A sleek new bar has opened in the historic Burns Court neighborhood. With its exposed brick walls, comfy seating and crowds of young people, one might expect cocktails, but Summer Tap is taking a healthier approach, with fresh-squeezed tropical juices and smoothies.
The shop is open until 7 p.m. every day, and owner Galina Naguibine aims to provide a fun environment for people of all ages, including Sarasota youth. She says there's not much for people under 21 to do in the downtown area, and by keeping her shop open later, she's providing a space where they can hang out, do homework and stay healthy. "We're thinking about staying open until 9 p.m. on the weekends," she says.
"The idea of staying healthy and offering healthy products inspires me," says Naguibine. "When my husband and I visited the Dominican Republic, we went to a juice bar where they blend the juice on the spot. It was so refreshing." She decided to open her own place to recreate the flavors she enjoyed while traveling, and since opening Summer Tap in April, the shop has stayed busy.
Summer Tap offers more than just juice, like vegetable- and fruit-topped toasts, açai bowls, and an extensive tea list. "Our tea collection is from all around the world," says Naguibine. "They are all organic, with no additives."
Everything at Summer Tap is made to order, with an open counter where visitors can watch their food and drinks being prepared. "Making it right in front of you is such a great idea," says Naguibine. "It's interactive and you know exactly what is going in."
Naguibine and her family have lived in Sarasota for more than 20 years. She gushes about how the community has grown in that time and how she can never see herself living anywhere else. However, she does concede that the summers are hot, and that few things provide a better cool-off than a drink composed of just ice and fruit.
I agree, and order both a juice and a smoothie. The seasonal starfruit juice is bursting with flavor; the starfruit is rounded out by a bass note of pear. It isn't too acidic, but is bright and refreshing.
The "tropical paradise" smoothie, meanwhile, contains several tropical fruits, but passionfruit (my favorite) is the star. This is the one I'm going to hold onto and sip during my humid walk around the neighborhood. It may be a hot June day, but I'm unbothered, lost in my daydreams of a cool beach breeze.
Summer Tap is located at 411 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. The are open from 7 am-7 pm seven days a week. For more information call (941) 993-1449 or visit their Instagram.