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SRQ DAILY Jan 10, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

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Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"It is our amazing customers, local community and incredible staff that have been extremely supportive and led us to this recognition."

- Mark Tuchman, Owner, 99 Bottles.

[The Dish]  99 Bottles Is an Award-Winning Sarasota Gem
Kevin Allen, kevin.allen@srqme.com

There are so many ways that one can experience 99 Bottles. At this versatile downtown Sarasota gem, you can sit at the sleek bar for a drink with friends, tuck away solo in a comfy corner with a book and enjoy the atmosphere, or you can pick up bottles of rare, innovative wines. You may also, as my wife and I did this past Sunday, swing by for their signature Real Deal New York Bagel Brunch.

Since it opened in spring of 2019, 99 Bottles has cultivated a loyal following, including a fair share of regulars. It’s made such an impression on local beer connoisseurs that Wine Enthusiast recently listed it as one of the best bottle shops in the entire country.

It’s well-deserved accolade. Staffers are always knowledgeable about their selection — whether it’s the 34 draft beers they offer or the phenomenal selection of 99 bottles on the wall. So amazing is this staff that I have come in to buy a gift, described the person for whom I’m purchasing a 6-pack, and they’ve made perfect recommendations based on just that. Plus, they never judge me when I tell them that IPAs make me sneeze.

Mark Tuchman, who owns 99 Bottles, called the Wine Enthusiast recognition “an honor.”

“It’s our amazing customers, local community and incredible staff that have been extremely supportive and led us to this recognition,” he says.

And while I had been to 99 Bottles several times, I had only heard second-hand praise of the bagel brunch. It lived up to the hype. Bagels are flown in from New York, where it’s theorized by many that the local water just makes a better bagel. They’re par baked, flash frozen, delivered to 99 and finally finished in their oven every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I opted for the wild salmon with cream cheese, cucumber, sliced red onion, tomato, and capers. You can find some great versions of this classic elsewhere in Sarasota, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better one. The salmon was smoky and tender, the onions didn’t overpower. Ingredients were crisp and fresh, perfectly complementing the cloudless sky we encountered as we ate outside at the long picnic table.

You’ll also find pop-up dinner kitchens most nights at 99 … as if I needed another reason to return to one of the best beer shops in America.

99 Bottles, 1445 2nd St, Sarasota, (941) 487-7874, 99bottles.net/ 

Pictured: 99 Bottles offers its Real Deal New York Bagel Brunch every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Photo courtesy of 99 Bottles.

[Coffee Shop]  Hashtag Cafe May Become Your New Favorite Coffee Shop
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

Tucked away in the corner of a shopping center on the corner of Bee Ridge Rd. and S. Tuttle Ave., the #Cafe (pronounced “hashtag cafe") is a hidden jewel. Owners Bianca Bendraouia, her husband Elias Bendraouia and their son, Mohi Bendraouia, opened the cafe on Oct. 30, 2022.

German-born Bianca and Moroccan-born Elias are no strangers to cafe culture. Bianca grew up with kaffeeklatsch, the German practice of gathering in the afternoon to enjoy coffee and baked goods, while Elias became familiar with the warm hospitality of Moroccan cafes. While watching his father help a child in a Moroccan cafe, six-year-old Mohi first dreamt up the idea of owning a cafe. “I fell in love with the idea of helping others and the vibe of a coffee shop,” he says.

The family tossed around the idea of opening a modern cafe, and while brainstorming potential names, they were inspired by the trend of using hashtag as a prefix to various words. “We joked about having a #Cafe, and the name stuck,” says Bianca. After finding the perfect location, the business was born. The bright and airy space invites in patrons from all walks of life. Moroccans are frequent visitors, as well as people working remotely. “Mohi attracts young kids,” says Bianca, “but we also get old guys who come in to ‘sip and snitch.’”

The cafes offerings are as diverse as its clientele. Drawing from the family’s heritage, #Cafe serves authentic Moroccan mint tea, poured from silver teapots into tall glasses with intricate geometric patterns as well as German and Italian coffee. “I never drank coffee, but after experimenting with our coffee maker, I discovered how to create a balanced blend,” says Bianca. Throughout the process, Mohi taste-tested each batch, and now even Bianca is a coffee convert. The cafe currently offers hot teas and coffees and cold beverages like frappes.

“I ask everyone who comes in what they’re looking for,” says Mohi, eager to help patrons find something to suite their taste.

#Cafe also sells baked goods, like their napoleon pastry, homemade by a local baker. Many of the other pastries, like croissants and muffins, are baked in-house by the owners. Bianca  doesn’t believe in comparing the business to other coffee houses. “Every single cafe is special and is here to serve the community,” she says.

After two months in business, the #Cafe is a buzzing community hub. The owners greet each guest, many by name, with genuine enthusiasm and friendliness, creating a welcoming atmosphere. “In the future,” says Bianca, “we hope to continue being an awesome place where everyone can have a good time.”

#Cafe is located at 2781 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, and is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more, visit hashtagcafesrq.com or follow the cafe on Instagram @hashtagcafesrq. 

Pictured: The delicious peppermint mocha is a fan favorite at Hashtag Cafe. Photo taken by Laura Paquette.


[Dining]  Bijou Garden Café Announces Bordeaux at the Bijou Wine Dinner

Bijou Garden Café is pleased to announce its first wine dinner of the year on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 6:30 - 9p.m. Presented by executive chef Christopher Covelli, the evening will consist of a six-course dining experience, expertly paired with award-winning, estate-grown Bordeaux wines from Vignobles Sullivan. Michael Kasper, director of national sales, will be in attendance and guests will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with him. Limited to only 50 guests, the evening will begin with a reception that features select appetizers, including bacon and quail egg spoons with white truffle remoulade. The five-course meal will be comprised of vadouvan chicken; pan seared scallop course with Pernod and fennel puree, and pickled red onion; milk bread cube with mushroom, shallot and mustard mousse medley; sliced entrecote, fondant potatoes, winter squash and bordelaise sauce; and canelé with blackberry gelee, cassis and sea salt creme glacée for dessert. Throughout the evening, each course will be expertly paired with Bordeaux wines, including Château Auguste 2021 Grand Rosé, Château du Parc 2015 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru and Château Gaby 2010 Silver Label. The all-inclusive wine dinner is $185 per person, which includes tax and gratuity. For reservations, call Bijou Garden Café at 941-366-8111 or email admin@realmrestaurants.com. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  FST Presents Regional Premiere of Compelling Drama, Network

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to present the Regional Premiere of Network, adapted by Lee Hall and based on the Academy Award-winning screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky. Network is a fast-paced drama following the downward spiral of Howard Beale, a longtime news anchor who has worked at a television network, UBS, for 25 years. When Beale learns that he is being fired for poor ratings and low viewership, he unravels live on air during his final broadcast. As a result, his show’s ratings soar, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on television. Seeing Howard as a new populist prophet, UBS decides to leverage Howard’s newfound popularity to boost its bottom line. Network begins playing January 25, 2023, in FST’s Gompertz Theatre, and is part of a four-show subscription package. Also included in the Winter Mainstage subscription package is the ten-time Tony Award-nominated musical, Something Rotten!, the Obie Award-winning play, What the Constitution Means to Me, and the World Premiere of Visit Joe Whitefeather (and bring the family!). Subscriptions for all four Winter Mainstage shows can be purchased for as little as $69. Single tickets to Network range from $25-39. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.Rod Brogan plays Max Schumacher, Howard’s best friend and the Head of News at FST’s production of Network is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The production is also supported by Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues, and the Shubert Foundation. Thank you to our media sponsors, SCENE Magazine and SNN. 

