12 New Openings Around the State You Need to Visit This Spring


NORTH FLORIDA

Cheyenne and Chawnee Gulick opened their coastal women’s boutique Chey & Chawn after developing a business plan for a class at Jacksonville University. Photography by Kelly Martucci.

Chey & Chawn Boutique

Jacksonville Beach

In a way, Cheyenne and Chawnee Gulick ran their own fashion boutique long before the doors of Chey & Chawn opened in early December 2021. The trendy twins have been the community’s closet for as long as they can remember—always willing to lend out their favorite jumpsuit or summery wrap dress to a friend in need of a wardrobe refresh. Now, their boutique on Beach Boulevard will help dress all of Jacksonville Beach to the nines. From cozy smiley-face sweaters to breezy floral maxi dresses, the racks are filled with beachy, effortless styles for the everyday girl. The duo carefully curates clothing that inspires a sense of casual confidence in every woman. In preparation for a warm Sunshine State summer, the shop recently added swimwear to their offerings, including two Florida-made brands: Arcane Swim and Mahkia Swim. Shoppers will also be able to browse for their beau this summer when Chey & Chawn adds its new men’s collection. Since opening their doors, the Gulick gals have been overwhelmed by the encouragement and support from locals. “We always knew Jacksonville Beach had a community like no other—it’s one of the reasons we decided to make it our home—but it’s been amazing to experience it firsthand.” instagram.com/shopcheyandchawn


River & Fort 

St. Augustine

A glass of vino and a view await visitors to this buzzworthy addition to the Ancient City. The sister property to Jacksonville staple River & Post, this restaurant became a fast fan favorite among foodies. When the skies are clear, venture up to one of the two rooftops for a panorama of St. Augustine—and maybe even a glimpse of the lighthouse across the Matanzas River. From this vantage point, visitors can enjoy small bites like lobster flatbread, broiled oysters and wood-charred wings while the sun sinks. Stay parked by the rooftop heaters once the moon rises or descend to the main floor for your main course. Regulars rave about the stuffed New York strip and fried pickle hush puppies, but don’t dare skip out on the dessert menu. The Key lime creme brulee is a tangy two-in-one you never knew you needed. riverandfort.com


Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille

Gainesville

Head down to the town where the girls are the fairest and the boys are the squarest for a Heisman-worthy meal in a shrine of Gator memorabilia. Overseen by the Head Ball Coach himself, Spurrier’s is a museum, rooftop bar and all-American restaurant designed for those who bleed orange and blue. Rows of game balls encased in glass, glittering championship rings and yes, even the HBC’s 1966 Heisman Trophy will keep guests company while they dine. But just as worthy of recognition is the food coming out of the kitchen. Don’t expect subpar sports-bar food at Spurrier’s. The tomahawk pork chop drizzled in maple-bourbon butter is a flavorful favorite on the robust menu. Pro tip: Have your dinner date order the short rib and wild mushroom risotto, then trade ‘em a bite. The open-air rooftop bar, Visors, is the perfect place to post up for a Gator game, and it’s not uncommon to see Super Steve himself wandering these hallowed halls. You’ll often find him inside the podcast room where he broadcasts live in the restaurant or on the rooftop hosting Gator Talks with other Florida sports phenoms. spurriers.com


In addition to caffeine, Jitterbug Beverage Co. serves gluten-free baked goods. Photography courtesy of Jitterbug Beverage Co.

Jitterbug Beverage Co.

Pensacola

The most challenging aspect of kick-starting this Panhandle coffee co. may not have been perfecting the recipes or deciding on a name, it was learning how to drive a 100-year-old car. The idea for this specialty coffee shop was inspired by Tallulah Mae, a sky blue 1923 Ford Model TT the pair found in Denver. Co-owners Ariel Booth and Barrett Colhoun designed the Tin Lizzy as a roving coffee car or—if you go by the license plate—a “horseless carriage,” which in DMV terms means it’s even older than an “antique.”  While they worked on their automotive muse’s restoration, the java-preneurs started pouring campfire cold brews and cinnamon lattes at pop-ups around Pensacola, amassing a cult following while they were at it. Before Tallulah could arrive for her first day of work, Booth and Colhoun stumbled across another cool opportunity: their very own brick-and-mortar coffee shop. Jitterbug joined the fold at The Magnolia’s new location in East Hill in December 2021, elevating the beloved neighborhood eatery’s breakfast offerings. But don’t worry, Tallulah Mae isn’t in retirement just yet. The duo promises their peppy jalopy will be pouring joe for the streets of Pensacola soon. drinkjitterbug.com

CENTRAL FLORIDA

Bacán boasts an open theater-style kitchen. Photography courtesy of Lake Nona Wave Hotel.

