Area Information

Sarasota History Alive 6th Edition

By | November 10, 2011

Harry Ben Rigby platted out his La Plaza Subdivision in 1925, and completed his unique enclave of Spanish Eclectic structures in 1926. They were perfect for him to house his family, and his Sarasota Real Estate Exchange office in their home, on the corner of Alta Vista and Osprey Avenue.

The other structures were meant to be affordable seasonal rentals and places for investors to stay while planning their dream homes. This was all great until the real estate market bottomed out, not long after their completion. Harry was forced to sell in 1930, and hunt and fish for food to feed his family. These structures stand as a reminder of what affordable houses could look like, even today.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill at Island Park in Sarasota

By | November 5, 2011

Welcome to our waterfront tiki bar complete with a huge palm-frond covered deck and waterfront tiki bar! O’Leary’s has been around for years and is situated right on Sarasota Bay overlooking the water on Island Park in Sarasota. The restaurant is quite casual with window service only. It has waterfront picnic tables and is dog-friendly.

O’Leary’s features a guitar player (at least every time we go there) singing beach tunes. The energy and setting is great, the beer and wine is priced ok, and the food is, well, what you’d expect for window service. O’Leary’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and dinners usually run between $6-12. A pitcher of domestic beer is around $9. They have a full bar too.

We love O’Leary’s for its casual, waterfront atmosphere and because it is, unfortunately, one of the few remaining waterfront restaurants still around. Don’t forget, many people bring their dogs because it is very dog-friendly, so come and walk Island Park and settle in for some tunes at O’Leary’s, enjoy some average food and a great Sarasota waterfront lifestyle-if only for an hour or so. Oh yeah, you can come by boat as well but docking is limited and is adjacent to Enticer Watersports where they rent jet-ski’s and power boats, etc. O’Leary’s is calling your name and is located at 5 Bayfront Dr. on Island Park near Marina Jack’s in Sarasota.

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Sarasota History Alive 5th Edition

By | November 3, 2011

In honor of the 4th Annual Sarasota Chalk Festival, we are doing an encore presentation of our video when the festival was gaining ground to become a very popular venue for our community. It has grown exponentially, and has overcome some hurdles to once again grace downtown’s Burns Court area on South Pineapple Avenue this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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November Events in and Around Sarasota

By | October 28, 2011


Fall festivals, art shows, new theatre productions, music and more! It’s a great time to get out and enjoy some of the activities happening in the area during the month of November:



Event or Activity


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Nov. 1st Artist Series Concert – Jessica Mathaes, Violin Sarasota Historic Asolo Theatre
Nov. 1-30th Get Lost in the Maze Myakka City Dakin Dairy Farms
Nov. 1-30th ‘That’s Life, Again’ at the Goldstein Cabaret Sarasota Florida Studio Theatre
Nov. 3rd ‘Now and Then’ Chamber Soiree Sarasota Sarasota Orchestra
Nov. 4th Music on Main Lakewood Ranch Main Street
Nov. 4-7th Sarasota Chalk Festival Sarasota Chalk Festival
Nov. 5th 24th Annual Downtown Venice Arts Festival Venice Art Festival
Nov. 5th Sarasota Blues Festival Sarasota Sarasota Blues Fest
Nov. 9th Courthouse Square Concert Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Nov. 10-14th Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Siesta Key Crystal Sand
Nov. 11th Veterans Day Parade Sarasota City of Sarasota
Nov. 12th Downtown Bradenton Farmer’s Market with Chef Brady Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Nov. 12th Pioneer Day at the Park @ Crocker Memorial Church Sarasota Historical Society of Sarasota County
Nov. 12th Benny Kimsey’s Bluegrass Picnic at Turtle Beach Siesta Key Turtle Beach Bluegrass
Nov. 12-13th 23rd Annual St. Armands Art Festival and Sidewalk Sale Sarasota St. Armands Circle
Nov. 12-13 and 19-20 Sarasota Medieval Fair Sarasota Sarasota Medieval Fair
Nov. 15th New College Fall Chorus Concert Sarasota New College of Florida
Nov. 17th Get Down Downtown Street Party Bradenton City of Bradenton
Nov. 19th Cortez Village Folk Art Festival Cortez Cortez Village
Nov. 19th Holiday Music Magic Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Nov. 19-20th Harvest Festival and Craft Fair Bradenton Mixon Fruit Farms
Nov. 20th 5th Annual Children’s Reading and Art Festival Sarasota The Children’s Garden
Nov. 23-26th Sarasota Six-A-Side Festival Lakewood Ranch Sarasota International Cricket Club
Nov. 26th Venice Holiday Parade Venice Ciry of Venice
Nov. 30-Dec. 7th Holiday Festival of Trees Sarasota Powel Crosley Estate

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!

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Sarasota History Alive 4th Edition

By | October 27, 2011

Rosemary Cemetery is burial place for many early Sarasota citizens, civic leaders, and entrepreneurs including Scotsman John Hamilton Gillespie. We like to show this video during this time of year to set the mood for All Hallows Eve.

The cemetery was set aside in plat “Town of Sarasota”, filed on July 27, 1886.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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Important Aspects of Selecting a Great Neighborhood

By | October 21, 2011

Many of my clients frequently ask the question – “How do I know if a neighborhood is good or bad?”. My answer has always been very careful due to the fact that I have worked with buyers from all over the world and I have found that what appeals to one buyer may not appeal to everyone. However, when I really started giving it some thought, I realized that ultimately, what drew me to my own neighborhood wasn’t who my neighbors were going to be, but the school district that I was going to be placing my son into, as well as the proximity to everything (shopping, the Interstate, entertainment, parks, and of course, the #1 rated Siesta Key Beach).

Any economist will tell you that in order for a neighborhood to be “good” you must weigh some important factors such as proximity to shopping, high household income, unemployment rate, and school district. Those factors will many times pre-determine how a neighborhood will perform with regards to how well the neighborhood is maintained and how well the home values will appreciate. As a Realtor, we often see communities with strong HOA’s looking great with perfectly manicured lawns, however, that should not detract from neighborhoods like Southgate that have a voluntary HOA. Very rarely have I driven through Southgate and seen anything but wonderful homes with great lawns. Lets keep in mind that many of the 1,000 homes in Southgate are assigned to Southside Elementary, Brookside Middle and Sarasota High. Southgate also has 4 parks within a 2 mile radius, and we are just 5 minutes to Siesta Key and Longboat Key, and just minutes to the Legacy Bike Trail which is a 12 mile bike trail that extends from Sarasota all the way to Venice.

One of the many things that I love about Sarasota, is whether you decide on the Southgate area, Gulfgate area, or even Lakewood Ranch area, you will find all of the important factors, which is why I call Sarasota “my little piece of Paradise”.

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Sarasota History Alive 3rd Edition

By | October 20, 2011

St. Armands Key has its roots firmly planted in John Ringling’s vision of becoming a beautiful residential area, with a centralized shopping and park feature to attract the well-to-do. What’s more, he knew that imported European statuary would add greatly to making this a reality. He was right!


Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

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Best Raw Bar in Sarasota

By | October 15, 2011

If you are in the mood for some delicious oysters, shrimp, or mussels do I have the spot for you… Monks Steamer Bar located in Sarasota’s Gulf Gate area (the corner of Superior and Gulf Gate Drive). This locally owned pub specializes in serving up oysters any way you like em. My favorite are the Monkefellas, which is their version of the Oysters Rockefeller.

The raw bar sits in the middle of the huge horse-shoe shaped bar so patrons can chat with the always friendly staff. There are pool table, lots of TV’s always showing various sporting events, and even a old fashion juke box so that you can play your favorite tunes. Monks is open every evening and is an over 21 establishment.

They offer their seafood wholesale, so if you would like to take home the delicious seafood stop in and pick some up for your next party. If you are on the hunt for a true local Sarasota hang-out look no further!

For more information Click Here!

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Sarasota History Alive 2nd Edition

By | October 13, 2011

The Landing of the Scots

In honor of the upcoming John Hamilton Gillespie celebration (see the announcement in the right column), we would like to acquaint or re-acquaint you with the Landing of the Scots. It was tough-going back in the day, so we are sure you will appreciate the trials and tribulations of the colonists who came to their new world on the west coast of Florida.

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Sarasota History Alive 1st Edition

By | October 6, 2011

There’s a piece of important history in Luke Wood Park that has been covered over with dirt for 60 years. You probably pass it frequently when you head west at the junction of Highway 301 and U.S. 41 across from the new Publix, McDonald’s restaurant and Sarasota Ford.

Just before the Osprey Avenue stop light, and adjacent to the Senior Friendship Center, there is a four leaf clover-shaped mound with brick steps leading to the top of it. This was originally a memorial fountain and reflection pool dedicated to Mable Ringling for her contributions to Sarasota.
The Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation is undertaking a major renovation project to bring this beautiful fountain and reflection pool back to life. We, at Sarasota History Alive! have produced a video explaining this community project and how you can get involved. Please watch the video and find out how you can help.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!


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