To learn more, visit

[Recognition]  De Michieli Promoted to Director of Public Relations at One Eight Oh PR

One Eight Oh PR, a Sarasota and Denver based public relations agency, recently promoted Kate De Michieli to director of public relations and welcomed Suzanne Bokish as social media coordinator. De Michieli joined the agency in 2018 as a PR and social media coordinator and has worked with clients in multiple industries promoting brands, launching social media campaigns and writing press releases. She has spearheaded campaigns that have created compelling content for businesses nationwide, earned national media coverage for clients and has increased engagement tremendously on various platforms for One Eight Oh customers. In her new role, De Michieli will help oversee public relations and account management activities, including PR planning, media relations and social media management for the agency’s clients. De Michieli was recently named a 35 under 35 award recipient by SRQ Magazine. Prior to One Eight Oh PR, De Michieli worked for an internet marketing company. In her spare time, she is a social media influencer and runs a lifestyle blog called Life With Kate Rose that focuses on travel, food, fashion and more. A Sarasota native, she attended the University of South Florida, where she received a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical communication. One Eight Oh PR also added Suzanne Bokish to the team as social media coordinator. In her role, Bokish handles social media content creation for multiple clients and launches strategic campaigns to earn engagement across multiple platforms. In her spare time, Bokish is a lifestyle influencer with a fashion background. She launched her social media presence by visiting all 50 states and blogging about her experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in fashion merchandising from Berkeley College. 

[Event]  SB2 Luncheon

Join us on March 7, 2023 at Michael's On East for a dynamic luncheon symposium centered on conversations focused on regional philanthropic topics. The luncheon will include a panel discussion to explore the ever-changing world of non-profits and honor outstanding individuals who have made a meaningful impact within the community. 

Reserve Your Tickets Here

[Forage]  Meshugana
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com
MESHUGANA | Meshugana Deli-named after the yiddish word for crazy, as in "crazy delicious." 
The New York style deli, which opened in November in Gulf Gate, has quickly become Sarasota’s hotspot for Jewish delicatessen-style eats. The secret to their newfound success? The people behind the counter. Read more through the link, on our social medias, or in the January Edition!

Read Here!

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: SB2 Luncheon: Featuring the Good Hero Awards , March 7, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
The SRQ Philanthropic Agenda and Good Hero Awards luncheon and panel discussion will explore the dynamic and ever changing world of non-profits. What's trending, who's innovating, why are donor-advised funds growing so rapidly and what exactly are donors looking for? The luncheon will culminate with the SRQ Good Hero Philanthropic Awards program at which we will honor individuals who have meaningfully impacted our community for good in the past year and for-profit companies who have been incredible philanthropic partners to the community.

Michael's On East, 1212 S East Ave Sarasota, FL 34239

[SOON]  THEATER: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Chicken & Biscuits , February 15 – April 13, Varied

The hilarious new play CHICKEN & BISCUITS introduces us to the Jenkins family, as they gather to celebrate the life of their beloved and recently deceased father and grandfather, the Revered Bernard Jenkins. When an unexpected guest reveals a secret, they all discover that nothing brings a family together like a big side of drama. This side-splitting new Broadway comedy explores the tenderness of family, the joy of reconciliation, and the nourishing power of love. Written by Broadway newcomer Douglas Lyons and directed by the talented Bianca LaVerne Jones, who was associate director of the 2021 Broadway production, CHICKEN & BISCUITS proves that while family may drive us crazy, we’re lucky to have each other. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival , February 17 – February 19

The 25th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival. The iconic three-day Festival, organized by and benefitting Suncoast Charities for Children, is scheduled for February 17-19 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Continuous live music will be featured throughout the weekend, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for outdoor seating in front of the stage. The Festival plans to feature over 100 vendors, a 17-class bike show, a motorcycle stereo sound off competition, motorcycle freestyle demonstrations, a tented full bar area with seating, a “little riders” kid zone, a food court, “Thunder Alley” inside Robarts Arena and so much more!  For tickets, vendor information, sponsorship opportunities, and a complete listing of all Festival events visit: THUNDERBYTHEBAY.ORG | (941) 487-7904. 

