Cooper Levey-Baker has written about food, politics, civic issues, the arts, and music in Southwest Florida for 15 years. His work has won multiple awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Florida Society of Professional Journalists, as well as an honorable mention from the Julia Child Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @LeveyBaker.

By George

Georgie's Garden Café and Bar George Brighten Up the Daytime Dining Scene

Georgie's and Bar George are located near the University Town Center mall. They’re both owned by George Wood, a Naples restaurateur.

05/05/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

The Path Forward

Photographer Carlton Ward Jr. Is Using His Lens to Help Save Wild Florida

The story of the Florida panther is one of near extinction, followed by a dramatic rebound and a shaky status quo.

05/05/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Stuff We Like

Ron del Barrilito Is Now Easy to Find in Sarasota, and I'm Very Grateful

The Puerto Rican rum has been a cult favorite for decades.

03/28/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

War in Ukraine

A Bradenton Photographer Traveled to Poland to Document the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

Mestel's images were captured near the Poland-Ukraine border, where millions of refugees have crossed since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

03/21/2022 Photography by Allan Mestel By Cooper Levey-Baker

Halfway there

Filmmaker Launches Kickstarter to Complete Marcella Hazan Documentary

The filmmaker hopes to raise $40,000 to complete his film about the legendary cookbook author.

03/18/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Neighborhood Guide

The Best Restaurants on Siesta Key

Siesta Key is home to one of the world's most famous beaches—plus plenty of great restaurants and places to party.

03/17/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

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Spice Boys Restaurant Will Open Later This Year

The team behind the beloved food truck is opening a restaurant in The Landings.

03/11/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Restaurant Review

At Stiks, Familiar Asian Flavors Are Reinvented in a Grab-and-Go Format

Fast, approachable and tasty, Stiks is the exciting restaurant reinvention we didn’t know we needed.

03/03/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Catch of the Day

Eleven Types of Fish You'll Find in Local Waters

What to catch and how to cook it.

03/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Consider the Moose

The Bradenton Beach Moose Lodge Is the Largest in the World

It boasts 14,500 dues-paying members. The next largest claims 8,000.

03/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Bound Together

The Hidden Treasures of Community Cookbooks

Dig into the archives of a nearby library, and you’ll find dozens of examples in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

03/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

In the Mood for Love

Make Your Valentine's Day Reservations at One of These Romantic Restaurants

Book a date night at one of these spots, pronto.

02/01/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Coming Attraction

Ruth's Chris Steak House Is Coming to Lakewood Ranch

The chain will join a shopping center that will also be home to a new Owen's Fish Camp and a new Italian restaurant.

01/21/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Keep it Unreal

Publix Is Carrying a New Line of Plant-Based Deli 'Meats' From a South Florida Native

Unreal Deli products mimic slices of corned beef, steak and roasted turkey.

01/14/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

In the Driver's Seat

Sarasota Food Truck Hires New Chef

Lisa Shields recently took the wheel at Hamlet's Eatery, which sets up at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime.

01/10/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Politics

Panel Discusses 'Who Owns Florida's Beaches?'

Inspired by an award-winning Sarasota Magazine story, a Sarasota Tiger Bay Club panel on Thursday discussed the complex legalities of where the public beach ends and where private ownership begins.

01/06/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Tuesday Taco News

New Mexican Restaurant Coming to University Town Center Area

Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar will open this summer.

01/04/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Smoke Shop

SRQ Cured Is Bringing Smoked Fish and Meat to a Store Near You

The smoked fish and charcuterie business's products can be found in markets and restaurants around town.

01/04/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Restaurant Review

The Château Livens Up an Anna Maria Island Resort

Owned by Buddy Foy Jr., and his wife, Jennifer, it’s an adaptation of a similar restaurant named The Château on the Lake in upstate New York.

01/04/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Unity Awards

With Rise & Nye's, Beaver Shriver Created a Workplace of Dignity for People With Developmental Disabilities

“It’s a human rights movement disguised as a coffee and ice cream shop."

01/04/2022 By Cooper Levey-Baker