Have you noticed all the construction going on in downtown Sarasota? There are some big changes coming in 2015 that could bring a lot more vibrancy and tourism to our little city by the bay. If you had dismissed all the work as just more condos going up, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
The biggest change coming in 2015 is undoubtedly the opening of five new hotels right in the middle of downtown SRQ. Hotels mean more visitors, both tourists and business travelers, who will find themselves a short walk from all our downtown restaurants, pubs, movie theaters, playhouses, and other businesses. Below are two of the most noteworthy hotels, as they will specifically market Sarasota as a walkable, modern city.
Aloft Sarasota – Aloft's branding is all about design and technology, and Aloft hotels cater to the younger, tech-savvy traveler. Construction is underway at the corner of North Palm and Ringling, with the hotel slated to open in August 2015.
Hotel Sarasota – Also on Palm at the intersection of Cocoanut, another hotel is going up with a forward-thinking outlook. Hotel Sarasota will be unique in design and cater to sports tourists and travelers who appreciate the more urban setting that downtown offers.
Restaurants and Bars
With an influx of younger visitors on the way, it's a no-brainer that downtown Sarasota will have to step up its game in terms of nightlife. Much to the delight of local young professionals and students, this process is well underway.
Taco Bus – The opening of a Sarasota branch of the Tampa Bay-area Mexican restaurant chain is creating the biggest buzz among locals. Beyond fresh Mexican fare and its fun, bus-themed restaurant design, Taco Bus also offers healthy vegetarian and vegan options. But what has got a lot of people extremely excited is that the Sarasota Taco Bus will be open 24 hours, solving one of the biggest nightlife problems in SRQ: finding a late-night bite after hanging out downtown.
Evie's – The popular nightspot is moving to 554 Main St, right alongside the new Taco Bus. But as a fun twist, the new Evie's will feature a two-lane bowling alley!
Office Bar SRQ - Rumored to take over the former Evie's location on Ringling, Office Bar SRQ would be an ideal after-show hangout for folks attending performances at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre.
World of Beer – The craft beer chain is opening up a new location right across from Ker's Wing House Bar and Grill on Main Street. The popularity of World of Beer is certain to bring a lot of life to the area.
Paddy Wagon – With eight locations in Southwest Florida, the Irish pub chain is now opening a downtown Sarasota spot. With a location off of Clark Road and another in Bradenton, downtown SRQ was the next logical step for the popular hangout.
Sarasota is considered the Cultural Coast for a good reason. Few places have as many museums, art galleries, playhouses, and theatres packed into such a small area. But with new hotels and influx of tourism on the way, now there's certainly room for more -- especially if those tourists are coming for those more cultural venues.
Urbanite Theatre – Opening soon between Whole Foods and Fruitville, the Urbanite Theatre represents something different from other Sarasota playhouses. A smaller, "black box" venue, the Urbanite will focus on more contemporary plays and strive for a more relaxed atmosphere –- something much more appealing to students and young professionals looking for entertainment with a little edge.
2015 is looking to be a very exciting year of change for downtown Sarasota. Not only will we have a variety of unique places for visitors to stay, but a more contemporary and well-rounded entertainment scene for both tourists and locals alike. Are you excited for a new downtown SRQ?
Click here to explore real estate listings in downtown Sarasota. Julian is a happy Sarasota resident and your go-to guy for information about the perks of living in paradise. For more, get in touch with Julian directly via the Sarasota Property Finders Contact Page.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist