What’s New Beyond the Bridges: January

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By Jane Bartnett

It’s a brand-new year. There’s a lot to look forward to in 2022 as Sarasota continues to grow and flourish.

 In March, Tiger Woods’ PopStroke, the new 36-hole golf and casual dining complex, is expected to open on the grounds of Sarasota’s University Town Center, at 100 University Town Center Drive.

When completed, two 18-hole putting courses designed by Tiger Woods and TGR Design will face a 10,934-square-foot, two-story building that will hold an open-air restaurant with multiple open decks, covered dining areas, bars and retail space.

Designed with synthetic turfs, incorporating fairways, bunkers and roughs found on traditional golf courses, the courses are meant to provide a multitude of options for players of all abilities. A family-friendly covered playground and beer garden will round out PopStroke’s offerings. According to the PopStroke website, the name PopStroke pays tribute to Tiger Woods father. “Some of my happiest memories are spending time with my pops on the golf course having putting contests. I’m looking forward to others enjoying time with their kids at PopStroke,” Woods is quoted as saying.

The new Sarasota PopStroke will join two existing Florida locations in Fort Myers and Port St. Lucie. In the near future, Orlando, Tampa and Delray will open. PopStroke courses are also planned for Scottsdale and Glendale, Arizona, as well as Houston/Katy, Texas. Each location will feature a different course design and layout.

 There’s more exciting news around town on the local restaurant front. The popular Mattison’s Forty-One, on South Tamiami Trail, is welcoming diners again after having closed for several months for a large renovation that included an extensive brightening up of the interior and the addition of more “al fresco,” outdoor dining space.

Diners will find new menus for lunch, dinner and the bar. Call (941) 921-3400 or visit mattisons.com.

Heading north, the long-awaited Vampire Penguin shop at 4976 South Tamiami Tr., in the busy Landings Shopping Center, has opened. Inside you’ll find truly delectable and refreshing shaved ice desserts. It’s the perfect place to drop in after enjoying a meal at Vampire Penguin’s neighboring restaurants — the Corkscrew Deli or Appollonia Grill.

Vampire Penguin is open on Sunday and Monday from noon to 8 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. Visit them on Facebook at Vampire Penguin SRQ, or call (941) 923-8155.

 If you happen to be a member of AAA/CAA and you’re planning a trip to some exotic land, the continental U.S., Canada, or a beautiful location in our own sunshine state, visit the new AAA offices in the Pelican Plaza shopping center at 8220 South Tamiami Tr. The professional travel staff is there to assist you. AAA hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Call (941) 929-2299 or visit autoclubsouth.aaa.com

 Interested in expanding your knowledge of world affairs or brushing up on your music knowledge this winter? This month, Sarasota Institute for Lifetime Learnings begins its 12-week Global Issues 2022 subscription series.

Running through March, the series includes 72 lectures by leading international affairs experts representing the diplomatic community, the military, journalism and academia. Topics will include China, Russia, Iran, the Middle East, the European Union, as well as domestic issues.

Lectures will be in-person and on-line, through video on demand. Lecture locations are slated for downtown Sarasota, Venice, and Lakewood Ranch. Taped video of the week’s lectures will be shown in Longboat Key.

The Music Mondays 2022: Musical Conversations with Great Performers series will take place in Sarasota and Venice. Video recordings of the Music Mondays lectures will be shown in Lakewood Ranch. 

For tickets, times, locations and additional information on the series, visit sillsarasota.org.

Is finding a furry new friend one of your new year’s resolutions? If so, you may find that special fluffy someone at the Humane Society of Sarasota County.

Recognized as the Sarasota region’s premier no-kill shelter, the Humane Society opened its brand-new 38,000-square-foot shelter in late September.

The bright and cheerful facility allows the organization to house and help many more animals awaiting their forever homes. 

A private nonprofit organization, the group received the 2021 Best of SRQ Local award.

Located in downtown Sarasota at 2331 15th St., its hours are: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Call (941) 955-4131 or visit hssc.org

 Happy New Year!

Jane Bartnett
Author: Jane Bartnett

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