Vivian Kehrer, AKA Sarasota Sally, is the maven of popular dining and birthday clubs. Pre-COVID-19, Sarasota Sally diners were treated to weekly outings at local restaurants that were part of her restaurant network. Though on a hiatus now, Sarasota Sally looks forward to the time when friends will gather to enjoy some of the scrumptious and locally sourced foods our restaurants offer. In the meantime, she supports and is busy promoting and assisting these forward-thinking and socially conscious restaurateurs. Sarasota Sally reminds us we are all in this together, and support of local restaurants is crucial and must be ongoing.
As restaurants have reopened under Stage 2 of Florida’s ‘Safe. Smart. Step-By-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery’ many are struggling to fill socially-distanced seats amid lingering CORONA fears. Add in the fact that the main income-generating season for hospitality services has passed, leaving the summer lull to fill the pockets of hungry servers and bartenders and the concern for how these restaurants will sustain ensues.
But a growing contingency of restaurant warriors, those willing to dig deep in their creativity wells to come up with tantalizing specials, newly redesigned interiors and fresh menus are ensuring our beloved local restaurateurs will be able to keep their doors open. Leading the charge and spotlighting all their ingenuity is our very own Sarasota Sally.
What are restaurants doing?
What can we expect when we dine out now? For starters, rigid cleaning and disinfecting processes ensure we are walking into freshly scrubbed dining rooms and receiving our food from spotless kitchens. The food is of the same quality we have grown to expect given the plethora of fresh seafood, produce and herbs that locally abound. But while closed, restaurants owned by our friends and neighbors took the opportunity to replace carpets, deep-clean appliances and reimagine menus.
Along with that came detailed training for staff who are adhering to mask and distance guidelines while learning new and innovative ways to serve their clientele amidst changing industry standards post-COVID. And, Sarasota Sally has been there the whole way, championing us to support locally owned eateries with carry-out meals becoming the weekly norm for many months.
But now it is time for us to show up for these same businesses who were there for us. With live music returning amidst the bulk of restaurants reopening, are you taking advantage of daily specials and beginning to dine out at your favorite hotspot?
Linger Lodge St. Pat’s Party
This week we spotlight one of Sarasota Sally’s restaurant members, Linger Lodge, as they redo St. Patrick’s Day this Wednesday. We may have missed the annual trek to our favorite pub or restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day this past March, but the folks at Linger Lodge hope you will stop in this Wednesday, June 17th, for a heaping helping of Irish fun.
They will be featuring a traditional corned beef meal which includes cabbage, carrots and roasted potatoes ($13) and a mug of happy green beer ($2) to wash it all down. Reservations are strongly recommended for this event which runs from noon to 7 PM. Please call (941) 755-2757 for more information.
Linger Lodge Restaurant & RV Campground is situated on the Braden River and has been a Bradenton landmark since 1945. Under new ownership since 2017, the aesthetics of Old Florida and the charm of the river’s breeze are complemented by the unique restaurant which made Al Roker’s list of “Top 5 Weirdest Restaurants in America.”
The locals always knew it was a special place for amazing food, but the word has spread. Their delicious southern menu and overflowing plates have taken social media by storm. For more information on all the restaurants in Sarasota Sally’s network please visit her website here.
Editor’s Note: The Suncoast Post has a story from 2016 about Sarasota Sally that you might enjoy reading. We hope you will join her in supporting local restaurants.
Photos courtesy of Sarasota Sally.