Sarasota Fairgrounds

[SOON]  THEATER: Urbanite Theatre: Backwards Forwards Back , March 24 – April 23, Varied

BACKWARDS FORWARDS BACK by Jacqueline Goldfinger. A World Premiere. March 24 - April 23, 2023. Urbanite Theatre. When a soldier returns from war carrying the ghosts of his tour, he’s faced with a sobering decision: address his alarming PTSD with Virtual Reality therapy, or risk losing access to his family forever. Can this new technology recalibrate the brains and bodies of wounded soldiers? This electric, vivid, one-man drama studies the power of healing and finding strength in vulnerability. For tickets and info contact phone (941) 321-1397, email info@urbanitetheatre.com, website www.urbanitetheatre.com

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet: Program 7 - Tribute to Balanchine , April 28 – April 29

The Sarasota Ballet is excited to announce the Company’s 2022 – 2023 Season. Over seven programs, The Sarasota Ballet will perform 15 works by some of the most celebrated and prestigious choreographers and composers of the ballet world. Program 7 - Tribute to Balanchine. April 28-29, 2023 at the Sarasota Opera House. Featuring: Divertimento No. 15 - Choreography by George Balanchine, Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Four Temperaments - Choreography by George Balanchine, Music by Paul Hindemith. Western Symphony - Choreography by George Balanchine, Music – American folk tunes arranged by Hershy Kay. For more information visit www.sarasotaballet.org, Box office 941.359.0099

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  THEATER: Urbanite Theatre: That Must Be The Entrance To Heaven , June 9 – July 9

THAT MUST BE THE ENTRANCE TO HEAVEN by Franky D. Gonzalez. A World Premiere. June 9 - July 9, 2023. Urbanite Theatre. Glory. Survival. Legacy. Citizenship. Four Latino boxers all chase a world title to achieve their personal versions of heaven. But to get there, they must battle each other, their own battered bodies, and the universe itself. All four men walk the line between life and death in this poignant, poetic collision of combat and cosmos. For tickets and info contact - phone (941) 321-1397, email info@urbanitetheatre.com, website www.urbanitetheatre.com.

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST - A Place in the Sun - A Tribute to Stevie Wonder , November 16 – April 16, Varied

A Place in the Sun – A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, will begin playing in FST’s Goldstein Cabaret on November 16, 2022. The new music revue celebrates the legendary musician whose catalogue spans six decades and multiple musical genres, taking audiences through the beloved songbook of musical pioneer, Stevie Wonder. Created by Jason Cannon, Richard Hopkins, and Sarah Durham, this all-new Cabaret features such timeless hits as “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Isn’t She Lovely?,” and “Superstition.” Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association announces Free Music Matinees , January 4 – April 19, 12:00 PM

The Sarasota Concert Association announces its 2023 Music Matinees concert series. These four free noon-time concerts showcase exceptional regional musicians performing a variety of musical styles, including classical and folk music. Scheduled this season: Passerine; Wednesday, January 4 at noon. With inventive vocal harmonies and song-writing skills, supported by the sounds of acoustic strings, Passerine offers a fresh take on traditional folk and bluegrass music, as well as a repertoire of original songs that range from ballads to contemporary Americana. Duo Pianists Michael Baron and Priscila Navarro; Wednesday, February 22 at noon; The Baron-Navarro Piano Duo performs a wide range of music, from classical to popular, for two pianos and piano four–hands with electric energy and melting lyricism. Their New York City debut as a piano duo at Carnegie Hall in March of 2022 was sold out and met with critical acclaim. Soprano Hein Jung and pianist Gregorios Zamparas; Friday, March 17 at noon Soprano Hein Jung has performed in recitals and with opera companies in major cities throughout the U.S, Italy and South Korea. She will be accompanied by pianist Gregorios Zamparas who has been praised for his versatility as a recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and Europe. Cellist Natalie Helm and Pianist Jesse Martins; Wednesday, April 19 at noon Principal Cellist of the Sarasota Orchestra, Natalie Helm is a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and educator. For this performance she will collaborate with pianist Jesse Martins, who also serves as conductor and vocal coach with the Sarasota Opera. The concerts are free but pre-registration is required and available 30 days before each concert at SCAsarasota.org. Performances take place at David Cohen Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail. Visit www.SCAsarasota.org or call the box office at 941-966-6161.

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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