by Alyssa Morlacci | August 26, 2019

Just Hatched: Fall 2019 Openings Around The State

Debuts to Peruse: brand new restaurants, galleries, shops, resorts and more



Emory Clothing
Shop the Fall line at Emory; Photography by Manuel Aragon



Located in the Shoppes of Avondale, three blocks from the river and just a quick walk from restaurants like Biscottis and Orsay, Emory Clothing made its debut this spring. Owner Lauren E. Meek, a Jacksonville native, dresses local women for everything from the office to happy hour in casual-but-cool brands like Xirena, Velvet, Joie and Emerson Fry. The boutique space incorporates dark concrete floors to contrast white walls with seasonally rotated art from Caleb Mahoney. Inventory isn’t limited to daily wear—like the jeans from Citizens of Humanity or J Brand that will last for years—as Meek also carries cocktail and wedding attire from La Maison Talulah, Parker, Caballero and Capulet, as well as designer jewelry and bags from Jenny Bird and Clare V. “I wanted to have a little bit of everything and be a one-stop shop for people,” Meek says.

Odd Birds Bar Loft
The space combines mismatched glassware acquired at thrift stores with rare and obscure spirits. Photography by Odd Birds Brand


St. Augustine

Meant to be just a six-month pop-up, Odd Birds Bar served its first libations four years ago in St. Augustine, right in front of the historic landmark Castillo de San Marcos. It quickly became a local favorite and permanent drinking hole, so in the spring, co-owners Shane McFarland, Asdrubal Martinez and Cesar Diaz opened an extension upstairs called Odd Birds Loft. The space combines mismatched glassware acquired at thrift stores with rare and obscure spirits. Inventive cocktails are the bar’s specialty, like the Canario, made with ginger and turmeric syrup, bourbon, lemon juice and Angostura bitters. Diaz says, “80 percent of our cocktail sales are ‘bartender’s call,’ which is pretty much ‘let the bartender serve you a tailored cocktail that suits your preference, spirit of choice and flavor profile.’”

Shaka Sushi and Noodle Bar
Diners pack the bar at Shaka Sushi and Noodle Bar in South Walton. Photography by Collis Thompson


Inlet Beach

South Walton recently got a new 14,000-square-foot retail center called Shoppes @ Inlet, with one of the most anticipated openings at the trendy hub being Shaka Sushi and Noodle Bar. That’s likely due to Last Call Restaurant Group’s reputation for launching local favorites like Shades Bar & Grill in Inlet Beach and Pescado Seafood Grill & Rooftop Bar in Rosemary Beach. At Shaka Sushi, diners can belly up to the sushi bar to watch chefs James Sargent and Ken Duenas craft rolls, sashimi and nigiri. More filling options include ramen and poke bowls, which can be washed down with sips of sake, wine and beer.

Zuma Wellness Center
A modern hub for all things health and fitness; Photography by M.K. Sadler


Alys Beach

Improve your well-being from the inside out at the state-of-the-art ZUMA Wellness Center, built in the signature organic, contemporary, white style of Alys Beach. This modern hub for all things health and fitness has everything from lifting, cardio and recovery rooms to a junior Olympic–sized indoor-outdoor pool to a cafe serving Amavida coffee, NaturBaker bakery food items, smoothies and more. Classes in yoga, XPT, TRX, boxing, spin and tennis are offered onsite, as well as Bogafit—a class taught in the pool that sees participants balancing on floating boards while fusing HIIT exercises with vinyasa yoga. To alleviate sore muscles, a visit to the treatment rooms is in order. Guests of Zuma must be living or staying in Alys Beach to use the facility.



St. Petersburg

A couple of years ago, Robert Newhart, now the owner of the Brass Bowl Kitchen & Juicery, learned about veganism from his son. It sparked Newhart’s decision to make a lifestyle change—eating better and working out—that’s allowed him to drop 60 pounds. But eating healthy at restaurants was hard, especially in a hurry. Enter the Brass Bowl concept, Newhart’s affordable, fast-paced restaurant with fresh, organic, gluten-free, gourmet-like dishes. Menu items range from cold-pressed juices to fusion bowls inspired by cuisines from India to Spain. A best-seller is the chakra bowl, made with free-range chicken breast, roasted seasonal veggies, house-made naan, electric cabbage, garbanzo popcorn and red curry–spiced coconut milk. Beyond the menu, the restaurant accomplishes a farmhouse-chic interior with exposed ceiling beams, an open kitchen and a custom, rustic wood façade built by a local carpenter.



With toes in the sand, guests at Rattlesnake Point’s Salt Shack on the Bay, which opened this summer, can dock their boats and catch a glimpse of the sun as it leaves the sky. What’s this about rattlesnakes? Don’t fret: When the invasive species infested Tampa during the early 20th century, a man named George End decreased the pest population by canning their meat and calling the creation “SnakeSnaks.” While this isn’t a menu item at Salt Shack on the Bay, the quintessential Gulf Shore waterfront restaurant does dish freshly caught seafood (try the Day Boat grouper sandwich) and Caribbean-inspired craft cocktails (think: signature margaritas) that cause internal clocks to change to island time.

