Mark Caragiulo, Culinary Newsmaker of the Year

Todays News


There is perhaps no name in Sarasota more synonymous with quality fare than Caragiulo. After their father Tony opened Caragiulo's Italian restaurant in 1989, for nearly 30 years strong, the five Caragiulo brothers have upheld that legacy with a brood of restaurants that have come to define the face of Sarasota's food scene. At the helm of the charge is one brother in particular, Mark Caragiulo, who has had an especially banner year in 2016. Not only does he co-own the original Caragiulo's, Owen's Fish Camp and Shore Diner, but he also opened his newest venture, Veronica Fish & Oyster, this past July to rave reviews. Mark also has plans in the works to open a second Shore location in the former Moore's Stone Crab Restaurant on Longboat Key (alongside Shore co-owner Tom Leonard) and another fish camp-style hangout near University Parkway. The addition of Veronica to the Southside Village neighborhood marks a turning point in the Osprey Avenue plot of land—nearly every establishment contained within the neighborhood's confines is family owned and unique to Sarasota. And Mark's legacy there (and in Sarasota in general) is flourishing.

"Veronica Fish & Oyster was born out of pure selfishness," says Caragiulo. "I selfishly wanted a lively, energized joint in my own neighborhood where I could enjoy a cool dozen oysters with a frosty beer, among some friendly neighbors. With a little inspiration from Elvis Costello, Veronica was created. We hope that Veronica is a nice contribution to the burgeoning independent food scene in Sarasota... selfishly."

Honorable Mention: Ryan Boeve and Arthur Lopes, co-proprietors of Pomona Bistro, opened their second venture, Lila, this year. Darwin Santa Maria opened his newest project, Cevichela on Siesta Key, and launched his brewery, Chela.

All this week, SRQ Daily names a newsmaker of the year for 2016. Individuals selected were chosen by our editorial team based on meaningful impact within a field where they have demonstrated leadership, effectively redirecting community conversation in important and lasting ways. Read tomorrow's edition to learn the philanthropic newsmaker of the year.

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