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East County Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022 1 month ago

How to spend a day in Lakewood Ranch's Waterside Place

The new 36-acre lakefront town center in east Sarasota County offers plenty to explore, discover — and taste.
by: Su Byron Contributor

It’s been a long time coming — and it’s finally happening. Waterside Place has opened its doors to the world, and there’s more to come in the next few months. We spent a day there in mid-summer wandering the streets of this sparkling enclave on the water’s edge of Kingfisher Lake.


Bird Ryan and store manager Nicolette Henderson at Crop. (Courtesy photo)
7 a.m.: Rocket fuel

Running on fumes? Pop into Crop for a shot of raw, cold-pressed juice. Achieve lift-off with Crop’s “Blast Off” juice. Boasting 12 cups of leafy greens, it’s the human equivalent of rocket fuel with the Tokyo Bekana cabbage packing a superpower punch. This variety was grown on the International Space Station. “Putting a salad on Mars” was their ultimate goal. Here on the Earth, it’ll give you a jumpstart to your day.


8 a.m.: A workout that doesn’t wear you out

Now that all systems are go, head to 3 Form Fitness for a power workout. Lakewood Ranch resident and owner Michael Demarski (or one his three trainers) will get your blood pumping. His individualized approach starts with a reality assessment, and then he creates achievable goals. The vision behind it? After 15 years in the corporate fitness world, Demarski says he “created a model where people could achieve realistic goals and have fun doing it.” Works for us!


10:15 a.m.: Java. No jive.

A strong cup of java at O&A (aka Out and About Coffee) satisfies the soul. Owner Justin Banister puts his soul into his aromatic selection of beans that change with the seasons. That specific selection is possible thanks to Banister’s first-name relationships with fair trade coffee growers around the world. O&A’s ever-evolving menu is also packed with house-made breakfast treats. You can’t go wrong with a hearty breakfast burrito power packed with eggs, roasted red peppers, caramelized onion, bacon and cheese.


Bethany Woughter celebrates color at Paint Nail Bar. (Courtesy photo)
11:15 a.m.: Paint it pink

You’re well fed and feeling good. Now, it’s time to start looking good. Paint Nail Bar is the place for an Uptown Girl (or Guy) mani-pedi. This treatment starts with an exfoliating sugar scrub applied to hands, arms, feet and legs and culminates with a blissful hot towel and massage. Ahh, the Waterside life.


Grab a brew and sit on the expansive patio overlooking the water at Good Liquid Brewing Co. (Courtesy photo)
12:30 p.m.: Good + Liquid = Lunch

Time to head to Good Liquid Brewing Co. The good folks here brew their own beers and conveniently sort the 20-plus taps into categories even beer newbies can understand (“I Just Want Something Light,” “I Only Drink Dark Beers,” “Do You Have Anything Hoppy?”). For a delightfully refreshing encounter, try the Waterside Blonde Ale — it’s light in calories, low in alcohol and big on taste. Want to pair it with something similarly light? The tempura cauliflower and smoked salmon toast are the perfect complement.


Services at Bay Area Aesthetics include skin care, injectables and rejuvenation. (Courtesy photo)
2 p.m.: Get refreshed!

You could easily spend the day at Bay Area Aesthetics. Owner Amy M. Lauvray Hurlebaus or one her staff will greet you with warm smiles and go over your pampering for the day, which might include infrared sauna therapy. If you love the benefits of a traditional sauna but don’t want to sweat the heat, this treatment warms and deeply relaxes your body with wavelengths of LED light. Benefits include reducing inflammation and stiffness by increasing circulation. Who knew heat could be so cool?


A tray of caramel apples stands ready to entice customers at Kilwins. (File photo)
4:30 p.m.: Don’t begrudge the fudge

Just tell yourself you’re going to Kilwins to buy a box of truffles for your friend’s birthday. Could you possibly resist one tiny piece of Mackinac Island fudge or a small cup of cappuccino chocolate chip ice cream? We think not.


Jump start your evening with a feast at Korê Steakhouse, which features authentic Korean dishes. (Courtesy photo)
6 p.m.: Bibimbap, kimchi and bulgogi mandoo (oh my!)

Meet a friend (or two) and kick off the evening with a special feast at Korê Steakhouse, featuring authentic Korean dishes. Start with the Waterside cocktail, a concoction of Hangar 1 lime vodka, yuzu, simple syrup and calpico. Share a plate of Yukhoe (beef tartare with truffle oil and caviar) and bulgogi mandoo (steamed dumplings filled with marinated beef, vegetables and glass noodles). Our happy place is anywhere with bibimbap and you gotta try it here, made perfectly with steamed rice, vegetables and beef and served in a hot stone bowl. So good.


A variety of evening markets are held weekly at Waterside Place. (Courtesy photo)
8 p.m.: Starlit swinging

As October approaches, Waterside’s expansive green spaces will be hopping with evening events. Fun under the stars includes Ranch Nite Wednesdays, with food trucks, live music, and a night market (starting on Oct. 5); family movie nights (through September); and live music every Friday and Saturday night. In the meantime? End your evening gently swinging under the starlit sky in one of the heavenly hammocks at the marina.



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