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SRQ DAILY May 16, 2023

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

Tuesday Dining and Food Edition

"We soak our gator in buttermilk, so it is tender and falls apart in your mouth."

- Rita Lewis, Linger Lodge Restaurant Owner

[The Dish]  Savor Old Florida at Linger Lodge Restaurant
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

For an authentic Florida meal, head to Linger Lodge Restaurant. On the banks of the Braden River, Linger Lodge dates back to 1945, when the property served as a fish camp. Veterinarian and amateur taxidermist Frank Gamksy bought the camp in 1968, building the restaurant and decking it out with taxidermy pieces donated by diners. Preserved snakes, deer heads, foxes and a menagerie of other creatures give the space an eclectic charm. “It’s family-oriented with a friendly staff,” says current owner Rita Lewis. “People still bring us donations, and you can feel how they left a piece of themselves here.” Entire walls celebrate local military members, police officers and firefighters who donate their patches to be displayed.

Besides the decor, Linger Lodge honors the community through its menu offerings. Fan favorites include frog legs, Florida alligator, which comes as ribs, bites or burgers, hushpuppies, fried green tomatoes and Louisiana catfish. Lewis recommends sampling a bit of everything with the Braden River Platter, featuring catfish, frog legs and alligator, all of which can be fried, blackened or grilled. The alligator chowder, made with cream, shallots, celery, alligator and 15 various spices also holds an esteemed place on the menu. “We soak our gator in buttermilk, so it’s tender and falls apart in your mouth.” Don’t miss the indulgent River Bottom Pie with Oreo crumbles, coffee ice cream, chocolate fudge and more. Linger Lodge-themed cocktails further enhance the experience. Try the Linger Lizard, made with Malibu Rum, peach schnapps, melon liqueur as well as pineapple and orange juices. Almost every menu item aside from fried foods can be made gluten-free, ensuring that all patrons can enjoy a taste of old Florida.

Linger Lodge boasts indoor and outdoor dining on screened-in patios or in a peaceful beer garden. To keep the good times going, they host events like Friday night karaoke and live entertainment on Sunday. For Lewis, the restaurant is more than just a business. She and her late husband, Jeff Jewis, had planned to take ownership of the establishment, but he passed away before she took over it in March of 2022. Fresh off of renovations, Linger Lodge reopened after the pandemic last August. On the restaurant grounds, diners can see a wood carving of an alligator and turtles crafted from the live oak tree that once stood on the property. After the tree fell during Hurricane Ian, Lewis commissioned the piece as a tribute to her husband and the restaurant itself. “It’s my dream come true to own this place,” says Lewis, “and there’s no other Linger Lodge out there.”

Linger Lodge Restaurant, 7205 85th St. Ct. E., Bradenton, lingerlodge.com. 

Pictured: A cup of alligator chowder at Linger Lodge. Photo Courtesy of Linger Lodge Restaurant.

[New Hire]  Daiquiri Deck Welcomes Seasoned Chef to Culinary Team

Daiquiri Deck, an iconic bar and casual restaurant that delivers a quality experience, great times, good vibes and the best frozen daiquiris around, recently welcomed seasoned chef Jeremy Thayer to its culinary team. An accomplished culinary artist with over 25 years of experience, Thayer discovered his love for cooking at a young age when he took over responsibility for his family’s evening meals while his mother worked overnight as a nurse. After deciding to pursue a culinary degree, Thayer attended the esteemed Culinary Institute of America in New York. Upon graduation, his robust background included working as senior sous chef for Wegmans Market Café and as an assistant for its guest chef series, working alongside world renowned chefs, including Lydia Bastianich and Mario Batalli. He also served as chef instructor and chef de cuisine at the Statler Hotel with Cornell University and assisted guest chefs, including iron chef Masaharu Morimoto, Floyd Cardoz and Fritz Sonnenschmidt. Post 9/11, Thayer worked ground zero to aid in relief efforts with chef David Bouley, serving over 2,500 people a day. Thayer moved to Florida in the early 2000s to continue his culinary career. Most recently, he was executive sous chef for the Sarasota Art Museum. During his time there, he worked closely with all corporate chefs, contributed to the 2020 Super Bowl Miami event that fed 10,000 people and executed the full build of the new restaurant inside the Sarasota Art Museum. Prior to that, Thayer was the executive chef at GROVE. While there, he executed a full remodel of the kitchen, created and implemented over 100 menu items and fulfilled hiring commitments. His Sarasota restaurant experience also includes executive chef at IMG Academy, and catering chef and executive chef at Mattison's Restaurants. In his new role as culinary director and corporate chef at Daiquiri Deck, Thayer is revitalizing the menu, giving it a fresh look with over 20 new items, and crafting a highly anticipated brunch menu that will launch later this year. On Sunday, May 21 from 1 to 4 p.m., Thayer will be present at a meet and greet event at the St Armands location. During the event, he will sign copies of Cooking with Friends: An EHS Culinary Adventure, a book he contributed to with several other chefs. Proceeds will benefit the EHS Relief Fund. 

Pictured: Chef Jeremy Thayer. Photo courtesy of Daiquiri Deck.

[Appointment]  Florida Bar Appoints Brett M. Henson of Shumaker Law to Construction Law Certification Committee

As the field of construction law continues to grow and change, Shumaker Partner Brett M. Henson will help guide the process of becoming certified in construction law in the State of Florida. Florida Bar President-Elect Scott Westheimer has appointed Brett to serve on the Construction Law Certification Standing Committee. Florida is one of only 14 states in the U.S. that certify lawyers in specialty practice areas, such as construction law. In recent years, Florida has seen an increased demand for board certified construction lawyers to support its booming real estate and development sectors. Of the over 100,000 lawyers in Florida, only about four percent are board certified in construction law, and of those, only nine are chosen by the Florida Bar President to administer the construction law certification process. This process includes reviewing applications and peer reviews of prospective lawyers seeking certification, along with drafting and grading the construction law board certification examination. Brett’s legal practice focuses in the areas of commercial and construction litigation. He devotes a substantial portion of his practice to handling all types of construction disputes. Brett counsels and assists residential and commercial property owners, developers, and construction industry professionals in all facets of a construction project, including contract preparation, review, negotiation, and dispute avoidance. Brett also uses his experience and knowledge in resolving claims involving insurance proceeds and insurance coverage. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Bored Teachers Comedy Tour is the Self-Care Teachers Need in Their Lives Right Now

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome Bored Teachers: We Can’t Make This Stuff Up! Comedy Tour to Sarasota on Friday, October 13, 2023 at 7 p.m. Tickets on sale Friday. The biggest entertainment platform for teachers in the world, Bored Teachers, presents the funniest teacher-comedians in the world all on one stage. Their hilarious skits have amassed hundreds of millions of views on the internet, and they're all joining comic forces for a night of laughter you do not want to miss. With more than five million followers across social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube) and+20 million views every month on their viral comedy videos. The tour includes the most hilarious and well-known teacher comedians in the business with millions of combined followers as well. This comedy powerhouse is making its way around the country with +120 shows booked so far this year! Teachers everywhere need the night of laughter, and the Bored Teachers Comedy Tour is the perfect fix. For a complete listing of all tour stops visit the Comedy Tour page. Tickets are $35-$65 and can be purchased at VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726. Pre-show dining is available through Mattison’s at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office. 

[College News]  USF Unveils Historic New Judy Genshaft Honors College Building

The University of South Florida today celebrates a significant milestone in the university’s history with a special grand opening ceremony to showcase the new, state-of-the-art home of the Judy Genshaft Honors College. The five-story, 85,000-square-foot facility will serve USF’s most accomplished and talented students from every undergraduate college and strengthen the university’s position to attract the top talent within the state of Florida and beyond. The new facility, located across from the Yuengling Center along USF Genshaft Drive on the Tampa campus, provides a dedicated home for the unique classes and programs for honors students. It features a variety of spaces for intellectual development and creative exchange, including open-design classrooms, 39 signature learning lofts and dedicated studio spaces for art, food and culture, along with music and technology. A total of 50 spaces in the building are named through generous gifts. The project is primarily funded through philanthropic support, including a historic lead gift of $20 million from USF President Emerita and Professor Judy Genshaft and her husband Steven Greenbaum. When the gift was announced in 2019, it represented one of the largest gifts of its kind ever made by a sitting university president to their institution. The Judy Genshaft Honors College consists of more than 2,500 high-achieving, cross-disciplinary scholars who are part of a close community that provides specialized experiences and advanced educational opportunities. More than one third of Honors College students at USF are the first in their families to go to college. Following the announcement of the new building in spring 2019, the profile and success of Honors College students have continued to increase. Total enrollment has grown 13 percent, the number of students with a 4.0 GPA has risen from 463 to 556 and the four-year graduation rate continues to steadily increase. Positive trends are expected to continue as the new building will offer more opportunities for student engagement, which research has shown links directly to stronger academic outcomes. The building will welcome its first class of students this summer. 

