Sarasota-Manatee Originals' "Set the Bar"
Head to the bar at downtown Sarasota's Aloft for the first-ever Set the Bar Cocktail Competition (and celebrate #NationalVodkaDay while you're at it). An admission price of $27.37 gets you samples of 10 handcrafted libations from local bartenders, and bites from a selection of Originals restaurants. After the event, show your wristband and enjoy 20 percent off at Aloft's WXYZ bar. Proceeds from the event benefit Tour de Cure.
Retrobaked's Fourth Anniversary "Retropalooza"
Retrobaked is celebrating its fourth anniversary during this month's Village of the Arts Artwalk. On the menu: classic favorites (think cupcakes, cookie sandwiches and brownies) and new cupcake flavors like Nutter Butter and oatmeal creme pie. Ray's Vegan Soul also will be serving up vegan Southern comfort food, like pumpkin chili and mac 'n' cheese. Other Village of the Arts galleries, restaurants and breweries will be open, as well.
Senior Siesta Grand Opening
This Friday, join Senior Siesta for its grand opening event on Siesta Key at 6 p.m, featuring Latin-Asian fusion cuisine and the Siesta Sushi Burger. There will be live music, free giveaways and a free tasting of Senior Siesta's menu, plus $3 craft brews and house wine.
MBG Third Annual Oktoberfest
Mandeville Beer Garden will host its annual Oktoberfest this Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 a.m. The restaurant will feature 11 German beers on tap, and while supplies last, when you buy a stein you can take it home with you. Those who come dressed in dirndl or lederhosen will receive a free soft pretzel.
Beer, Bands and BBQ Festival
On Saturday, the Music Compound will host its third annual Beer, Bands, and BBQ festival from 12-7 p.m. Top local bands will take the stage for 45-minute sets while attendees sample craft and domestic beers and enjoy all kinds of barbecue, from traditional to bites like barbecue chicken pizza. General admission is $10 if you buy tickets early here; $15 if you buy them at the gate.
18th Annual Firehouse Chili Cook-Off
This weekend, the Sarasota Firemen's Benevolent Fund will host its annual Morton's Firehouse Chili Cook-Off from 2-5 p.m at Morton's Gourmet Market in Sarasota. Fifteen of Sarasota's firehouses will compete against each other for the title of "Best Fire House Chili in Sarasota" and Best Booth. Admission is free; $10 to sample all the chilis. Proceeds go to the Sarasota Firefighter's Fund.
Taste of UTC
This October, The Mall at UTC will host its third annual “Taste of UTC.” All month, Brio Tuscan Grille, Kona Grill, Seasons 52, The Burger & Beer Joint and Sophie’s will offer three-course lunches for $15 and dinners for $29, while The Capital Grille offers lunch specials starting at $20 and a three-course dinner for $49.
Eat Like a Local Week
Presented by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, Eat Like a Local Week features local restaurants in Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, Longboat Key, Sarasota, Siesta Key and Venice. Fifty local restaurants will be featuring specially priced breakfast, lunch and dinner prix fixe menu selections, with some lunches starting as low as $9, through Oct. 15.