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SRQ DAILY Jun 30, 2020

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Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning

"We like to have fun here."

- Mike Whalen, Owner and Operator of Gulf Gate Food + Beer

-Photo from SRQ Magazine's New Summer 2020 Feature
[Brunch Food]  Red Velvet Waffles and Fried Chicken
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

The chicken-and-waffle combination almost seems like a joke, as though a non-American sat around dreaming up absurd and unhealthy combinations with which to caricature Americans. But if chicken and waffles—like the donut burger, deep fried hot dogs, or Cincinatti chili—sounds like a joke, that’s just fine by Mike Whalen, owner/operator of Gulf Gate Food + Beer. “We like to have fun here,” he says. The menus at the restaurant look like a propaganda flier or a ransom letter, but within the playful assortment of offerings like That Jawn (cheesesteak), ‘Mericuhh (burger) and Dad Jokes (egg breakfast) is an undeniably food-first ethos that elevates culinary Americana into something bordering on gourmet.

The Chicken n’ Red Velvet Waffle from their brunch menu (Sat and Sun, 10am to 3 pm) is emblematic of their whole shtick—quirky, approachable and damn good. The chicken is “the real deal,” says Whalen, which means it’s made from scratch. Perfectly seasoned and breaded, it could stand alone as its own offering but comes nestled in between quartered, red velvet Belgian waffles. The waffles offer a smooth, delicate contrast to the bite of the fried chicken, but the addition of a drizzle of cream cheese glaze and a ramekin of sriracha maple syrup take it to the next level. Depending on how spicy one likes their brunch, the spicy maple syrup can almost turn this into a Nashville-style fried chicken mash-up. Overall, the dish manages to raise the aesthetic stakes of plain ol’ chicken and waffles while staying true to the simple joy of the more basic iterations.

Like any good restaurant owner, Whalen zips around the restaurant asking each diner if their food met their expectations. If they have ordered the chicken and waffles, the answer is a foregone conclusion. A second location on Fruitville Road, Sarasota Food + Beer, has the same weekend brunch menu. 

Gulf Gate Food + Beer, 6528 Superior Avenue, 941-952-3361

Click here for more information.

[Southern Cooking]  G's Southern Kitchen Is Shakin' Up Your Soul Food Favorites
Ariel Chates, ariel.chates@srqme.com

Some foods are controversial and some foods are fried chicken. A culinary masterpiece of unanimous adoration that quite frankly always hits the spot. Now the fried chicken at G’s Southern Kitchen, well it hits all the spots. Crispy, crunchy, moist, spiced, sweet, salty, dare I go on? 

Chef Gordon Gregory, known lovingly as Chef G, is to thank for your new favorite soul food spot. Once the pit master for Nancy’s Barbeque, Chef G struck out on his own five years ago and has been dishing out hit after hit since. His signature Fried Kitchen Wings taste like he looked up all the synonyms for delicious in the dictionary and mixed it into the batter. They have the crackly exterior of a chicken finger which leads to a perfectly juicy inside of tender, seasoned meat courtesy of their 24-hour marinade. The wings are then smothered in a syrupy sauce that hits your mouth in a perfect bite of sweet and savory; sort of like chicken and waffles minus the waffle. Their most popular item, these wings get a special deal on Wild Wing Wednesday from 12:00pm-5:00pm at fifty cents a piece.

Chef G is serving up all the soul food classics from candied yams to peach cobbler, but it’s his more creative menu items that keep customers coming back for more. Most noteably, he’s successfully married the eggroll with the American South and given us The Original. A familiar flaky Chinese-style wrapper gets filled with sauteed collard greens, yellow rice and smoked turkey for a southern style twist. It’s smokey, fresh and filling without being too heavy thanks to the collards. The best-selling eggroll also comes Nawlins’ style, a play on jambalaya stuffed with sausage, green pepper and yellow rice.

Situated on the rolling hills of Bobby Jones Golf Course, diners can grab their food to go, or eat on any of the outside tables looking over the green. As business has been picking up, thanks to the uptick in support from the surrounding communities during quarantine, Chef G is doing his best to ramp up production. A quiet guy who prefers the comfort of the kitchen, music to his ears is, “a silent room full of fork sounds hitting plates.” 

The food presentation, attention to deatil and technique showcases Chef G’s formal culinary training. And he's always going the extra mile - like ensuring each ooey-gooey mac and cheese bite is made to order. The next time you’re looking for some old fashioned home cooking, stop by G’s Southern Kitchen where as his wife described it, “every bite feels like a hug.” 

G's Southern Kitchen, 1000 Circus Boulevard, 941-706-3156, southernkitchen941@gmail.com

Click here to view the full menu and more information.

[LGBT Fundraiser]  Last Day to Donate to ALSO Youth Give Out Day Campaign

Today, Tuesday June 30th, is the last day to donate to the ALSO Youth Give Out Day Campaign. They are halfway to their goal of $10,000 with 45 unique donors. You can help them get to their goal and win prizes from the Horizon Foundation. With the Stay At Home and many precautions still in place, they are working everyday with their Youth to provide continued services and connections. 

ALSO Youth, 1470 Blvd. of the Arts

Click here to make a donation.

[New Grant]  Teen Court of Sarasota Receives a $25,000 Matching Grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Teen Court of Sarasota is proud to announce the Community Foundation of Sarasota County will continue to support services for our young people at our local schools for a third year in a row.

With this collaboration and through the Dallas and Elizabeth Dort Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Teen Court of Sarasota received a $25,000 match to provide programs and services to youth in our local school system. Teen Court of Sarasota will continue to provide a Case Manager at each local high school one day per week to support staff with students that show red flags of making poor choices and are getting off track. Those high schools served include, Booker High School, Venice High School, Riverview High School, North Port High School, Sarasota High School and Triad. “We are truly grateful for the investment the Sarasota County Public Schools and the Community Foundation has in our programs,” said Heather Todd, Executive Director.

Our presence in the schools provides teachers, administrators and facility with immediate access to Teen Court services in order to address the needs of the youth. Todd adds “The young people we serve are worthy of a second chance to learn and grow from their mistake with positive redirection.” We are in an unprecedented time and with the increased complexity of issues teens are experiencing it is vital now more than ever to address their concerns in a preventive nature. We appreciate the Community Foundation’s continued investment in our organization. With their generosity we can offer our teens and families the comfort of a second chance as we have for over 30 years in Sarasota County. 

[Female Empowerment ]  Woman’s Club of Palmetto Creates A Lasting Scholarship Legacy

After a rich, 105-year history of dedicated community service, the Woman’s Club of Palmetto sunset its status as a separate nonprofit organization and created two permanently endowed charitable funds at Manatee Community Foundation with its assets. Marilyn Mullins-Schutz served as the treasurer of the Club. “As we transition the way we support our community, we are proud to know that our legacy will continue providing opportunity to people,” said Mullins-Schutz. “Generations of women involved in our Club were dedicated to service, and we know the spirit of their contributions will live on.”

The Woman's Club of Palmetto Scholarship Fund will offer financial assistance each year to a deserving female Palmetto High School graduate attending the State College of Florida. The Woman's Club of Palmetto Fund will award annual grants to four organizations: First United Methodist Church, Turning Points, Our Daily Bread, and Just for Girls.

“We are proud to offer a philanthropic opportunity that will carry on the tradition of caring and community leadership of the Palmetto Women’s Club,” said Susie Bowie, Manatee Community Foundation executive director. 

Pictured: Esther Parsons, First Vice President of the Woman's Club of Palmetto; Marilyn Mullins-Schutz, Treasurer, Woman's Club of Palmetto; and Jennifer Abbott, Director of Philanthropy, Manatee Community Foundation.

Click here for more information.

[Recognition]  Nine Williams Parker Attorneys Named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite and Up and Comers Lists

Williams Parker is pleased to announce that Florida Trend has named six of its attorneys to the 2020 Legal Elite and three of its attorneys as Up and Comers. Florida Legal Elite is a prestigious roster of attorneys chosen for recognition by their peers. The lawyers selected exemplify a standard of excellence in their profession and by so doing, have garnered the respect and esteem of their colleagues. Named to the Legal Elite list are attorneys Rose-Anne B. Frano, Ric Gregoria, Thomas B. Luzier, John L. Moore, Kimberly P. Walker, and Michael J. Wilson. Named to the Up and Comers list are attorneys Zachary B. Buffington, Elizabeth P. Diaz, and Elizabeth M. Stamoulis. 

[Recognition]  Attorney Scott Westheimer Named to Florida Trend's Legal Elite

Attorney F. Scott Westheimer, a managing partner of the Sarasota-based law firm Syprett Meshad, has been named to Florida Trend magazine’s prestigious Legal Elite list for 2020.  Attorney Westheimer is a Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation attorney practicing in Sarasota since 1996.  He serves as Chair of The Florida Bar Board of Governors Disciplinary Review Committee, is serving on its Executive Committee for the fifth straight year, and is the Twelfth Circuit Representative of The Florida Bar Board of Governors. 

Attorney Westheimer currently serves on the University of Florida Levin College of Law Board of Trustees and is a past member of the Board of Trustees for Doctors Hospital of Sarasota.  Attorney Westheimer also previously served on the Humane Society of Sarasota County, Board of Directors for eight years. 

[New Position]  FCCI Insurance Group Names Cina Welch, Esq. as President & CEO

The FCCI Insurance Group board of directors is pleased to announce its selection of Christina ‘Cina’ Welch as president & CEO. Welch began her career with FCCI in 1998 as attorney in the legal department and has held varied and progressively complex roles during her tenure, taking on the role in 2018 of executive vice president, general counsel, and chief audit & compliance officer. “We are delighted to welcome Cina to her new role with FCCI,” said Jack Cox, FCCI’s chairman of the board. “We were fortunate to have a number of exceptional internal candidates. We feel confident in our decision and look forward to what Cina’s leadership will bring to FCCI in the coming years.” 

Click here for more information.

[Brain Health Initiative ]  Brain Boost
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

How the Brain Health Initiative is providing a boost to the community when we need it most. 

Click here to read the full article from SRQ's Summer 2020 edition.

[COVID-19]  Face Masks Required in City of Sarasota Starting July 1

The City Commission on Monday approved an ordinance requiring that face coverings be worn in indoor and outdoor public locations and businesses in Sarasota in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Face masks are not required within residences or places of lodging, or when proper physical or social distancing, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, can be observed. The face mask requirement begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, and will be in effect for 60 days. The requirement also doesn’t apply when a hearing-impaired person needs to see the mouth of someone wearing a face covering in order to communicate. The City’s enforcement efforts will focus on compliance and education. Violations of the mask requirement could result in a civil, non-criminal infraction with penalties up to a $500 fine. An email and phone line for concerns, questions and more information will be available soon. Complimentary face masks will be available for pickup outside City Hall 9am to 12pm today and Wednesday, July 1. 

[Outer Space]  The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Planetarium to Reopen Wednesday

Wednesday marks the second phase of The Bishop's reopening as they welcome guests back to The Planetarium, where they're excited to share their latest upgrade to the Digistar 6 platform, which is 1½ times brighter than the previous system and has four times the contrast. During this phase of reopening, The Planetarium will feature "Flight Through Our Solar System," a 10-minute narrated tour that will begin at the sun then travel through our solar system — including the asteroid belt — past Pluto and the other outer planets, until we arrive at the icy outer reaches of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, located on the outer fringe of our solar system. "This new state-of-the-art projection system and software and the size of our Planetarium dome combine to allow us to recreate a dark sky natural environment and give viewers an even better experience," says Planetarium Manager Howard Hochhalter.  

The Bishop Museum of Science ´╗┐and Nature, 201 10th St. Bradenton,

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Virtual: 2020 Players New Play Festival , June 29 – July 3, 7:30pm

The 2020 Players New Play Festival has gone virtual. In order to stay safe and to still have our friends listen and experience our 5 finalists. See these brand new, never-before-performed plays through Zoom. The five chosen plays are performed in readers-style theater by actors under the leadership of a local director with a talk-back following the show to give the playwright some constructive criticism led by Managing Artistic Director Jeffery Kin. Tickets must be purchased by noon the day of the show. If you want to take advantage of the group pricing, make sure you decide that when you first purchase, please. The day of the show you will receive a Zoom link to your email by 5pm that evening. Experience a different show each night. Echo Nevada on Monday, June 29. The Manager on Tuesday, June 30. The Rabbit Test on Wednesday, July 1. Next Wife on Thursday, July 2. Medium Well Done on Friday, July 3.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Nathan Benderson Park Fireworks on The Lake , July 3, 4pm - 11pm

