It’s been 20 years since SRQ magazine first hit mailboxes in the (941) and beyond, and the sunshine’s only gotten sweeter since—as evidenced each year with the annual Best of SRQ Local Competition, giving mad props to the bangin’ local businesses that make each season better than the last. With a new record number of reader ballots this year, we celebrate the here and now with a little trip to the way back when, to where it all started, to that weird and wonderful superunknown we remember simply as the ‘90s. Hold on hella tight and stay frosted, this trip ain’t for scrubs. 

Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.


To view the full feature. click here.

2019 Best of SRQ Local Winners

Best Brunch

Station 400, Platinum Winner

MADE, Gold Winner

Duval’s, Silver Winner

Sun Garden Café, Bronze Winner

Boca Market; Louies Modern, Honorable Mention

Best Sushi

Pacific Rim, Platinum Winner

Jpan, Gold Winner

Tsunami, Silver Winner

Yume, Bronze Winner

Best Barbecue

Nancy’s BBQ, Platinum Winner

Brick’s Smoked Meats, Gold Winner

Aldays’ BBQ, Silver Winner

Pride of the South BBQ, Bronze Winner

Best Cocktails

State Street Eating House + Cocktails, Platinum Winner

Jack Dusty at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Gold Winner

Veronica’s Fish and Oyster Bar, Silver Winner

Cask Ale and Kitchen; Pangea, Bronze Winners

Best Doughnuts

Five-O Donuts, Platinum Winner

Peachey’s Baking Company, Gold Winner

Of Kors Donuts, Silver Winner

Shipley’s Do-Nuts, Bronze Winner

Best Tacos

Screaming Goat Taqueria, Platinum Winner

El Toro Bravo, Gold Winner

Mi Pueblo, Silver Winner

Wicked Cantina, Bronze Winner

Best New Restaurant

The Overton, Platinum Winner

Pazzo’s Southside, Gold Winner

Gulf Gate Food & Beer, Silver Winner

Napule; Public House Tap & Grill, Bronze Winners

Spice Station, Honorable Mention

Best Breakfast

Station 400, Platinum Winner

Sun Garden Café, Gold Winner

Toasted Mango Café, Silver Winner

Oasis Café, Bronze Winner

Millie’s Cafe, The Serving Spoon, Honorable Mention

Best Peruvian

Selva, Platinum Winner

Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine, Gold Winner

Peruvian Grill, Silver Winner

Maemi; Brasa y Pisco, Bronze Winners

Best Ice Cream

Sweetberries Eatery & Frozen Custard, Platinum Winner

Orange Octopus, Gold Winner

Abel’s Ice Cream, Silver Winner

Gelato To Go; Local Chill, Bronze Winners

Best Juice

CROP, Platinum Winner

SaraFresh, Gold Winner

Green Zebra, Silver Winner

Island Organics, Bronze Winner

Best Burger

Patrick’s 1481, Platinum Winner

Smacks Burgers & Shakes, Gold Winner

Gecko’s Grill & Pub; The Overton, Silver Winners

Shakespeare’s Pub, Bronze Winner

Hob Nob Drive-In; Gulf Gate Food & Beer, Honorable Mention

Best Brewery

Calusa Brewery, Platinum Winner

JDubs, Gold Winner

Big Top Brewery, Silver Winner

Motorworks, Bronze Winner

Best Desserts

Yoder’s Restaurant, Platinum Winner

Euphemia Haye, Gold Winner

C’est La Vie; Duval’s, Silver Winners

Pastry Art; Der Dutchman; Of Kors Bakery, Bronze Winners

Best French Fries

Smacks Burgers & Shakes, Platinum Winner

The Overton, Gold Winner

Shore Diner, Silver Winner

Mandeville Beer Garden; Gulf Gate Food & Beer, Bronze Winners

Public House Tap & Grill, Honorable Mention

Best Coffee

PERQ, Platinum Winner

The Overton, Gold Winner

The Clever Cup, Silver Winner