To learn more, visit

[SOON]  FOOD: SIN Nights at Geckos on Hillview , May 12 – August 31, 10 pm to midnight

Enjoy SIN Nights for Geckos Hospitality and Service Industry Colleagues. Join Geckos on Hillview Street in Southside Village and let us serve you late at night after your shift on Friday and Saturday nights. We will keep the light on late for you and offer Geckos food and drink specials just for you from 10-Midnight. Come in wearing your uniform or bring in your schedule and enjoy the camaraderie of friends at Geckos on Hillview. 1900 Hillview Street, Sarasota, www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  FOOD: Geckos Hospitality Group Iron Chef Challenge 2023 , May 15 – June 18, Restaurant Hours

Join the Geckos Hospitality Group family of restaurants to celebrate the culinary creativity of your favorite Geckos Grill and Pub Chefs during the annual Iron Chef Challenge. From May 15th to June 11th and June 12th to 18th each of our six Geckos will participate in a weekly special Iron Chef Menu, with several of our Chefs designing delectable and inventive fare, plus some tried and true favorites with a creative twist. The contest is a weekly competition between Geckos Kitchen Creatives and guests may sample what the GHG kitchen pros have up their Chef Jacket sleeves. Whichever Iron Chef Special Menu is the favorite of our GHG guests for the week wins the Iron Chef title for that week and a cash prize with seven Iron Chefs named after the competition knives have been cleaned and put away in June. There will be a Championship Final the week of June 12-18th, with the winning GHG location being crowned the Iron Chef 2023 Champ. All Geckos Hospitality locations, geckosgrill.com.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: School District of Manatee County Job Fair , May 16, 2-5 pm
The School District of Manatee County is hosting a job fair Tuesday, May 16. A variety of positions are available for teachers and paraprofessionals with on-site interviews available. Interested applicants are encouraged to pre-register, view openings and apply online. For more information or view a list of open positions, please visit www.ManateeSchools.net. Wakeland Support Center, 1812 27th St. E., Bradenton.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Ranch Nite Wednesdays at Waterside Place , February 8 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Enjoy a night of fun at Waterside Place during Ranch Nite Wednesdays. The event features food trucks, live music, a night market, a vintage mobile bar and cornhole. Visit lakewoodranch.com to learn more. Waterside Place, 1561 Lakefront Drive, Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature , February 12 – June 26, During garden hours

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 2023 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature showcases the creativity and innovation of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). The first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, the exhibition highlights the inspiring connection between Tiffany Studios and the natural world through unique horticultural displays in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens, accompanied by seminal examples of Tiffany’s work on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts. To learn more, visit selby.org. Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Reel Music at the Florida Studio Theatre , February 15 – June 25, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre presents the original music revue, Reel Music, celebrating the movies that helped create the soundtrack to the last century. Featuring classics like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Circle of Life,” and “My Heart Will Go On,” this new Cabaret traces how films—and the music highlighted in them—have evolved over the past one hundred years. Created by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Hopkins, and Sarah Durham with musical arrangements by Jim Prosser, Reel Music begins playing February 15, 2023, in FST’s Court Cabaret. Single tickets for Reel Music
range between $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art at Ringling Museum , March 29 – September 4, Museum hours

Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art group exhibition will mark The Ringling’s first presentation of contemporary art by Native American artists with ancestral, historical, and present-day connections to Florida. An imperative step toward establishing a meaningful relationship with the Native American artistic community, Reclaiming Home will highlight the breadth and depth of the artwork by Seminole, Miccosukee, and mixed-heritage artists from Florida with the important work by internationally-recognized artists. The exhibition will expand the conceptual framework of Native American art made in Florida today and provide a fuller understanding of the complexities of issues within the art of the Seminole diaspora. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  THEATER: Visit Joe Whitefeather and Bring the Family at Florida Studio Theatre , April 12 – May 21, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre is proud to present the world premiere of Visit Joe Whitefeather (and bring the family!) by award-winning playwright Bruce Graham. It’s the 1970s in Beaver Gap, Pennsylvania, a small town with a problem. Tourism has declined and it doesn’t look like there is any hope on the horizon. When a new resident joins forces with the bewildered city council, they devise a plan to rename the town to honor a dead, Native American war hero who had never visited the town before. It’s a plan so wild and insane that it just might work. Tickets range from $25-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. FST’s Gompertz Theatre, 1265 1st St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Eco Engineers , April 12 – September 3, During museum hours

Eco Engineers are plants and animals that profoundly impact their ecosystem. Through their presence or behavior, eco engineers create microhabitats, or unique areas within an ecosystem. Other species have taken notice of these microhabitats and decided to move in! In this exhibition, explore nine of Florida’s eco engineers and discover why our landscape wouldn’t be the same without them. Eco Engineers is a bilingual (English and Spanish) special exhibition created by our own Museum curators. Included with museum admission. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Joseph's Coat, Skyspace by James Turrell , April 13 – May 26, Various times

Joseph’s Coat: Skyspace by James Turrell (2011) is a triumph of technology, engineering, and aesthetics. The Skyspace, created by internationally-renowned artist James Turrell, is a gathering place for contemplation and offers a unique experience. At sunset, a sophisticated system of LED lights is employed to change the color of the space. In doing so, the artist changes the context in which we view the sky through the 24-foot aperture in the ceiling, affecting our perception of the natural environment and the surroundings. As we gaze up at the sky we are invited to contemplate light, perception, and experience. Tickets are $10 and are free for members. Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Comedy Roulette , April 13 – May 17, Various times

FST Improv’s free-form show, Comedy Roulette, is an off-the-wall improvisation potpourri where performers are freed from the traditional do’s and don’ts of improv. Instead, improvisers are encouraged to follow the funny and launch into a new scene or storyline whenever inspiration strikes. Comedy Roulette plays Saturdays in FST’s Bowne’s Lab from April 8 to May 17, 2023. Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 1st St., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Big Sexy The Fats Waller Revue , April 19 – May 28, Various times

Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was an American jazz pianist, composer, singer and comedic entertainer. He realized his dream of becoming a professional musician at age 15. His Harlem stride style influenced the sound of modern jazz piano. Nate Jacobs’ original tribute, “Big Sexy, The Fats Waller Revue,” to this irrepressible artist features Waller’s signature songs, including “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Your Feet’s Too Big,” “The Joint is Jumpin’” and many more. Tickets are $50 for adults, $20 for students and active military (cost includes all ticket fees). WBTT's Donelly Theatre, 1012 North Orange Ave., Sarasota, westcoastblacktheatre.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Summer Photo Contest with the Conservation Foundation , April 26 – May 31, Submissions open through midnight May 31st

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is delighted to announce the return of their virtual Summer Photo Contest. Entering its fourth year, this annual event invites photographers of all ages and experience levels to share their original work showcasing the natural beauty of the Sunshine State. As in years past, the exhibition will be entirely virtual with website and Facebook displays. Works submitted for this online juried exhibition must have been taken in Florida within the past year. There is also a Youth Perspective category for ages 15 and under. The submission deadline is midnight on May 31. For categories, details, entry rules, and submission forms visit conservationfoundation.com/summerphoto.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Disney Artist and Ringling College Alumnus Tim Rogerson Show , May 2 – May 26, During gallery hours

Madeby Gallery invites you to the Disney Artist and Ringling College Alumnus Tim Rogerson Show now through May 26. Over 50 of Tim’s original paintings, giclee on canvas, and lithograph prints are for sale. Many have been personalized on the back by Tim, which brings added value to the Disney piece. Don't miss this rare opportunity to add to your Disney collection. Tim Rogerson is a Disney Fine Artist and Ringling College Alumnus. He is one of only a select group of artists allowed to recreate iconic Disney characters and scenes. Visit madebygallery.com to learn more. Madeby Gallery, 2700 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Geckos Grill and Pubs Trivia , July 1 – June 1, 7:30 pm

Geckos Grill & Pub’s Award-winning Trivia-Think While You Drink! If you love Trivia, join the fun at Geckos all year round. All Trivia starts at 7:30pm. We will have prizes, giveaways and specials plus the Geckos made-to-order fare, signature cocktails and hospitality you love. Monday trivia will be held at the Clark Road location in Palmer Crossing and on Tuesdays at the SR 64 location in Braden River Plaza. The SR 64 location will be taking a break from Trivia in October, but will start back up in April. On Wednesdays, trivia will take place at the Hillview Street location in Southside Village. www.GeckosGrill.com.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

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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