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Siesta Key lures Darwin Santa Maria

The local chef plans to open a brick-and-mortar version of his CeviChela Project in the Village.

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  • | 10:12 a.m. May 4, 2016
  • Siesta Key
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Less than a year after the Darwin’s on Fourth closed in the Rosemary District, the namesake chef behind the award-winning Peruvian concept has plans for a new restaurant in Siesta Key Village.

Darwin Santa Maria aims to open CeviChela Latin Street Food in the Davidson’s Drugs plaza this month. The brick-and-mortar off-shoot of Santa Maria’s collaboration with former Jdub’s Head Brewer Tom Harris will replace Señor Siesta.

“I was always interested in Siesta Key,” said Santa Maria, who helped make over the menu of the nearby restaurant the Cottage in 2011. “With all the attention Siesta Key is getting, what better place to call home?”

After closing Darwin’s on Fourth and resigning from Darwin Brewing Co. in late 2015, Santa Maria teamed up with Harris to launch a series of pop-up dinners at downtown Sarasota’s Café in the Park this year. The events, presented under the moniker the CeviChela Project, center on ceviche and craft beer.

Santa Maria’s new restaurant at 5110 Ocean Boulevard will have between 40 and 50 seats, as well as a fleet of scooters for delivery on the island. The food will prominently feature Latin-inspired seafood, as well as some meat dishes and quick-service takeout.

“It’s going to be a very, very small, quiet place,” Santa Maria said. “We’ll have fresh ingredients, good quality food and good prices.”


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