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WHAT’S HAPPENING: Darwin's on Siesta and affordable housing backlash

Darwin Santa Maria has found a new home in Siesta Key Village, and our Facebook followers responded to the fallout from Monday’s City Commission meeting.

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  • | 5:58 a.m. May 5, 2016
Darwin Santa Maria plans to open a brick-and-mortar version of his CeviChela Project in the Village.
Darwin Santa Maria plans to open a brick-and-mortar version of his CeviChela Project in the Village.
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Siesta Village lures Darwin Santa Maria

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.”

What’s the buzz?

As the City Commission debated whether to require annual inspections for his proposed affordable housing complex, Harvey Vengroff walked out of the hearing, proclaiming the project dead. Here’s how our readers reacted on Facebook:

“What fools. Harvey is a businessman, he is going to provide a good product to ensure he gets market rent. The last thing I'd want as a tenant is to have the government inspecting the inside of my apartment each year. #bigbrother” — Jesse Biter

“The City Commission has absolutely no jurisdiction in placing these inspections on private builders. This project is non-subsidized.” — Susan Nilon

“I'm glad the city has standards.” — Tammy Regis

“I'd like to say this is unbelievable ... but of course it's not. I wonder what it will take to dissolve the city of Sarasota. Thank goodness I live in unincorporated Sarasota County.” — Tony Romanus

Quote of the week

“She’s really fast, but I’m faster.” — St. Boniface pre-K student Austin Bobb on what makes his mom cool.

By the numbers

$12.5 million — Listing price of the Players Theatre’s bayfront property. 

2,475 — Loggerhead nests laid last year during the six-month turtle nesting season in Mote Marine Laboratory’s 35-mile patrol area. 

76 — Athletes that will compete in the Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final May 5 through May 8, at Nathan Benderson Park and the Sarasota YMCA.

Meetings and Agendas

Public Art Committee meeting — 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, Commission Chambers, City Hall, 1565 First St.

Regular County Commission meeting — 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 11, Commission Chambers, County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd.


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