Pastry Art; LeLu Coffee Lounge, Bronze Winners

Best Happy Hour

Boca Sarasota, Platinum Winner

Gecko’s Grill & Pub, Gold Winner

Element; Selva, Silver Winner

Mattison’s; Michael’s On East, Bronze Winners

Best Creative Sandwiches

Main Bar Sandwich Shop, Platinum Winner

Anna’s Deli, Gold Winner

Kurto’s Chimney Cakes; Michelle’s Brown Bag Café, Silver Winners

Duval’s, Bronze Winner

Best Local Catering

Michael’s On East, Platinum Winner

Morton’s Catering, Gold Winner

Zildjian Catering, Silver Winner

Innovative Dining, Bronze Winner

Best Local Italian

Caragiulo’s, Platinum Winner

Napule, Gold Winner

Mediterraneo, Silver Winner

Pazzo Southside, Bronze Winner

Best Romantic Restaurant

Ophelia’s on the Bay, Platinum Winner

Indigenous, Gold Winner

Element; Cafe Bijou, Silver Winner

Michael’s On East; Euphemia Haye, Bronze Winner

Best Food Truck

Polpo Pizza, Platinum Winner

Fire Tacos, Gold Winner

Peachey’s Baking Company, Silver Winner

Smokin Momma Lora’s BBQ; Sarafresh, Bronze Winners

Kuwai Venezuelan Street Food; Mouthhole BBQ, Honorable Mention

Best Boutique

L.Boutique, Platinum Winner

Foxy Lady, Gold Winner

Molly’s, Silver Winner

Lotus Boutique, Bronze Winner

Best Resale Boutique

The Exchange, Platinum Winner

Fifi’s, Gold Winner

Goodwill Manasota, Silver Winner

Laura Jean’s, Bronze Winner

Best Local Salon

Nuovo Salon, Platinum Winner

Cutting Loose Salon, Gold Winner

Marmalade; Yellow Strawberry, Silver Winners

Fresh Salon; Spa Hollywood, Bronze Winners

Best Barber Shop

Modern Gents, Platinum Winner

Burns Court Barbers; American Shave, Gold Winners

The Barber on Central Avenue, Silver Winner

The Barbershop 941, Bronze Winner

Best Spa

Diane Lane Massage & Bodywork, Platinum Winner

The Met, Gold Winner

Flow Massage & Wellness, Silver Winner

Elements; L.Spa, Bronze Winners

Best Yoga Studio

Pineapple Yoga Studio, Platinum Winner

The Yoga Shack, Gold Winner

Hot Yoga 4 You, Silver Winner

Circus Soul; Body Heat, Bronze Winners

Rosemary Court Yoga; Garden of the Heart; Thavma Lakewood Ranch,

Honorable Mention

Best Florist

Beneva Flowers, Platinum Winner

Flowers by Fudgie, Gold Winner

Victoria Blooms, Silver Winner

Bee Ridge Florist, Bronze Winner

Best Jeweler

Diamond Vault, Platinum Winner

Coffrin Diamond Jewelers, Gold Winner

Carats Fine Jewelry & Watches, Silver Winner

McCarver & Moser Jewelers, Bronze Winner

Best Store on St. Armands

Shore, Platinum Winner

Garden Argosy, Gold Winner

The Met, Silver Winner

Foxy Lady, Bronze Winner

Best Store on Siesta Key

Beach Bazaar, Platinum Winner

Gidget’s, Gold Winner

Foxy Lady, Silver Winner

Nutritious You; Marley Vibes; CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, Bronze Winners

Best Gallery

State of the Arts Gallery, Platinum Winner

530 Burns Gallery, Gold Winner

Chasen Gallery; Grace Howl Contemporary Art, Silver Winners

Alfstadt&; Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Bronze Winners

Best Performing Arts Group

Florida Studio Theater; Asolo Repertory Theater, Platinum Winners

Westcoast Black Theater Troupe, Gold Winner

Van Wezel, Silver Winner

The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Bronze Winner

Best Musical/Play

The Music Man, Asolo Repertory Theater, Platinum Winner

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Venice Theater; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and

