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Business Observer

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  • | 4:00 a.m. September 8, 2010
  • Longboat Key
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+ Anna Maria businesses form merchants group
Merchants and business owners of the city of Anna Maria recently formed the North End Merchants Organization (NEMO) to connect the community with its businesses. Currently, 25 out of the city’s 59 existing businesses are members. The group has several events planned and will participate in the Oct. 29 Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Trail of Treats. NEMO members also plan to help raise money for Pier Centennial banners that will be displayed throughout the city.

“I’m excited to connect the businesses with the citizens of Anna Maria for the benefit of both,” said NEMO President Barbara Sato in a prepared statement.

+ Richard Crawford opens Edward Jones branch
Richard Crawford will open an Edward Jones branch in September at 443 John Ringling Blvd., on St. Armands Circle. For Crawford, the opening will be a return to the Circle. He worked for A.G. Edwards’ St. Armands branch from 1990 to 1999 and was active in what was then the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce.

+ The Columbia Restaurant celebrates 1905 Day
In honor of its 105th anniversary, The Columbia Restaurant will celebrate 1905 Day Sunday, Sept. 19, at all seven locations, including its St. Armands Circle restaurant, 411 St. Armands Circle. From noon to 7 p.m., the restaurant will offer certain items priced at what they might have been in “the good old days.”

“1905 Day is our way of thanking all of our customers who have contributed to the success of the Columbia for over 100 years and five generations of ownership,” said Columbia Restaurant Group President Richard Gonzmart in a prepared statement. “We hope that our 1905 Day will give some folks a chance to celebrate with their families and enjoy a wonderful meal with us at the prices of yesteryear.”

+ New martini drink benefits Gulf Coast oil spill victims
A few years ago, the Beach Bistro offered a special martini with a price that fluctuated with the day’s closing price of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Now, Anna Maria Island restaurateur Sean Murphy has again taken a page from the headlines to come up with his latest drink concoction — the BP Martini.
Murphy says he created the drink to both keep the attention on BP and to raise money for the oil spill victims. All proceeds from the sale of the drink will be donated to the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.

The drink is topped off with coffee beans meant to symbolize the spill’s tar balls — none of which reached the shores of Florida’s Gulf Coast.


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