Folk troubadour Grant Peeples returns to Sarasota, playing at 9 p.m. Friday (May 24) at the Blue Rooster, 1525 4th St. He will be accompanied by Atlanta fiddle/mandolin player Tim Higgins. The show is free, but you can call 388-7539 for reservations. ….
May 21, 2013
By Laura Reiley, Food Critic, Tampa Bay Times
New Sarasota restaurants worth the drive: Made, Blue Rooster, Louies Modern
The noise level at the Blue Rooster isn’t exactly demure. It’s a sprawling, good-times space with live music six nights a week and a juke joint vibe with a gargantuan bar and community tables. Industrial lighting, wood-clad walls salvaged from a barn in Georgia and rows of Warhol-like paintings of blues legends signal “fun,” but hip fun. It’s in a part of town, north of Fruitville, that only recently has become a restaurant row. Darwin’s on 4th and Station 400 preceded the Blue Rooster, the block now teaming with cars of would-be diners.
The coin of the realm here is fried chicken, which you can have over-the-top with waffles and a whiskey maple syrup ($18), or more sensibly by the piece on a leaf of velvety bibb lettuce that somehow accentuates the crispness of the not-overly-breaded skin and the lushness of the meat (pieces $2-$5.50). Killer yardbird, whether you have it accompanied by minted cole slaw (perfect, with just enough vinegar tang and mayo to hold it together) or clearly housemade baked beans studded with smoky kielbasa and flavored deeply with Steen’s cane syrup.
But wait, before you get to the chicken you’ve got to spend a little time with biscuits. Hot, tender, flaky, served with a tub of rich honey butter and another of pepper relish. I promised myself I’d never write “melt in your mouth,” but, you know. ….
How would you like a side order of punk to go with your country and bluegrass?
A day before it plays WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave in Ybor City, the Atlanta-based Whiskey Gentry will play the Blue Rooster on Friday (May 10).
The band, led by the husband-and-wife team of Lauren Staley and Jason Morrow, has a new batch of songs and also will play tracks off its self-released 2011 debut album, “Please Make Welcome.” ….
Big Al and the Heavyweights play Louisiana blues as I sample Bourbon Waffle cocktails and sweet potato pie. This is a recent Friday night at Sarasota’s Blue Rooster — one of the central restaurants in the fairly new dining/shopping/bar-hopping district known as North of Fruitville (NOF).
Off the main downtown Sarasota drag, across Fruitville Road, NOF has only had its moniker since November, but the area has clearly been undergoing a renaissance for about three years. The fare and entertainment options are now as diverse as the landscape, roping in thirty-something young professionals and retirees.
“Within the next five years, we’re going to be the destination,” says Darwin Santa Maria, who launched Darwin’s On 4th in December 2011 and coined the NOF term with Blue Rooster co-owner Bill Cornelius. “I’d like to see this area become the next Denver.”
Eclectic buildings — from a reassembled 19th-century train depot to bohemian bungalows and brand-new structures with trendy lofts — create the fresh NOF ambiance between Orange and Lemon Avenues. The architectural backdrop makes popping from place to place a leisurely pursuit. ….
April 16, 2013
By Wade Tatangelo, Herald-Tribune
Paul Thorn on his fave song; famous fight
Paul Thorn, the singer-songwriter whose roots rock can regularly be heard on WMNF (88.5), wants another shot at boxing legend Roberto Duran. Just not in the ring this time. Back in 1988 when Thorn made a living as a professional pugilist, his most famous bout came against Duran. Nicknamed “Hands of Stone,” he’s probably the greatest lightweight in the history of the sport. Thorn grew up with Duran’s poster on his wall and then at age 23 he got to fight his hero, who was mounting a successful comeback at the time.
“He won, he was the better man,” Thorn said when reached by phone at his home in Tupelo, Miss. “I came to win, but it’s a huge jump from being good and great; I was very good but I could not compete with the elite like him, he was a monster, ugh!”
Yeah, Duran won the nationally televised brawl but Thorn, who performs Sunday at The Blue Rooster in Sarasota, landed some devastating punches (see video below). The New York Post called the bout a “bloodbath.” ….
April 10, 2013
By Charles Schelle, Sarasota Patch
Blue Rooster has Soul in its Food, Music
The Blue Rooster is more than a blues bar with some food—it’s a refined version of Americana.
The southern comfort food restaurant opened Jan. 5 and is continuing to make tweaks and improvements to its menu of food and music along the way to put down roots north of Fruitville Road at 1525 Fourth St.
Co-owner Bill Cornelius handles the music, and thank goodness he didn’t follow through on opening up an ice cream shop because it might not have led to the Blue Rooster.
“I always wanted to open a blues bar, but my wife wouldn’t let me open one unless I had a partner,” Cornelius said. So with the misses’ permission, he found his business partner in a neighbor—Devon Rutkowski. ….
April 9, 2013
By Steve McAllister, SarasotaMusicScene.com
The Sarasota Music Scene Is For The Birds
Sarasota seems to have an infatuation with indigo avians, and as the Blue Owl has flown off into the Tavern on Main to hum more drinking songs than actual music, it is fortunate that the Blue Rooster has set up its perch to let artists truly crow. The Blue Owl was a suitable venue in its time, offering a nice blend of Sarasota’s musical matrix, but it was never truly amenable to artists that wanted to really stretch their wings. However, at the Blue Rooster, the stage is not only inviting to song birds, it allows them to fly. ….
Although adjacent to Darwin’s on 4th, the atmosphere at the Blue Rooster is considerably more energetic. There’s live music nightly, a menu that treads heavily on Southern and low-country classics and a vibrant bar scene. ….
