Bill Shumate's career as a restaurateur began in 1964 when he opened a small burger shack that catered to the hearty appetites of University of Oklahoma students. After spending the next several decades opening and operating eateries, Shumate decided that his next venture should somehow honor his burger roots. He partnered with Joanie Corneil in 2006 and developed a concept choosing the name Square 1 Burgers to reflect this full-circle journey. Unlike that original restaurant, though, Square 1 Burgers grew over the years, eventually expanding to several locations throughout west central Florida.
Although the concept was intended to be a return to basics, Square 1 isn't constrained by traditional conventions. Patties of Meyer's all-natural red Angus beef, Kobe, lamb, ground buffalo, and portobello mushroom caps all appear between the buns, providing a wealth of options to consider before even thinking about toppings. This eclectic spirit is also apparent in the menu's selection of appetizers, which includes everything from sun-dried tomato and artichoke hummus to homemade double-dipped onion rings. Even the milkshakes made with Blue Bell ice cream seem like faithful renditions of an American classic at first. However, the grown-up versions with Baileys, vodka, and Kahlua or brandy, cr?me de cacao continue to demonstrate Square 1 Burgers' playful spirit.
Hearty brews from the local area, around the country, and all over the world take center stage at World of Beer Sarasota, with countless varieties on tap and hundreds of selections by the bottle. The selection is updated frequently, so each visit to World of Beer can mean discovering a new favorite brew. For those who aren't certified beerophiles, the modern brick-lined space also offers a selection of white and red wines. After grabbing a drink, patrons can head out to the outdoor patio to enjoy some of the bar's Rocky Patel cigars. In addition to serving the masses, World of Beer also hosts a constant stream of events, including ladies' nights, trivia nights, and performances from live bands.
The Angry Pickle's house-made spicy pickles sit across the high-topped tables from hand-shaped burger patties and a selection of 14 draught beers in a casual eatery. Appetizers such as fried pickles, available in dill or a house-crafted angry spicy blend, named after Sporty Spice after her exposure to hulk-inducing gamma rays, dance across taste buds, and palatable jalapeño poppers burst into a culinary fireworks display of gooey cheese.
When it comes to bringing a taste of Ireland to the states, Pub 32's head chef Matt Brown has a very specific taste in mind: whiskey. After aging them for 21 days, Matt finishes grilled cuts of certified Angus steak with Black Bush whiskey-spiked mushroom sauce. He coats racks of pork ribs with a whiskey marmalade glaze, and even infuses slices of strawberry shortcake with Irish Mist. But not everything is reliant on rye. Malt vinegar and salt flavor hand-cut fries, while sweet chili sauce adds a kick to tobacco onions, a tastier alternative to cigars that make you cry when you smoke them.
Like Matt’s recipes, Pub 32's bar favors whiskey with its generous selection of Irish, Scottish, and American brands. The bar also slings wine, beer, and beer cocktails such as Black Velvet, a blend of champagne and Guinness. On most days musicians perform live renditions of soothing tunes and traditional Irish songs.
"Hookah should always be an enjoyable, chillaxing experience." So says the staff at Lunar Starburst, where hookahs blossom into great clouds of steam and smoke. Puffing a choice of herbs, tobacco, or steam, guests relax in "a fun and carefree hookah lounge" that eschews intimidating staffers and strobe lights in favor of a more welcoming atmosphere. Lunar hosts encourage guests to plug their own iPhones and MP3 players into their sound system. They also schedule DJ visits, art gatherings, tarot readings, board-game nights, and video-game nights.