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Sarasota Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 4 years ago

Tampa-based Boca Kitchen plans Sarasota location

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The farm-to-table focused restaurant and market aims to open on Lemon Street in downtown Sarasota.
by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Following recent news about St. Petersburg-based Cask & Ale coming to Main Street, downtown Sarasota has attracted another popular Tampa Bay brand.

Boca Kitchen Bar & Market, a farm-to-table focused restaurant and retailer, is planning a 2,500-square-foot eatery on North Lemon Avenue next to Brooks Brothers, according to a development application filed with the city Friday. The location would take advantage of unused space with a new canopy and storefront windows across the street from the historic Gator Club building.

"Lots of Sarasota residents come to the Tampa location and have asked us to bring Boca Kitchen Bar & Market down to Sarasota,” said Lydia Lopez, director of sales and marketing at Be-1 Concepts, which owns Boca. "We love Sarasota and Boca fits in well with the art community and health conscious-trending audience.”

Boca Kitchen Bar & Market opened in the hip Hyde Park area of Tampa in 2012.

Be-1 Concepts has Boca brands in the Hyde Park area of Tampa, as well Riverview and Winter Park, with an additional restaurant coming to St. Petersburg.

“This location will have a similar vibe to our other three locations with a rustic-modern design in an easy communal setting,” Lopez said. "The Sarasota location will also have a market carrying local provisions, fresh produce and homemade items such as jams, mustards and dressings.”

The restaurant hired 120 employees to staff its Riverview location, according to a November press release.

Boca chose the future storefront just off of Main Street in the middle of a transformation just south of the intersection with Lemon Avenue, including the recent completion of the six-story State Street Garage and the $260,000 sale of public land near Pineapple Park slated to become a restaurant.

And development firm Kolter plans to begin work on “The Mark,” as it will be called, by the end of March, said Bobby Julien, Kolter’s CEO in a recent interview with the Business Observer.

The project, which will be built at Lemon Avenue and State Street, is billed to contain 157 condominium units, 35,000 square feet of retail space and 15,000 square feet of offices.

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