by Katie Hendrick | November 24, 2016

Just Hatched: Debuts to Peruse

Openings around the state





On June 1, Lucky Goat Coffee branched out with a second location in Tallahassee’s Midtown neighborhood. The company roasts 20 coffees, from a mild, almond-flavored brew to an espresso with a slightly acidic, black-pepper kick. “You won’t find a lot of syrups here,” says retail manager Lindsey Sheets. “Our emphasis is on the beans.” Lucky Goat also specializes in Nitro cold-brewed coffee, sold by the cup or in a growler. With exposed brick and piping, the shop has a modern vibe. Take a break from the grind with a diverse crowd, including college study groups, companies hosting business meetings and people meeting for first dates.


Photography by Caroline Blochlinger

Photography by Caroline Blochlinger



In 2014, newly retired from the timber industry, Eric Fanelli signed up for a cooking class at the local Ritz-Carlton, where he had instant rapport with his teacher, Chad Livingston. Two years later, the two have collaborated with Burlingame, an elegant eatery in a 1947 cottage. Décor is minimal (namely large-format food photographs), putting the focus on Livingston’s menu, which rotates seasonally. “He has a knack for combining simple ingredients in the most interesting and beautiful ways,” Fanelli says. A customer favorite: pork tenderloin with barbecue sauce and blue cheese crumble, fingerling potatoes, and green beans and buttermilk dressing. We’re game!


Nona Blue, Photography courtesy of Nona Blue

Nona Blue exterior, Photography by Nona Blue



An upscale tavern, co-owned by professional golfer Graeme McDowell, debuted in Sawgrass Village on September 14. McDowell’s flagship is on Lake Nona in Orlando. The new beach-town branch of Nona Blue is centered around its wood-fired grill. If you’re seated by the front, you’ll enjoy views of round-the-bar flat-screens playing the must-see sporting events of the day. The private dining room provides an intimate setting, while the open-air patio welcomes the social set. Popular menu items: mac & cheese with lobster and bacon, ahi tuna steak, fish and chips—and, for dessert, carrot cake. Select from 16 craft beers, an extensive wine list and fun cocktails like “Cheaper than Therapy.”


Guest room at Hotel Palms, a refurbished, vintage motor court inn; Photography by Logan Bowles

Guest room at Hotel Palms, a refurbished, vintage motor court inn; Photography by Logan Bowles



Palms Retro, a motor court inn built in 1947, underwent an extensive make-over, reemerging in October as the Hotel Palms. The reboot introduced clean and airy furnishings, such as reclaimed wood headboards and artwork made from palm tree bootjacks, while maintaining the hotel’s original concrete floors, which are dotted with coquina shells. Private courtyards, an outdoor shower and fireplace, a beer and wine lounge, and free beach cruiser and foam board rentals encourage guests to kick back.



Named for Palm Coast’s scenic stretch of oaks and palms, Hammock Organics Café and Boutique opened in late March. The establishment serves coffee, juices and homemade breakfast and lunch items, including their very popular lemon poppy muffins, curried chicken salad sandwiches and pan-seared grouper, in a relaxed environs complete with courtyard seating. Inside, you’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables for sale, along with other refrigerated items and dry goods, Florida artwork, and various household trinkets, such as Depression-era glass.






Inspired by her late father, who kept meticulous notes from his bootlegging days in 1940s Ireland and Scotland, Natalie Goff­ and her husband, Kevin, officially entered the distilling scene in 2014 but sold their first bottle in 2015. They’ve racked up several gold medals for their Wild Buck Rye Whiskey and Mermaid Rum at international spirits competitions. At NJoy Spirits, the Go­ s do everything by hand, from growing grain for their whiskey to bottling the liquor. Their products appear in some of Florida’s most iconic establishments, including Bern’s Steak House in Tampa and The Breakers Resort in Palm Beach. They host monthly open houses at their operations, located in the middle of the Chassahowitzka Forest.


Photography Courtesy of Mini Doughnut Factory

Bite-sized sugary joy at Mini Doughnut Factory; Photography by Mini Doughnut Factory



Anyone who’s ever decided to indulge with a doughnut can relate to the agony of choosing one that best pulls its caloric weight. In November 2015, believing that people shouldn’t have to commit to a single taste, Patrick and Zezura Ruddell launched Mini Doughnut Factory, where three diminutive treats equal one standard-sized doughnut, o­ffering patrons a chance to experiment. Four flavors of doughnuts, 12 icings, 19 toppings and five drizzles make for dozens of customized options, but fan favorites include “Sweet Pig” (maple icing with bacon) and “Cotton Candy” (strawberry icing with Pop Rocks). For something truly decadent, try a doughnut milkshake or sundae.

Photography by Goody Goody

Tampa culinary icon returns; Photography Courtesy of Goody Goody



Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, Richard Gonzmart relished trips to Goody Goody for burgers, pies and milkshakes. For more than a decade, the fourth-generation restaurateur (his family founded The Columbia in 1905) has worked to resurrect the iconic diner; his e­ orts came to fruition in August with a grand opening in historic Hyde Park Village. Gonzmart expanded the original menu with fare that has ties to Florida (such as a shrimp po’ boy) and his family (the meatloaf has a hardboiled egg in the center, just like his mom made it), but old-timers will recognize orange and lime freezes, egg and olive salad, and the “POX” (pickle, onion and special sauce) burger.