The Daytona lobby
The lobby at The DAYTONA, a luxury boutique hotel directly across from the Daytona International Speedway; Photography courtesy ONE DAYTONA



Across the street from Daytona International Speedway lies One Daytona, a 300,000-square-foot entertainment epicenter with shops, restaurants, a Bellagio-like synchronized fountain show and now, The Daytona. Marriott Autograph Collection’s new luxury boutique hotel offers 144 rooms with speed tracks and vehicles subtly worked into the decor and famous cars parked in the lobby. Sir Malcolm, an upscale restaurant inside, is named after the record-breaking British speed motorist and journalist, Sir Malcolm Campbell. Blue Flame, a bar that spans the hotel’s terrace overlooking Victory Circle, offers “moonshine specialties” as an ode to the Prohibition era, as well as a menu of custom and craft beers and cocktails.


Winter Park

Paula Gamba and her husband, Fabio Perricelli, visited 15 cities in 10 days throughout South and Central Florida before deciding on Winter Park as the perfect place to open Vinia Wine Bar. In Hannibal Square, two blocks off of Park Avenue, chef Ronnie Vance prepares seasonal tapas, like artisanal cheese boards and daily flatbreads, to the tune of Brazilian bossa nova music in a small and cozy European-style lounge. “Most people don’t even know we have food,” Gamba says. “My husband and I don’t know why in the U.S. wine bars usually don’t have food.” Gamba is from Brazil while Perricelli is from Italy, so the couple’s two worlds collide inside Vinia. Live music scores Wednesday night happy hours and every other Sunday brunch as guests explore a curated menu of boutique wines.


Sage employees
Culinary team at Sage; Photography by Jenny Acheson



Mixing more than cocktails at its rooftop bar, Sage blends new and old inside a three-story historic building the Sarasota Times used to call home. The 20th-century Mediterranean-style marvel no longer delivers the news but instead turns out elevated menu items by award-winning chef Christopher Covelli, like the Thai bouillabaisse of lobster, shrimp, scallop, cod and crab on top of lotus rice and seasonal veggies in a coconut curry broth. Dishes are enjoyed in the two-story dining room, which has a rustic vibe and Prohibition-style copper bar. The third floor is reserved for events with groups of up to 150 people, but the rooftop bar is accessible for 360-degree views of downtown paired with sips of refreshing cocktails like crowd favorite The Conclusion, made with tequila and yellow Chartreuse.

The Restaurant at The Norton
Grilled Spanish octopus at the Norton Museum restaurant in West Palm Beach; Photography by Libby Volgyes


West Palm Beach

The reimagined Norton Museum of Art made its debut in winter, and one of the most exciting additions from the $100 million expansion effort is The Restaurant at the Norton. With an airy, modern dining room that flows seamlessly into the rest of the museum, the space looks out at the Pamela and Robert B. Goergen Garden. Fare matches the interior aesthetic with dishes that are light and current, like the grilled Spanish octopus on a white bean puree with saffron aioli, oven-roasted tomatoes and black olive crumbles. The concept comes from Constellation Culinary Group, the team behind Verde at Pérez Art Museum Miami and many other museum eateries spanning the country’s East Coast. Entry to the museum is free on Fridays and Saturdays—the perfect excuse to fill up on delectable dishes after feasting the eyes on works by Matisse and Picasso.

Piece of artwork at Space S / 223
NUN (in collaboration with Jonathan Gonzalez) Triangle Bench, 2017, Powder coated aluminum and acrylic 48 x 20 x 20 in.; Photograghy courtesy Tile Blush, Ground Control Miami, and Placeholder

SPACE S / 223


As the anticipation grows for this year’s Art Basel and Miami Art Week, both of which take place annually in December, the city’s Design District, a destination for high-end art, fashion and architecture, gears up with a new gallery: an artistic initiative in Paradise Plaza called Space S / 223. The second-floor venue rotates artists’ work each month. For those seeking creative immersion—and free admission—Space S / 223 hosts group exhibitions, like “All That is Solid” and “Afrofuture,” along with solo displays by artists like Cristina Lei Rodriguez and Andres Ferrandis.



Just in time for the state’s year-round heat, South Florida got a new water park. As part of the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa’s rebranding effort, the golf and spa destination created a draw for kids: Tidal Cove Waterpark, which offers 5 acres of pool deck, seven water slides, a 4,000-square-foot kids pool and one of the first FlowRider triple surf-simulation pools in the U.S. Adults may prefer kicking back at the lazy river, breezy cabanas or two poolside eateries, Surf House Bar & Grill and Freestyle. Access to the park can be purchased with a day pass or overnight stay at the hotel.

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