Bacán

Orlando

Lake Nona Wave Hotel’s signature eatery, Bacán, brings a whole new meaning to dinner and a show. The open theater-style kitchen gives diners a sweeping view of the magic happening not-so-behind-the-scenes. Slide into the plush sapphire seating and relax while chef Guillaume Robin showcases an array of traditional Latin American cooking techniques, from rotisserie to plancha. Then, indulge in the fruits of his performance when you order the whole truffle chicken two ways, a tender, rotisserie-roasted chicken that’s simmered in truffle butter for six hours. The menu speaks to the flavors of the Americas, but Bacán takes care to incorporate ingredients from right in their own backyard. Cage-free chicken eggs from Lake Meadow Naturals, fresh seafood from area fishermen and Intercept wine from Lake Nona resident and former NFL player Charles Woodson are all components of this lavish Latin-yet-local experience. Don’t fill up on the main course though, because the grand finale consists of a chocolate sphere that melts once a decadent chocolate sauce is poured on top, made by two-time World Pastry Champion Laurent Branlard. lakenonawavehotel.com/restaurants-lake-nona/


Dirty Laundry

St. Petersburg

Pack your pockets full of quarters and head down to this seemingly standard laundromat on St. Pete’s Central Avenue. Leave the laundry basket at home though, because this lively locale is better suited for carousing than cleaning. Belly up to the bar across from the row of washers and dryers for one of the best cafe con leches in the city and a fresh empanada. Looking for a little more than lunch? Pick up the payphone on the wall, and you’ll learn the location of the secret speakeasy (hint: Does one of those washers look a little suspicious?). Once inside, revelers are immersed in a Havana-inspired hangout complete with live music, burlesque shows and kooky cocktails. The Havana mule, topped with guava nectar, comes served in a cheeky Goya can and the Cubana mami, a fan favorite, slides across the bar ablaze. Slip onto the patio to enjoy a sipper beneath the string lights or in the shade of a lounger. Visitors don’t even need to leave if they’re looking for a bite. A menu featuring everything from Cuban sandwiches to charcuterie is available to steady the stomach. Airing dirty laundry has never been more fun.  dirtylaundrystpete.com


Dunes Brewing

Port Orange

The seed for this coastal brewery was planted more than 25 years ago, and although it took a quarter of a century to sprout, locals say it was well worth the wait. Michael Benedict, Bobby Zitzka and Chris Thompson first floated the idea of a brewery in their hometown of Port Orange when they were peers at the University of Florida in the 1990s. But despite their Gator roots, don’t expect an ode to the orange and blue here. Instead, hopheads will find a nautical-themed waterfront brewery that’s as cozy as it is crafty. With eight craft beers on tap ranging from the Mrs. Bumstead blonde ale to the black lager, there’s a brew for every bias. For those who left their beer-drinking days in college, Dunes Brewing has also curated an impressive lineup of wines, ciders and champagnes. Sink into their living room-style seating or challenge your buddies to some Mandalorian pinball. And if you need a little coaxing to order that extra IPA, Dunes rewards anyone who orders three pints with a free one the following day. Nothing like a little hair of the dog to keep customers coming back. dunesbrewing.com


The new Winter Park Library was designed by Sir David Adjaye. Photography courtesy of the City of Winter Park Communications Department.

Winter Park Public Library

Winter Park

Spend the weekend with your nose in a book inside this stunning $42 million celebration of education, innovation and creativity. Designed by Sir David Adjaye—the same architectural mind behind the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture—the new Winter Park Library is crafted to be the community’s living room. Sunlight streams through the multitude of windows that span the building’s modern facade, giving the space a bright and airy ambience. The library’s new digs allow for an expanded youth collection, more meeting spaces, a brand-new recording studio perfect for podcasting and a haven called “The Hideout” specifically for teenagers looking to escape with a paperback. But this future-oriented library isn’t just for those looking to get lost in the stacks—the new building is outfitted with features that will encourage the community to gather for lectures, workshops, activities and performances. Find a seat in the center’s new raked theater to catch an improv showcase, learn the ins and outs of Adobe Photoshop in the computer lab or button up your resume and cover letter in the business center, where staff can help job seekers land their dream roles. Are you ready to run to the library yet? winterparklibrary.org

SOUTH FLORIDA

El Salón serves classic and creative cocktails using its proprietary collection of spirits. Photography by Jen Castro.