Murder, Florida Studio Theater, Gold Winners

Evita, Asolo Repertory Theater, Silver Winner

Always Patsy Cline, Florida Studio Theater; Marvin Gaye, Westcoast Black Theater;

Ragtime, Asolo Repertory Theater, Bronze Winners

Best Nonprofit

Cat Depot, Platinum Winner

In The Pink, Gold Winner

Vintage Paws Sanctuary, Silver Winner

The Dharma Footprint Project, Bronze Winner

Best Local Charity Event

Wine, Women and Shoes, Platinum Winner

Giving Hunger The Blues, Gold Winner

Selby Orchid Ball, Silver Winner

Party Under the Stars; Designing Daughters Gala, Bronze Winners

Best Animal Nonprofit

Cat Depot, Platinum Winner

Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue, Gold Winner

Vintage Paws Sanctuary, Silver Winner

Humane Society of Sarasota County, Bronze Winner

Best Children’s Non Profit

Forty Carrots, Platinum Winner

Children First, Gold Winner

Child Protection Center; Girls Inc., Silver Winners

EasterSeals SWFL; Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Bronze Winners

Best Children’s Attraction

Mote Marine Aquarium, Platinum Winner

Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Gold Winner

The Children’s Garden; Selby Rainforest Garden, Silver Winners

The Ringling Museum; Big Cat Habitat, Bronze Winners

Best Private School

Out-Of-Door Academy, Platinum Winner

St. Martha’s Catholic School, Gold Winner

Bradenton Christian School, Silver Winner

Incarnation Catholic School; Sarasota Christian School, Bronze Winners

Best Local Agency

Studio BCC, Platinum Winner

Grapevine Communications, Gold Winner

Alyssa Gay Consulting, Silver Winner

Eclipse Agency, Bronze Winner

Best Car Dealership

Wilde Automotive Group Honda Dealership, Platinum Winner

Wilde Automotive Group Lexus Dealership, Gold Winner

Sarasota Ford, Silver Winner

Gettel Nissan and Hyundai Dealerships;

Sunset Auto Group’s Chevy and Cadillac Dealerships, Bronze Winner

Best Golf Course

University Park Country Club, Platinum Winner

Laurel Oak Country Club, Gold Winner

The Ritz-Carlton Concession Club, Silver Winner

Lakewood Ranch Country Club, Bronze Winner

Best Local Pediatrician

Dr. Ted Meyer, Platinum Winner

Dr. Robert Weiss, Gold Winner

Dr. Katherine Keeley, Silver Winner

Dr. Howard Fuchs; Dr. Scott Featherman, Bronze Winners

Best Dentists, Top Twelve Platinum Winners:

Dr. Si McAninch; Dr. Stephanie Cole; Drs. Jill Morris and Burr Bakke; Dr. Michael Dorociak; Dr. Thomas Bowles; Dr. Janet Bailey; Dr. David Schroeter;  Dr. Ann Mooney; Dr. Thomas Doan; Dr. Douglas Fabiani; Dr. Adam Still; Dr. Jenny White

Best Hotel Staycation

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Platinum Winner

Art Ovation Hotel, Gold Winner

The Westin Sarasota, Silver Winner

Lido Beach Resort, Bronze Winner

The Hyatt Regency; Zota Beach Resort; Longboat Key Club;