You made the scene with the Blues Room in Jo’burg. Any plans to open up a live music venue here?
“I don’t see that happening right now. I sold the Blues Room so I could concentrate on playing guitar again. Besides, Sarasota’s already got a great live music venue for rock blues in The Blue Rooster, which recently opened. It’s a great place to play and see music.” ….
One of the top Americana acts around, Have Gun, Will Travel, will conclude its Southeast tour Saturday with a performance at the recently reviewed Blue Rooster in Sarasota.
The Bradenton-based American band’s outstanding third album, “Mergers & Acquisitions,” came out in late 2011, marking HGWT’s first release for Denver-based Suburban Home Records.
HGWT first made a splash on the national scene with the 2008 album “Casting Shadows Tall as Giants” and continued the momentum a couple years later with the equally stirring “Postcards from the Friendly City,” a paean of sorts to Bradenton. ….
The recently opened Blue Rooster owes a lot to Darwin’s on 4th and Station 400, its next-door neighbors. Those spots blazed a trail north of Fruitville, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Sarasota’s core, creating a destination for people seeking good food in interesting surroundings.
Blue Rooster capitalizes on this with an atmosphere that fits easily into the area while still creating a sense of space all its own. The restaurant is tucked into a block of historic old-Sarasota buildings, but the interior is that popular blend of old and new, rustic and industrial. One wall is covered in bricks set at varying depths, with aged wood panels set horizontally up to table height. You’ll find more artfully worn wood throughout the place and the servers wear uniforms reminiscent of 1950s mechanics’ garb. ….
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2013, by msolu
Wow! The needle on the Sarasota “Cool-O Meter” just moved up again with the recent opening of Blue Rooster. And let me tell you, this joint has a southern, urban, upscale, bluesy flavor so very much all its own.
We had stopped into Blue Rooster for a sample of their southern inspired cocktails just after they opened, and knew within an instant the place would be a hit. Only three days open and they were packed! After viewing the menu, we decided to come back with my daughter and son-in-law so could we sample more features from the menu than the two of us would normally share. So, on this occasion we came, we saw, and we stayed to savor the menu of local executive chef Michael Yoder’s amazing southern-inspired cuisine and crafted cocktails. Cool!….
January 22, 2013
By Joe Hendricks, ThisWeekInSarasota.com
Photo Gallery: Blue Rooster Grand Opening
The three-day grand opening of the Blue Rooster restaurant and live music venue created quite a buzz around town. During the celebration, friends and family members of owners Bill Cornelius and Devin Rutkowski were joined by a wide variety of local business owners, movers, shakers, socialites, hipsters, musicians, writers, food and drink aficionados, live music lovers and other curiosity seekers.
During the Thursday, Jan. 17, grand opening kick-off, the David Smash Group entertained party-goers with an evening of swinging blues music and the entire block was hopping, with Miss Peru Universe appearing at Darwin’s on 4th and the horn-driven EMEFE performing at the WSLR music venue. ….
January 17, 2013
By Nick Friedman, Sarasota Observer
Sarasota Rosemary District welcomes fresh faces
Customers with a taste for Southern food and live music have a new haven in the Rosemary District. The Blue Rooster is one of several new businesses moving into the district, which was set for growth before the recession hit.
Co-owners Devin Rutkowski and Bill Cornelius describe their venture as a live-music venue and restaurant, and they take pride in the authenticity of both its food and live music.
The restaurant puts its spin on traditional Southern comfort foods, including its signature entrée, chicken and waffles. The venue boasts 24-foot ceilings, a mixing board, house speakers, stage monitors, a sound technician and, according to Cornelius, the best live music in town.
After scouting the Sarasota music scene for the last three years, Cornelius is confident that the venue will satisfy the town’s music-lovers by hosting some of the area’s best blues, bluegrass and roots musicians.
“I think people are hungry for something like this,” he says. ….
Start out with Southern-style “comfort food” and “feel-good” music performed by top-notch bands, toss in a “Bourbon Waffle” cocktail and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer; add two dashes of post-50 entrepreneurial spirit , serve it up in a newly renovated industrial-chic “warehouse” and what you have is the The Blue Rooster—Sarasota’s newest dining and live music venue.
Located at 1525 4th Street, a block north of Fruitville Road in downtown Sarasota, The Blue Rooster opened its doors to friends and family with a soft opening on Saturday, Jan. 5, with Radio Free Carmela & The Transmitters christening the wooden-floored performance stage while familiar faces sampled the food and drink. ….
I waited for what felt like a month of Sundays for last weekend evening, when The Blue Rooster (1525 4th St., Sarasota, 388-7539, blueroostersrq.com) finally opened to the public. I skipped the Saturday soft open with rocking Americana group Radio-Free Carmela and the Transmitters, hoping to make my first experience a regular night as an average patron … one I guessed to be an often-repeated treat.
I corralled Mr. Date into an early dinner, thinking that there’d be a line around the block right at 5 p.m. The previous night’s revelries must have satisfied a lot of appetites, however, as we didn’t meet any resistance getting in the door. I’m glad there wasn’t anyone charging in immediately behind us, because I had to stop and take it all in. ….
January 8, 2013
By Party Girl, Sarasota Magazine
New Restaurant Buzz: Blue Rooster opens North of Fruitville
The Blue Rooster is a soul-food joint, with wood siding on the walls, waffles and collard greens on the menu and plenty of personality on the staff. A big-boned bleach-blonde with a bunch of piercings holds the door open for us, and we’re greeted by a group of hip downtowners checking out the hot new thing during a “Friends and Family” party before the restaurant’s official grand opening. ….