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Coffee, workspaces, good lighting, music and books: The Reserve has it all.

This new coffee shop and bookstore on the North Trail in Sarasota is made up of three buildings, all of which overlook a plant-filled courtyard with plenty of outdoor seating. The buildings were owned by Charles Ringling before he built his bayfront mansion, and date back to 1933.

But The Reserve has updated the location to add new elements to the typical coffee experience. Jessica Simmons and Kim Cressell own the business, along with Bethany Simmons, who manages it. The coffeehouse serves speciality coffee by Buddy Brew, with drinks made in-house by baristas and served alongside other options, like tea, soda, beer and wine. In the spring, The Reserve will also have a market with products such as jams, jellies, eggs, baked treats, and artisanal goods and gifts from owners' family farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. For now, hardback and paperback copies of The New York Times 2016-17 best sellers are available to purchase and read, and various parts of the building can be rented out for conferences or other events. 

Kim, an executive business consultant, writer and ghostwriter, and Jessica, a real estate developer and human resource and consultant, are transplants from New York City who have lived on North Trail for years. Bethany, a philanthropist who's Jessica’s sister, is also a longtime resident of Sarasota and New York. All three are proud to be a part of the revitalization of Sarasota’s North Trail.

“We are taking the old and remaking it,” Bethany explains.

The Reserve's ambiance is relaxed and casual. The exposed brick walls and wood floors shows the space's age and patina. Shawn O’Malley, of Heart’s Arts, has created custom furniture from reclaimed wood. The owners want the coffeehouse to be a community space. They hope to utilize and involve local people and resources, and they've hired students from the surrounding schools, such as New College and Ringling College of Art and Design, to serve as baristas, book sellers and content creators.

The menu ranges from house coffee, espresso, lattes and macchiatos ranging from $2 to $5. They also will feature bake goods from Sarasota shops such as C'est La Vie.

“There are a lot of students and a faculty who come in here,” says Zaria Tappen, a barista, bartender and event coordinator. “Business is building up.”

“The space has many uses and is advancing all the time,” Kim says. “Our market and tasting room are also evolving, and we encourage people to check back frequently, as we change it up from week to week and month to month.”

The Reserve has already hosted wine tastings and gatherings, and it plans to continue.

“Soon, we’ll be adding more events, such as performances, open mics, creative reading and writing sessions, book clubs and much more,” Kim says. “We want people to see The Reserve as their place. We are excited to see how it will grow and develop further through the input of our wonderful customers and our creative, talented staff."

The Reserve is located at 1322 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call (941) 400-8396 or visit www.thereservesrq.com

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