What’s New Beyond the Bridges: March

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By Jane Bartnett

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

As this column’s resident leprechaun, I’m here to share the news about festivities and places to go to celebrate all things Irish. To make up for lost time during the past two years, why not make it a month-long celebration?

Sarasotans enjoy all things Irish and we’ve compiled a list of places to go and things to do that will make you want to do a jig.

On Saturday, March 12, bring the whole family and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Lakewood Ranch Irish Celtic Festival in Greenbrook Adventure Park. The fun begins at 11 a.m. and finishes at 4 p.m. Enjoy live music, food, face painting and fun. Admission is $5 for Lakewood Ranch residents and $15 per person for non-residents. Visit mylwr.com or call (941) 727-1505 for more details.


Sarasota’s Irish pubs will also celebrate the big day. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a pint of Guinness and hear live Irish music, be sure to check out these fine local Irish establishments: Pub 32 Irish Gastropub at 8383 S. Tamiami Trail, Molly Malone’s Irish Pub at 6586 Gateway Ave. in Gulf Gate, Irish 31 at 3750 N. Tamiami Trail, the Shamrock Pub at 2257 Ringling Blvd., Lynches Pub and Grub at 19 North Boulevard of Presidents on St. Armand’s Circle, and Patrick’s 1481 in downtown Sarasota at 1481 Main St.


Sarasota’s international restaurant scene continues to inspire awe and wonder. As the new year unfolds, we bring you news of some truly international cuisines that are worth exploring.

The Paramo Cafe & Restaurant, a Venezuelan restaurant found at 3700 Lockwood Ridge Rd., opened in the summer of 2021. Its reviews have been consistently excellent.  Customer favorites include: empanadas, steak pepitos, arroz con pollo, arepa de pabellon, as well as other homemade Venezuelan dishes and desserts.

Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, diners enjoy indoor and outdoor dining and live music. South American artwork graces the walls of the welcoming rustic style eatery named for the scenic Paramo mountain located in the northern Andes mountain range of western Venezuela. See the menu at mnu.scanour.menu or call (941) 538-6930.

Meanwhile, the intriguing cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos are on center stage at Stiks.

Formerly known as Taste of Asia, the popular eatery that has been a part of the Sarasota dining scene for more than 15 years not only has a new name but it has a new look that is bright and airy and a new menu that features vegan and gluten-free offerings. There are also tempting new beverages to try. Order online for takeout or drop in. Visit Facebook.com/stiksfood or call (941) 923-2742. The location is 4413 S. Tamiami Trail.

And, fans of Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar have something for which to look forward. The word is out. This summer, the Florida-based chain that celebrates the flavors of Mexico will open a new 4,000-square-foot location in the University Town Center Mall at 243 N. Cattleman Rd. The UTC location will mark the ninth Florida location for the celebrated dining spot that offers 200 varieties of tequila. Visit Roccostacos.com.


On Sunday, March 6, don’t miss your last chance to buy your annual stash of Girl Scout cookies. They won’t go on sale again until next year. The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida will be selling 12 different varieties of the ever-popular Thin Mints, Samoas, shortbread Trefoils and other delectable cookies. There are four vegan varieties to choose from as well as two that are gluten free and all Girl Scout cookies are kosher.

Find Girl Scout cookies at these locations:  Publix, 6543 S. Tamiami Trail on Wednesday, March 2 through Sunday, March 6; Publix at 3690 Bee Ridge Rd., Tuesday, March 1 through Sunday, March 6; Winn-Dixie at 5400 Fruitville Rd., Thursday, March 3 through Sunday, March 6; and Hooters Restaurant at 6507 S.  Tamiami Trail, on Sunday, March 6.

Visit girlscouts.org and search by ZIP Code for exact sales times. Every package sold benefits the Girl Scouts and helps to fund local troops.


If you’re in the market for some new casual clothes, St. Armand’s Circle recently welcomed a brand-new Salt Life store at 16 South Boulevard of the Presidents. The popular brand is known for its men’s and women’s clothing that’s just right for the beach, surfing, fishing, diving and just plain relaxing. The brand has Florida roots, tracing its founding back to 2003 when four avid watermen from Jacksonville Beach opened the first Salt Life store. Visit Saltlike.com or call (941) 867-4031.


Tiger Woods’ much-anticipated Pop Stroke dining and golf center will open this month at 195 University Town Center Drive. As we reported earlier, it will feature two mini-golf courses, a full-service restaurant, a rooftop bar, an outdoor gaming area, a playground, and private event space. No reservations required.

Visit popstoroke.com/sarasota for more details on pricing, the menu, and the date for opening day. Or call (941) 500-9495.

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Jane Bartnett
Author: Jane Bartnett

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