Area Information

Bijou Cafe for Fine Dining in the Theater & Arts District of Sarasota

By | October 24, 2014

bijou

bijouThe Bijou Café is a charming Continental-American restaurant located in the heart of Sarasota’s downtown Theatre & Arts District. Over the years the cuisine, award-winning wine list and exemplary unobtrusive service have set the standard for dining on the Sun Coast and established the Bijou as one of Sarasota’s most sought after fine dining destinations.

Since 1986, Chef Jean-Pierre Knaggs and his wife Shay have owned and operated The Bijou Café. It has grown from a small 50-seat restaurant to a seating capacity of 140 people in three separate dining rooms. The enchanting décor you’d expect in a quaint, but modern European café surrounds you with French windows and doors throughout, sparkling glassware, bouquets of freshly-picked flowers and the soft glow of candlelight.

We recently visited the Bijou Café with our neighborhood dining group of 24 people. It’s great to have a place that has wonderful food, service and can easily accomodate large parties or be a perfect spot for a special dinner for two.

Check them out at http://www.bijoucafe.net/

Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.

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Sarasota Real Estate Statistics for September 2014

By | October 22, 2014

business graph in blueThe Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales statistics for last month which show that the Sarasota County real estate market remained on pace for near record sales numbers in September 2014, ending the month with 934 closed transactions – 14 percent higher than last September when 817 properties changed hands. Sales for the first three-quarters of the year now stand at 8,784, about 200 sales over last year’s pace which wound up as the second highest sales year in the county’s history. A strong closing quarter (sales of 900 per month or higher) could push the final figure near the historic year of 2004, when 11,482 sales were recorded in the county.

The breakdown for closed sales in September 2014 was 688 single family homes and 246 condos sold, according to figures released by Florida Realtors ®. Closings were down slightly from the August 2014 figures of 698 single family homes and 277 condos sold (975 total).

The median sale price for single family homes stood at $189,000 for single family homes, off slightly from the $195,750 in August 2014 and almost identical to last September’s figure of $189,902. The condo median was $195,000, up about 10 percent from last month and up 18 percent from last September’s figure of $165,000.

The fluctuations in condominium prices have not been unusual in recent years, compared to the steadier nature of the single family home market, and tend to reflect the buying tendencies of investors in the market. The median sale price for the 12-month period ending in August, which moderates monthly swings, was $196,000 for single family homes, 10 percent higher than last September’s 12- month period of $178,000. For condos, it was $180,000, up about 12.5 percent over last September’s 12 -month period of $160,000.

To view the full press release from the Sarasota Association of Realtors visit http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/Sept2014Stats14102194502.pdf

Joe Cleary is a Broker Associate with The Cleary Group at RE/MAX Alliance Group. He is a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a certified Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR). Call Joe with any real estate questions you may have toll free at 877-814-1233!

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Jazz on the Water Cruise

By | October 21, 2014

Jazz Club of SarasotaThe Jazz Club of Sarasota presents another one of its popular “Jazz on the Water” cruises aboard LeBarge, which departs from Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota. The date is Sunday, November 2nd from 2-4:00pm.

Le BargeGuests will enjoy the swinging Dixieland sounds of The Greg Nielsen Quartet with Nielsen on trombone, Howie Smith on tuba, Bobby Tees on cornet and Dean Fernald on keyboard.

Tickets are $30 for Jazz Club members; $35 for non-members. Snacks and beverages will be available for sale; guests are requested not to bring coolers. Boarding begins at 1:30 p.m. Space is limited.

Compliments SRQ The Magazine
Pat Ditton is originally from the UK. In 1994, she moved to Sarasota where she and her husband purchased a motel on beautiful Siesta Key. Along with her family, she ran the motel for five years. In 2002 Pat got her Real Estate License. She has been with RE/MAX Alliance Group since 2004. Pat has first hand knowledge of the immigration and relocation process, and is able to help you avoid the pitfalls and guide you through your relocation, making it a smooth and stress free experience. She provides outstanding service wherever you are relocating from, whether it be a full time residence or vacation home.

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Save Our Seabirds

By | October 17, 2014

Pelicans

PelicansWe were looking for something to do on a rainy Wednesday in Sarasota so we decided to take a drive out to Longboat Key off Ken Thompson Parkway. This Seabird Sanctuary is across from Mote Marine Aquarium. It’s a wonderful non-profit organization in the community for birds that are sick, rescued or injured. Birds of all different species are brought into the facility to rehabilitate from injuries and you can actually observe the various stages of recovery.

When we first arrived, we were given a list of the birds and why they were there. I would guess there were at least 250 Birds that we were able to view up close and personal. It was kind of neat to watch how well cared for they were and with the intention mainly to release them to their natural habit within the Sarasota area. Some birds do remain at the facility if they are not releaseable and it becomes their forever home. The facility is not just for seabirds though we saw hawks, owls, vultures and various other kinds of birds that my husband found quite fascinating.

I think it’s an interesting learning experience for all ages. The volunteers were on hand to answer questions and were quite friendly. Please go and support this facility as the small admission cost is applied towards the care and upkeep of these seabirds, the facility and the wildlife learning center.

For more information, visit www.saveourseabirds.org

As an experienced Realtor, Cheryl believes in “client first” philosophyl She prides her services on accessibility, attention to detail, effective listening and communication skills, awareness of meeting her client’s needs and has the tools to explain the buying process whether you’re a first time home buyer, a move-up buyer, relocating or an investment buyer.

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Rosa Fiorelli Winery

By | October 14, 2014

Rosa Fiorelli Winery

Rosa Fiorelli WineryLast weekend the weather was perfect for a convertible ride so we headed east from Lakewood Ranch to check out the Rosa Fiorelli Winery in east Manatee County. We tasted some really nice wines and enjoyed chatting with Heather and Rosa in their tasting room.

They have been in business for 16 years. The Winery has its own building for fermenting and bottling, and a separate building for tasting and sales and has recently expanded to 10 acres of vineyard and a 3000 sq. ft. winery. Mature grapevines allow for u-pick fresh grapes bronze or black Muscadine grapes in early August to September.

I always thought that muscadine grapes would just make a very sweet wine but found they have quite a variety from dry to sweet. The last sample was of a dessert wine that was to die for with a bite of chocolate!

Throughout the year they offer tours and Wine & Dine events so check out their website for dates and further information.

www.fiorelliwinery.com

 

Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.

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Sarasota Real Estate Statistics for August 2014

By | October 2, 2014

graphThe Sarasota Association of Realtors recently released the sales statistics for the month of August 2014 which show sales remaining strong during the month. Homes and condos continued to sell at a brisk pace in Sarasota County in August, once again nearly reaching the 1,000 level with 975 closed transactions. The eight-month total from the start of the year now stands at 7,850, about 100 sales ahead of last year’s near record totals.

The breakdown for closed sales in August 2014 was 698 single family homes and 277 condos sold, according to figures released by Florida Realtors®. Closings were up 5 percent from last month (July), when they hit 928, and up 1.8 percent from August 2013, when there were 957 closings.

The median sale price for single family homes stood at $195,750 in August 2014, down slightly from the July figure of $201,000, and almost identical to last August’s figure of $195,000. The condo median was $177,000, down 16 percent from the July 2014 figure of $205,000, but almost 10 percent higher than last August, when the median sale price was $161,000. The fluctuations in condominium prices have not been unusual in recent years, compared to the steadier nature of the single family home market, and tend to reflect the buying tendencies of investors and the “downsizing” couples seeking a smaller abode.

To view the full press release and statistical charts visit http://sarasotarealtors.com/files/monthlystatistics/Aug2014Stats14092283021.pdf

 

Joe Cleary is a Broker Associate with The Cleary Group at RE/MAX Alliance Group. He is a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a certified Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR). Call Joe with any real estate questions you may have toll free at 877-814-1233!

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Sarasota Top Dog Show

By | October 2, 2014

Join Donte’s Den Foundation in supporting the 2014 Top Dog Show on October 18th from 5:30 – 8:30pm at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. The area’s premier dog lovers event features a Westminster-like dog show where owners can enter their four-legged friends in playful categories including: Best Dressed, Best Hair, Best Catch and Fetch, Best Kiss, Funniest Dog Trick. Patrons will enjoy fine dining with their canine companions or chilling out in one of the Donte’s Den lounges onsite. Volunteers will be on hand to care and walk dogs while owners and their friends enjoy the show.

Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL
Compliments SRQ Magazine
Pat Ditton is originally from the UK. In 1994, she moved to Sarasota where she and her husband purchased a motel on beautiful Siesta Key. Along with her family, she ran the motel for five years. In 2002 Pat got her Real Estate License. She has been with RE/MAX Alliance Group since 2004. Pat has first hand knowledge of the immigration and relocation process, and is able to help you avoid the pitfalls and guide you through your relocation, making it a smooth and stress free experience. She provides outstanding service wherever you are relocating from, whether it be a full time residence or vacation home.

