Towles Court Artist Colony

Towles Court Artist Colony

Recently my husband and I were on our way to Cafe in the Park and realized we had a half hour to kill before our reservation. I remembered hearing about an artist colony that was somewhere in that area. So I googled artist colony near Payne Park, Sarasota, and the results shot back Towles Court Artist Colony, ahhh there you are. I looked at the hub and said let’s go and explore! This is a destination I’d been wanting to see. I had previously only driven through it at night so I couldn’t fully appreciate its quaintness but I knew I wanted to get back to it at some point and here was that chance.

Because we had limited time during this visit, we chose to make this more exploratory. We didn’t actually go into any of the art galleries or businesses, we walked around to enjoy the views, the ambience, and to see what was here in general and what would bring us back. The first place that caught our eyes was The Bodhi Tree Café, pictured below. The Bodhi Tree Café is a Mediterranean/Italian restaurant with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options using natural/organic ingredients. It offers a large wrap around porch to enjoy outdoor dining with views of a garden oasis. Although I have not eaten here, this café has excellent reviews. The Bodhi Tree Café, 1938 Adams Lane, Suite 105, Towles Court, Sarasota, Florida. (941) 702-8552. https://www.bodhitreecafesrq.com/

While walking around the garden courtyard, there was a gentleman set up in the center playing guitar and serenading diners and strollers alike. This lent to the special ambience of this place. There were little alleys and pathways in between residences and businesses; each taking pride by peppering the spaces with little eclectic pieces of art. You felt at times you were walking through a magic garden, never knowing what you might find around each corner.

As you come out on the backside of the colony on Links Avenue another eye catcher or was it the smell of the food, is the restaurant Indigenous. As we walked past I couldn’t help noticing the outdoor diners laughing and enjoying their meals. I have heard amazing things about this restaurant. Indigenous offers seasonal American cuisine; its menu changes throughout the year using local fisherman, artisans, and farmers for their offerings. Ingenious is located at 239 S Links Avenue, Sarasota, Florida. (941) 706-4740. https://www.indigenoussarasota.com/

Then during our final lap around the colony, we happened upon their third restaurant, The Garden Room Café at Shoogie Boogies on Morrill Street is an indoor/outdoor European Café. I say happened upon because it is tucked away, and if you didn’t know to look for it, you might possibly walk right past it. I’m so glad it caught our eyes because it is this place that I definitely want to return to. I hope the food is as good as the ambience it exudes. As you walk up to the Garden Room Café you come upon two white stone walls with a red door swung open invoking you to come in. As you stroll down the stone path there are bamboo trees, stone statues, flowering pots, and old wine jugs used for décor along with wrought iron lanterns and fencing. I want to sit in their outdoor dining area, take in all the attention to detail and enjoy the feeling of being transported to Europe. Note: The Garden Room Café primarily is a special event café (bridal showers, baby showers, and wedding parties); however they do seat a limited number of smaller tables of 6 guests and under. Inquire about their menu for small table reservations. The Garden Cafe, 1919 Morrill Street, Sarasota, Florida. (941) 951-5437. http://www.shoogieboogies.com/

The Towles Court Art District is comprised of many art studios and galleries, interior designers, graphic designers, hair studios, photography, a wellness studio, financial planning, and three restaurants. Each one of them housed in colorful 1920’s Old-Florida bungalows. This is the last month of 2021 that you can go and meet the artists and enjoy live music, offered on the third Friday of the month (4-8p.m., October – May). I definitely have to return and appreciate the art studios/galleries this unique hidden treasure has to offer and indulge in one of the three restaurants. So if you can make it, try not to miss out!! https://www.towlescourt.com/