Craving privacy? With only five rooms, Salty Mermaid Inn, open since May, o­ffers guests an exclusive hideaway that’s mere yards from the ocean and a few blocks from the shops, bars and restaurants of Flagler Avenue. Each 325-squarefoot room o­ffers luxurious amenities, including Ritz-Carlton mattresses, Egyptian cotton towels, 400-thread count linens, down pillows and comforters, Pharmacopia bath products, a 50-inch smart television and a Keurig coffee maker. Sliding glass doors lead out to individual travertine sun pads with chaise lounges and umbrellas. Golf carts, scooters, bicycles, paddleboards and surfboards are available for rental.


Enjoy a cocktail over a snowcone at the lower bar at Frosty's Christmas Lounge; Photography by Corey Besteder

Enjoy a cocktail over a snowcone at the lower bar in Frosty’s Christmas Lounge; Photography by Corey Besteder



At Frosty’s Christmastime Lounge, it’s always the most wonderful time of the year. A sleigh hangs from the ceiling, a 6-foot-tall toy soldier guards a wall, a leg lamp provides campy mood lighting, an electric train runs along a track suspended above the bar, and a snow machine spontaneously fills the bar with flurries. Even beverages connote yuletide whimsy: cocktails come over snow cones and only holiday beers are served on draft. The Christmas-themed bar, which opened in August, has been a longtime dream of Todd Ulmer and Mark Angelo, partners known locally for their theme lounges. “People feel happy during the holiday season, so we wanted a place that captured that joy,” says Ulmer.





July ushered in one of Sarasota’s most anticipated openings, Veronica’s Fish & Oyster Bar. Owner Mark Caragiulo built the Southside Village restaurant around an Elvis Costello song, interpreting the lyrics as a woman’s longing for her lover away at sea. He depicts Veronica’s melancholy with murals, mermaid statuary, and velvet curtains and sofas. Specialties include oysters, ceviche, whole fish (served in a crispy Thai or grilled Indian manner), crab fazzoletti (a deconstructed lasagna), and craft cocktails, named after ships.


Designer threads and accessories at Marston Boutique; Photography by Shaye Babb

Designer threads and accessories at Marston Boutique; Photography by Shaye Babb



Katrina Aronson spent years working in finance, then fashion, in New York City. Now back in her home state, she’s using her business and style savvy to run Marston Boutique, which opened in January in downtown Avacoa. Stocked with labels such as Bella Dahl, Yumi Kim and Ella Moss, Marston peddles premium denim, luxury t-shirts, and classic and contemporary wear for women. She also carries accessories and giftware from up-and-coming designers and young girls’ clothing (sizes 0-6x). “I know a lot of moms don’t have time for separate shopping trips for themselves and their kids,” Aronson says.


Enjoy the saltfish dish from the Greek eatery Nisi; Photography by Courtney Cates

Enjoy the saltfish dish from the Greek eatery Nisi; Photography by Courtney Cates



A palette of white and earth tones, accented with olive trees and driftwood sculptures, evokes Mediterranean landscapes at Nisi, a contemporary Greek eatery that opened in late September. At the helm: veteran chef Joshua Wahler, formerly of New York City’s Gramercy Tavern and Miami Beach’s Estiatorio Milos. His menu includes a mix of iconic dishes—spanakopita, grilled octopus, moussaka— and modern plates such as pan-fried Icelandic cod fillet served with quinoa tabbouleh. An open kitchen and raw fish bar encourage diners to watch and learn how their meals are prepared.


Slow cooked beet salad; Photography courtesy of Ciao

Slow cooked beet salad; Photography courtesy of Ciao



In May, Ciao Cucina and Bar joined the lively lineup at The Promenade. The Italian gastropub boasts a robust selection of handmade pastas and Neapolitan-style pizzas. Clients think the octopus, poutine and Nutella bread pudding are delizioso. The bar’s cocktail program shines the spotlight on Italian liqueurs, with drinks like the Vacanza Romana (Averna Amaro with sweet vermouth, mint, fresh lemon and raw sugar). Exposed wood panels and Edison light bulbs blur the lines between rustic and refined. From the dining room, guests can look into the kitchen through large window panels overlooking the brick pizza oven and glass-enclosed pasta studio.



The upper Keys’ first new resort in more than two decades opened just in time for Labor Day weekend celebrations. Situated on 14 pristine waterfront acres, Playa Largo Resort and Spa flutters with outdoor and indoor activity— at its tennis and basketball courts, beach and pool, spa, marina and three gourmet restaurants. Drawing on its sun-kissed natural surroundings, the resort exudes a relaxed, refined atmosphere. For those guests desiring a little seclusion from the main resort, there are 10 bungalows and a three-bedroom beach house with a private plunge pool.