professional Home Valuation - 1280 HIDDEN HARBOR WAY | $7M 778 SIESTA DR | $6M 3731 INDIAN BEACH PL | $6M 521 CASEY KEY RD | $5M 3423 LA PALOMA AVE | $3.55M 7340 PINE NEEDLE RD | $3.5M | RECORD SALE 642 WATERSIDE WAY | $3.2M 5382 SHADOW LAWN DR | $3M | RECORD SALE 614 AVENIDA DE MAYO | $2.275M 657 SIESTA DR | $2.5M 497 ISLAND CIR | $2.45M | RECORD SALE 7840 MIDNIGHT PASS RD | $2M 1660 SUMMERHOUSE LN #101 | $1.925M 5400 OCEAN BLVD #5-4 | OFFERED AT $1.9M 115 SAND DOLLAR LN | OFFERED AT $1.595M 6300 MIDNIGHT PASS RD #1101 | OFFERED AT $1.6M SIESTA KEY’S TOP SELLING REALTOR ® SINCE 2005 No.1 RECENTLY SOLD $112 MILLION PENDING & SOLD IN 2022 WHO YOU WORK WITH MATTERS 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. 941.928.3424 | JOIN OUR SUCCESS 4104 ROBERTS POINT RD | OFFERED AT $1.749M 4947 COMMONWEALTH DR | OFFERED AT $2.3M MIDNIGHT PASS RD | OFFERED AT $2.995M Natalie Gutwein REALTOR ® BUYERS’ AGENT Judie Berger, P.A. REALTOR ® ABR, GRI
46 Siesta Sand MARCH 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 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: HELP WANTED ARTWORK SWIM CITY IS NOW HIRING! Part-time & full-time positions available at all locations. Apply in-store or via email to Visit us at: We appreciate your business. Take 10% off your next order of $99 or more Promo Code: THANKYOU10 TRANSPORTATION Correction In the February issue of Siesta Sand, we were in error reporting that details of a $32.5 million listing at 4221 Higel Ave. were no longer found online. The property is online and listed in two ways: As a pre-construction 9,754-square-foot home for $32.5 million and separately as a vacant lot, 1.42 acres in size, for $9.995 million. Mark Coppens of Living Vogue Real Estate of Sarasota is the broker. To advertise in Siesta Sand, call 941-312-0665 Subscribe to Siesta Sand Weekly eNewsletter. Visit to sign up. TRANSPORTATION • Airports/cruise ports/arenas • Long distance, point-to-point rides • Large capacity SUV/van service • Dependable, prompt arrival • Extra care for the elderly • Pet friendly Sarasota Airport Shuttle & Transportation KEITH LOSEY 239-410-9748 • 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
47 MARCH 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

Key Employee


Amber has worked the front desk at Parasail Siesta going on two years and also serves as first mate on the company’s new vessel for its Friday tiki tours. “I want to get my captain’s license,” said the former resident of northwest Ohio -- a place she describes as “cornfields.”

Part of Amber’s job at the Stickney Point Road business is to book parasailing outings, and she enjoys showing pictures and videos of both her and her daughter up in the air to help ease the anxiety some customers demonstrate when they arrive. “Yes, 450 feet up there sounds like a lot but if I can do it, they can do it,” she said with a big smile.

Photos by John Morton.

Sun 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 it.

Congratulations, Amber!

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.

48 Siesta Sand MARCH 2023 941.312.0665

Articles from Siesta Sand - March 2023