Nathan Benderson Park’s annual July 3 tradition, NBP Fireworks On The Lake, returns with a social distancing twist. It’s the finale of WWSB ABC7’s Independence Day special, tentatively airing at 9pm Saturday, July 4, 2020. The in-person fireworks celebration at the park will be a drive-in, social-distancing event. Fireworks will begin at 9pm on July 3 at the park. Ticketed fireworks viewing areas are on the park’s Regatta Island, in the Green Lot next to the SCAT station on North Cattlemen Road, and on the park’s south end. Vehicles will be spaced to allow for social distancing, so parking in each lot will be limited. Tickets will be sold beginning June 24, 2020. Pricing is $15 per car and $40 for recreational vehicles, with RV parking in the south park lot.

Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir, Sarasota, FL 34235

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Virtual: Choral Artists of Sarasota's July 4th American Fanfare Concert , July 4, 4pm

For the last 15 years, Choral Artists of Sarasota has honored Independence Day with a concert of rousing songs celebrating the United States. The choral group will continue that tradition this July 4—with a twist. To ensure the safety of its singers and audience, the concert will be virtual. According to Artistic Director Joseph Holt, this year’s concert will feature highlights of previous Independence Day celebrations—and will be streamed over various platforms, including Facebook and YouTube. “Audiences should prepare to tune in and sing along on July 4 at 4 pm,” says Holt. “We’ll be safe, and we’ll be celebrating.”

Holt explains that Choral Artists’ July 4th concert “has been a vital part of our community’s celebration of Independence Day for the past 15 years. These concerts featured musical pieces that form the heart and soul of our collective national sense of pride and patriotism. For all these years, Choral Artists has celebrated, through music, the thread of ‘liberty and justice for all’ that characterizes our nation.” He adds that, last year, Choral Artists moved the concert to the Sarasota Opera House due to popular demand. It also partnered with the Sarasota Concert Band last year to present a “musical tradition that is as American as hot dogs, apple pie and fireworks.” Original plans for the live performance of “American Fanfare” were to include patriotic music composed by female composers. This year’s virtual performance will feature one of those works, “The March of the Women” composed by suffragette Ethel Smyth, recorded specifically for this concert.

Holt says the July 4th video will feature hits from the past years, including such patriotic standards as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless America,” and “America the Beautiful.” According to Holt, with the cancellation of the group’s “Listen to the Earth” in April and the July 4th concert, Choral Artists has lost more than $50,000 in ticket sales. “This represents a significant loss of income for our singers,” he says. “As we are all freelance musicians in this organization with incomes derived from a variety of performing opportunities, the pandemic has been financially devastating.”


[SOON]  THEATER: Online: Asolo Repertory Theatre Online Classes for Kids, Ages 8-18 , July 6 – July 31, 10am, 11am and 3pm

Introducing Asolo Rep Young Artist: Online Classes, designed for ages 8-18. From demystifying Shakespeare to exploring innovative ways of creating theatre together, these classes will spark your young artist’s imagination and help to hone their theatrical technique. See below to find out more about the exciting content and amazing professional artists who will be leading these classes. Classes are $50 to $75 to register. Contact Asolo Rep Education & Engagement Department: education@asolo.org

Online Program.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Sarasota YPG After Hours at Art Ovation , July 9, 5:30-7:30pm

Join us on Thursday, July 9th for this month's YPG After Hours! Whether you're looking to make new friends, build your network, or learn more about what Sarasota has to offer, this is a great opportunity to connect with other young professionals in the region. Along with drink specials, enjoy appetizing lite bites for the duration of the event. 

Art Ovation Hotel, 1255 N. Palm Avenue, Sarasota

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: State of the Talent Virtual Conference (SOTC) , July 16, 9am-3pm

The State of Talent Conference is presented by CareerSource Suncoast and is the premier one-day conference experience completely focused on the future of workforce and talent development. This leadership-focused conference provides a unique insight into the current state of talent and what leaders need to do to tackle one of business’ most complex challenges, their people assets. While the original live conference was cancelled this year in light of COVID-19, we are pleased to provide a completely immersive digital experience. Free. Fully Immersive Digital Experience. 4+ CEUs (SHRM/HRCI).


SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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