The building at 1355 Boulevard of the Arts, in Sarasota's Rosemary District, has seen some changes in recent months. The white exterior walls have been decorated with drawings of plants and flowers, the inside is in the middle of a remodel, and a new sign has gone up. That sign is advertising the building as the future home of Cafe Arts, which promises coffee, beer, wine and "bites."
Cafe Arts owner John Schopfer says he wants to appeal to residents who live in the many condo and apartment buildings that have popped up in the Rosemary District in recent years. Plans call for the café to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. People can grab their morning coffee and a small breakfast item there, meet up for lunch for sandwiches or empanadas, or visit the café after work or before going out somewhere else.
"To me, a café is a place you go to to rest and relax and recoup, have that espresso and a bite to eat, chill or meet a friend, or just read a book," says Schopfer.
Schopfer spent his career in the hotel and resort development business. "I managed food and beverage operations from a corporate level, but not as a direct operator," he says. "This is going to be a family affair." Two sons who live in Sarasota, as well as Schopfer's wife, will also be involved with the café.
The building sits on a corner, and has room for patio tables outside. Renovations are currently underway. Schopfer says he hopes to open the café by the end of June, but that's subject to change.
He says the signs have attracted a lot of attention from neighbors. People who live nearby are eager for Cafe Arts to open. He's eager, too.
"We love the neighborhood," he says. "We're just anxious to be here."
Cafe Arts will be located at 1355 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota.