By Jane Bartnett
The school year has begun and the kids are back at school. Why not follow their lead and learn something new?
If you’re in the market for learning a new sport or brushing up your skills, look no further than the Sarasota County Department of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources. You’ll discover many parks and recreation facilities as well as upcoming special events and programs. The best news is that so many of these programs are free or low cost. Pickle ball fans should check locations for several indoor locations to beat the September heat. Visit scgov.net/government/parks-recreation-and-natural-resources.
There’s good news for golfers, including veterans and those new to the sport. At the Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club in Palmer Ranch, at 8801 Stoneybrook Blvd., PGA and LPGA instructors are ready to take your golf game to new levels. Open to the public for golf, Stoneybrook offers instruction for players of all levels. Just 10 minutes by car from Siesta Key, the club offers private, group and junior golf programs at the 18-hole championship-quality course. The restaurant is also open to the public for lunch and dinner (closed on Tuesdays). Call (941) 966-2711 or visit stoneybrook.net.
Tennis anyone? Payne Park Tennis Center, located at 2050 Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota and only a five-minute drive from Selby Gardens, is one of the best-kept tennis secrets in town. Run by the city of Sarasota’s Parks and Recreation, tennis players of all levels are welcome here. Staffed and open to the public, the center has 12 Har-Tru courts, group programs and clinics for adults and children, as well as private lessons. A hitting wall, locker room with showers, tournaments, and evening play on lit courts are amenities that tennis fans will appreciate. Reservations are required. Call (941) 263-6640 or visit letsplaysarasota.com.
ACE, the Adult & Community Enrichment program that is part of the Sarasota County School district, offers more than 2,000 non-credit adult classes each year. Classes (in person and online) on the arts, boating, cooking, fishing, gardening, languages and lectures are offered as well as day trips.
Open to any adult 18 years of age or older, ACE has no residency requirements. Registration for the 10-week fall program opens Sept. 1. Classes begin Oct. 4 and run through Dec. 18.
ACE is also looking for instructors. If you’d like to teach and share your expertise, ACE would like to hear from you. Register by phone at (941) 361-6590, in person at the ACE office at Suncoast Technical College’s campus at 4748 Beneva Rd., building 3, or visit ACE online at ace-sarasota.com.
In case you missed the news during the height of COVID-19, in May of last year the Historic Spanish Point in Osprey became a part of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. This fall, watercolor and out-of-door or “en plein” air drawing classes are being offered at both locations for beginner and veteran artists. Class space is limited Visit: selby.org to see the full list of upcoming classes and special events.
As for what’s new beyond the bridges …
Gulf Gate Flowers has opened its doors at 2260 Gulf Gate Drive. The area’s newest floral shop specializes in custom floral, plant and preserved arrangements. Call the store at (941) 402-6165, see its arrangements on Facebook, and visit gulfgateflowers.com.
In other Gulf Gate news, Hoshi Sushi has opened at 6516 Superior Ave. in Tokaj’s former spot. Try the sushi, sashimi, and hibachi Japanese lunch specials, or drop in for a delicious dinner.
Hoshi Sushi hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays.
Phone the restaurant at (941) 923-8888 or visit hoshisushifl.com.
Meanwhile, the popular Kazu’s 2.0 sushi restaurant has closed after its building at 6566 Gateway Ave. was sold. The good news is that, according to its website, the owners are looking for a new location. Check kazus2srq.com for news about a new, limited home delivery.
Fans of the nationally acclaimed Ford’s Garage “burger and beer joint,” as the eatery calls itself, will be glad to learn that the restaurant is now open at Sarasota’s UTC Mall, 295 North Cattleman Road, unit 1, near Dick’s Sporting Goods. Known for its burgers, craft beer, and specialty cocktails set amidst vintage Ford vehicles, gas pumps and fixtures, the very first Ford’s Garage opened in Fort Myers near Henry Ford’s winter home.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Phone (941) 803-3673 or visit fordsgarageusa.com/locations/sarasota.