Read more »

University Town Center Mall Opening Soon

By | October 1, 2014

University Town Center Mall

October 16, 2014 is the big day!

University Town Center Mall

If you are wondering what stores are going to be at the new Mall at University Town Center like I have, here is a link to view the complete list! http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/local/complete-list-of-stores-at-mall-at-sarasota-s-university/article_45c7e672-3db7-11e4-a576-0017a43b2370.html I can hardly contain the excitement that all these new stores will bring! How do you feel?

Brenda’s background in strategic planning, marketing, prospecting, and sales give her an advantage when searching for the right properties for her clients. By truly listening, addressing concerns, and taking her clients through every step of the process, she ensures her buyers get what they want. Brenda’s clients trust her and with her efficient and straight-forward approach, enjoy working with her on this important decision.

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October in Sarasota

By | September 30, 2014

OctoberThe weather is great and our fall season is in full swing. There are a myriad of festivals and fun events going on in the Sarasota area during the month of October. Here are just a few to check out:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link forMore Information
Oct. 3rd Music on Main Lakewood Ranch Main Street Events
Oct. 3-4th Sahib Shrine Circus Sarasota Circus Arts
Oct. 4-5th Downtown Sarasota Arts & Crafts Show Sarasota ArtFestival.com
Oct. 4th Downtown Bradenton Farmers Market Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Oct. 4-5th 26th Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Fest Sarasota Fruitville Grove
Oct. 10th Friday Night Free Music Venice Venice Main Street
Oct. 11th Chef at the Market Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Oct. 12th 12th Annual Firehouse Chili Cook-Off Sarasota Morton’s Market
Oct. 15-18th 6th Annual Ringling International Arts Festival Sarasota Ringling Museum of Art
Oct. 17th Live from Downtown It’s Friday Night Sarasota Downtown Sarasota Association
Oct. 17th Taste of St. Armands Lido Key St. Armands Circle Assoc.
Oct. 17-18th 14th Annual Anna Maria Island Bayfest Anna Maria Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce
Oct. 17-19th Sun Fiesta Venice Sun Fiesta 2014
Oct. 18th 2014 Top Dog Show Sarasota Dontes Den
Oct. 18-19th Desoto Pumpkin Festival Arcadia Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 18-19th 8th Annual Hungarian Festival Sarasota Hungary Foundation
Oct. 18-25th Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival Bradenton Hunsader Farms
Oct. 24-26th Dragon Boat Festival Sarasota Dragon Boat Festival
Oct. 24th Boo Fest Lakewood Ranch Lakewood Ranch.com
Oct. 25th 3rd Annual Sarasota Book Fair Sarasota Art Center Sarasota
Oct. 25-26th 24th Annual Buckler’s Craft Fair Bradenton Buckler Craft Fair
Oct. 26-27th Pumpkin Patch Express Parrish Florida Railroad Museum
Oct. 30th 16th Annual Howl-O-Ween Pet Costume Contest Sarasota Humane Society of Sarasota County

Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.

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Big Cat Habitat

By | September 9, 2014

BigCat

BigCatLIONS, TIGERS, BEARS and all for a good cause! Recently we visited the Big Cat Habitat and Gulfcoast Sanctuary located in Sarasota, located at 7101 Palmer Road, Sarasota. ( http://bigcathabitat.org/) The sanctuary is home to many large cats, including Brutus, the 1100 pound (and still growing) Liger. A real site to see. There are goats, llama, emu, many birds, monkeys, bears, donkey, buffalo and even a giraffe! As a Sarasota native, I had no idea such a wonderful place existed. We will go back again and again.

The Habitat is a great place for all ages. They are open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30 pm to 4 pm. There is a demonstration with some of the animals in an air-conditioned building at 2 pm daily, otherwise you may roam around at your leisure. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children. The fees go towards taking care of the animals. Parking is free. They only take cash, but do have an ATM on premises. Head over to see some really beautiful and happy animals and learn a lot of information about the animals, their habitat and what we can do to help in their future.

 

Brenda’s background in strategic planning, marketing, prospecting, and sales give her an advantage when searching for the right properties for her clients. By truly listening, addressing concerns, and taking her clients through every step of the process, she ensures her buyers get what they want. Brenda’s clients trust her and with her efficient and straight-forward approach, enjoy working with her on this important decision.

Read more »