Dance The Night Away 

They say that the best things happen while you’re dancing, and there’s no shortage of dancing at So French Café. By day, the establishment is a classic cafe serving up crêpes, sandwiches and coffee, but by night it becomes a dance restaurant. “The dance restaurant concept is huge in Europe,” says Charly Groovin, who owns the cafe along with his wife, Naty Groovin. “In France, people understand that you can have a restaurant and dancing in the same place at the same time.” Before moving to Sarasota, the pair spent 30 years as owners of Sharky’s and Groovin, two of the largest dance restaurants in the Paris region. On designated dance nights, the couple hosts a class in Latin dance, which is all the rage in Europe, then patrons engage in social dance, in which guests focus more on having fun and less on beautiful choreography. The cafe serves food and alcohol during the dance sessions, but Charly notes that overdrinking is frowned upon as it contradicts the spirit of social dancing. “This is a safe atmosphere where you can come alone to dance with others,” he adds. “When we dance, there is a lot of respect for one another. The passion for dancing erases the differences between things like class and sex, and no group is excluded.”