Color me excited. Boca Kitchen Bar Market, a small Tampa-based chain, is planning to open a fourth location this summer in downtown Sarasota on Lemon Avenue, just south of Main Street. According to Lydia Lopez, the restaurant's director of sales and marketing, the restaurant will take up 3,300 square feet, with 125 seats and a mezzanine.
Boca has so far opened in Tampa, Winter Park and Brandon, with a St. Pete spot also in the works. Boca’s other locations serve a globe-trotting mix of meats and seafood, but what really sets them apart is their avowed commitment to working with Florida farmers, ranchers and fishermen.
Sarasota’s ready for it. Every year, Transition Sarasota, a nonprofit that supports local agriculture, publishes an interactive guide to local food growers and producers. The group identified 98 such businesses and organizations in 2011. That number has already shot up to more than 254. Such dramatic growth shows that we’ve got entrepreneurs eager to sell local food and diners eager to search it out.
Lopez says the restaurant can confirm it will work with local producers like Myakka Farms and Dakin Fairy Farms. "We are in the process of partnering with more Sarasota farms, growers and fishermen," she writes in an email. "We will release the names at a later date."
We can't wait.
Boca Kitchen Bar Market will be located at 19 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota.