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Clever that they opened a much needed coffee shop in Gulf Gate. Clever that the mugs that hold the coffees and lattés are so enormous that you can wrap your hands around them as you sip different brews or hot chocolate. Clever that the shop is offering “pie-latté” nights on Fridays that feature local musicians.

Yup, I would say the name of this new coffee shop—The Clever Cup—fits the concept perfectly.

Just a few doors up from Piccolo Italian Market, Gulf Gate welcomes this sweet little rustic coffee shop. It reminds me of coffee shops in the West Village, New York or Cambridge. The back coffee bar is similar to your own kitchen counter with displays of muffins, cookies and, yes, those delicious pies from Sift Bakehouse, another adorable downtown shop. You can even bring your own bottle of wine or beer for a modest corkage fee.

Clever Cup's layout includes cabinets with local artisan jewelry and couches to gather with friends. This is exactly what the area needed and, even more so, a place to go after dinner when you just don’t want a cocktail or beer. Aside from coffee, there are teas and squeezed-to-order orange juice.

The Clever Cup is located at 6530 Gateway Ave., Sarasota. It was co-founded by local entrepreneurs Edgar de la O and Tracy de Chevron Villette, and serves local fair trade organic coffee.

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