Esmé

Miami Beach

Although this glamorous hotel, and its cluster of casas, glitters like a hot new addition to the Miami Beach scene, it’s really an ode to the olden days. Originally a Spanish village built in the 1920s as a haven for artists in search of a safe place to prosper, this bespoke boutique hotel is ready to welcome them again after a five-year renovation. “Our goal when designing Esmé with Jessica Schuster was to create a fun and playful space that incorporates historical elements and moments to the Mediterranean revival era,” says Jessica LaRosa, the general manager of Esmé, in an email. “We wanted to channel the spirit of the 1920s Jazz Age icon Louise Brooks.” Gold accents, bohemian finishes and velvet green curtains draped over arched windows throughout the eight buildings that make up the village create an aura of timelessness. And if the ambiance inspires guests to indulge in a libation or two, there are five dining options to choose from, whether they’re thirsty for a tipple by the pool at The Roof or yearning for a quiet Old-Fashioned in the subdued El Salón after dinner. esmehotel.com


No Man’s Land

Fort Lauderdale

The yellow neon sign boasting “a refuge from the ordinary” is the only clue that this secluded speakeasy is even open for business, but the tinted windows keep this secret gem just that: secret. No Man’s Land is designed for the high-brow bacchanalians. With a thorough and thoughtful selection of handcrafted cocktails, guests can kick-start their palate with a pickleback—a mixture of Jameson, pickle brine and cornichon—before moving onto the tamarindo fresca—reposado tequila, tamarind-ginger syrup and lime garnished with a Mexican tamarind candy straw. Slide into one of their semicircle booths beneath an ornate chandelier for an evening of cocktails and conversation or find a seat at the bar to watch the pros pour. Don’t be shy if you’re unsure about what to whet your whistle with. Their servers are skilled at providing recommendations that suit your preferences. And if you find that an evening of indulgence has left you famished, the lounge’s provisions menu includes everything from oyster shooters and hamachi crudo to steak tartare and foie gras. It’s one of the few places where the atmosphere is as extraordinary as the alcohol. nomanslandftl.com


Even the tiles on the walls of Orno are wood-fired, just like the signature dishes on the menu. Photography by Christian Santiago Photography.

Orno

Coral Gables

It’s generally accepted knowledge that anything Chef Niven Patel touches turns to gold. And by gold, we mean a wildly popular eatery that’s both daring and universally delightful. His latest venture, tucked inside the Thesis Hotel, is detail-driven. Patel has his hand in every facet of the food at Orno, from planting to plating. Many of the ingredients are sourced from Rancho Patel, the chef’s very own farm in Homestead. Since Patel relies heavily on high-quality ingredients, the menu changes seasonally, but if okra is on offer, be sure to order it. He grows it himself with seeds he brought back from India. Top-notch ingredients are only elevated by Orno’s emphasis on wood-fired cooking, drawing out flavors and imparting a subtle smokiness. But while the concept is true farm-to-table, the atmosphere is anything but rustic. Gold geometric light fixtures illuminate a sophisticated space brimming with greenery that serves as an elegant backdrop for a date night or celebratory meal. But we’d recommend swinging by this one-of-a-kind kitchen even if it isn’t a special occasion. The food alone is worth celebrating. thesishotelmiami.com/taste/orno


The Katherine

Fort Lauderdale

Chef Timon Balloo has only ever known how to be his authentic self. His eponymous restaurant was beloved for the Trinidadian-Indian-Chinese dishes it served, inspired by the chef’s heritage. And once again, Balloo puts his heart on the plate in his latest venture, The Katherine. In a way, this outpost is even more vulnerable than Balloo’s first, as it’s a manifestation of his love story. Balloo created The Katherine in tandem with his wife, Marissa, and their romance is woven in every carefully chosen dish and piece of decor. The menu is a compilation of meals the couple fell in love with and over throughout the years, from slow-braised duck orecchiette to clam chowder fries—which one patron requested in a “bathtub size portion.” With a low-lit, cozy interior, this global tapas spot feels like you’ve wandered into someone’s home—if that someone just happened to be a James Beard Award semifinalist. thekatherinerestaurant.com





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