The Sarasota Modern, Honorable Mention

Best Veterinarian

Clark Road Animal Hospital, Platinum Winner

Bee Ridge Veterinary Clinic; Bay Road Animal Hospital, Gold Winners

Dr. Nina’s Animal Hospital, Silver Winner

Sarasota Animal Hospital; Forest Lakes Animal Clinic, Bronze Winners

Best Grocer

Detwiler’s Farm Market, Platinum Winner

Morton’s Gourmet Market, Gold Winner

Best Companies Who Give Back

Pineapple Yoga, Platinum Winner

Publix; Michael Saunders & Company, Gold Winners

Kekering Barberio; Gecko’s Grill & Pub; Detwiler’s Farm Market, Silver Winners

Anna Maria Oyster Bar; Michael’s On East; Cool Today, Bronze Winners

Best Eye Care Practice

Center for Sight, Platinum Winner

Spectacle Gallery, Gold Winner

Eye Associates, Silver Winner

Coastal Eye Institute, Bronze Winner

Best Local Realtors, Top Ten Platinum Winners:

Ryan Skrypkowski; Mike Warm; Carey Beychok; Judy Wright; Brock Doyle; Barry; Bright; Doug Parks; Joey McDonald; Valarie deLieto; Andrew Vac

David Perkowski; Kim Ogilvie, Honorable Mention

Best Architect

Mark Sultana, DSDG Architects, Platinum Winner

Jonathan Parks, Solstice Planning & Architecture, Gold Winner

Clifford M. Scholz, Silver Winner

Javi Suarez of Apex-Studio, Bronze Winner

Guy Peterson; Sweet Sparkman Architects, Honorable Mention

Best Contractor

Voigt Brothers Construction, Platinum Winner

Nautilus Homes, Gold Winner

Josh Wynne Construction; Westin Hills Corp., Silver Winners

Willis A. Smith, Bronze Winner

Best Interior Designer

April White, DSDG Architects, Platinum Winner

Donna McKee & Denice Peoples, Double Vision, Gold Winner

Ana Santa Maria, Apex-Studio, Silver Winner

Chelsea Dunbar, Blu Interiors, Bronze Winner

Best Kitchen Designer

Campbell Kitchen and Bath, Platinum Winner

Metro Cabinets; SRQ Woodworks, Gold Winners

Paradise Kitchens, Silver Winner

Taylor Games Fine Cabinetry; Affinity Kitchens, Bronze Winners

Best Home Builder

John Cannon, Platinum Winner

Nautilus Homes, Gold Winner

Voigt Brothers Construction, Silver Winner

Josh Wynne, Bronze Winner

Neal Communities; Murray Homes; NC Ferguson; Westin Hills, Honorable Mention

Best Lighting

Franklin Lighting, Platinum Winner

Light Up My Life, Gold Winner

Bee Ridge Lighting, Silver Winner

Lyteworks, Bronze Winner

Best Home Furnishings

Matter Brothers, Platinum Winner

Home Resources, Gold Winner

Blu Home; Soft Square, Silver Winners

Sarasota Home Collection; Baer’s Furniture, Bronze Winners

Best CPA Firm

Kerkering Barberio, Platinum Winner

Suplee, Shea, Cramer & Rocklein, Gold Winner

Miles & Thirion, Silver Winner

Cavanaugh & Co.; Natherson & Co, Bronze Winners

Best Legal Team

Berlin Patten Ebling, Platinum Winner

Williams Parker, Gold Winner

Icard Merrill, Silver Winner

Schumaker, Loop and Kendrick, Bronze Winner

Best Financial Advisor

Allegiant Private Advisors, Platinum Winner

David White of Morgan Stanley, Gold Winner

Gregory Nelson of Stifel Nicolaus, Silver Winner

Jakob Hart of Hart Financial; Brent Campbell of Edward Jones; David Molineau,

Bronze Winners

Best Sarasota Elected Official

Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody, Platinum Winner

Sarasota City Commissioner Al Maio, Gold Winner

State Rep. Margaret Good, Silver Winner

Sarasota City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo;

Sarasota City Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, Bronze Winners

Best Manatee Elected Official

Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore;

Bradenton Mayor Wyane Poston, Platinum Winner

Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, Gold Winner


To view the full feature. click here.