The Sarasota-Manatee Originals celebrated 15 years with a celebration party to thank its community partners on Sept. 27 in the New Pass Room at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
Founded in 2003 by local restaurants owners, including Michael's On East owner Michael Klauber, the Sarasota-Manatee Originals has grown from 24 restaurants to almost 60 now. The organization hopes to reach 70 restaurants by this year's Forks and Corks Festival in January.
In addition to celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Sarasota-Manatee Originals is gearing up for its Eat Like a Local Restaurant Week, Oct. 1 through Oct. 14. As of now, there are over 40 restaurants participating in the event. During this week, Sarasotans are encouraged to "act like a tourist" and dine at local restaurants.