Cooper Levey-Baker has written about food, politics, civic issues, the arts, and music in Southwest Florida for a decade. His work has won an honorable mention from the Julia Child Foundation and a Bronze Award for Best In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Magazine Association, and he was named a finalist for Best Public Service Reporting by the Florida Society of Professional Journalists. His fiction earned him a John Ringling Fund Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council of Sarasota County and his rendition of "Drunk in Love" has left karaoke audiences throughout the region bewildered.

Cheers!

How Sanitary Are Those Communal Bar Snacks?

We scooped up some nuts from a bowl at a local happy hour and had them analyzed. Here are the results.

11/01/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Cheers!

10 Cocktails to Drink Right Now

Consider this the happy hour hot list.

11/01/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker and Megan McDonald

Cheers!

The Best Happy Hours in Sarasota

A dozen hotspots where the drinks, food and deals will elevate your late-afternoon attitude.

10/31/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker and Megan McDonald

Masterpiece Theater

From a Fashion Empire to a Cherry Pie, Eugene Stutzman Lives to Create

Sarasota's Eugene Stutzman was the founder of a fashion company that dressed Whitney Houston, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda and many more.

10/30/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Second Coming

Wicked Cantina Opens on the North Trail Next Week

Mike and Janice Dolan are bringing their hit Bradenton Beach spot to Sarasota.

10/30/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Made in SRQ

Made in SRQ: Chris-Craft's Catalina 30

Sarasota is a natural place to boat and make boats.

10/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Top of the Shops

Four Cool Things About Sarasota's New Lucky's Market

A grocery store with beer on tap? Why yes, I would enjoy that, thanks.

10/13/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Top of the Shops

Four Cool Things About Sarasota's New Lucky's Market

A grocery store with beer on tap? Why yes, I would enjoy that, thanks.

10/10/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Tourism

How Local Travel Agents Stay Relevant in the Era of Online Everything

Ryan and Malaka Hilton say travel agents offer plenty of advantages.

10/06/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Entertainment

Siesta Key Reality TV Show Extended

MTV is shooting an additional eight episodes of the reality show Siesta Key, set in and around Sarasota.

10/03/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Hut check

10 Bucks or Less: Tacos - To Go

A newish Bee Ridge taco shack gets it right.

10/03/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Honk!

Five Migraine Inducing Intersections—and What to Do About Them

We've identified the region's most horrific traffic hot spots.

09/28/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Made in SRQ

Meet the Makers of Kombucha 221 BC

An ancient tea is made right here at home.

09/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Charting the Charters

Essential Info About Sarasota County's 11 Charter Schools

Educate yourself about Sarasota County’s 11 charter schools.

09/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Quiet Victory

A Small Mennonite Congregation Breaks LGBT Barriers

Eight years ago, Sarasota's Covenant Mennonite Fellowship was threatened with excommunication for having a gay pastor.

09/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Hurricane Babies

What it Was Like to Work the Mother-Baby Unit During the Hurricane

While Hurricane Irma raged outside, more than 20 women were giving birth at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

09/15/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

The Criminal Justice System

Road to Redemption

Formerly incarcerated residents struggle to rebuild their lives and overcome the stigma of serving time.

08/28/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Rock the Vote

How Safe is Your Vote?

Sarasota elections supervisor Ron Turner weighs in.

08/25/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

A View to a Chill

The Star of the New Westin Rooftop Bar? That View

Over the course of a couple hours, I must have uttered some variation of "Holy moly," "Wow" and "Golly" 12 dozen times.

08/09/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Shark Tank

Real Life Controversy Dogs MTV's Siesta Key

Just days before the show premiered, social media sleuths connected star Alex Kompothecras to a viral video that showed four young men, two from prominent Manatee County families, gleefully dragging a shark behind their boat at high speed until it died.

08/02/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker