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Food truck-turned-restaurant to open second Sarasota location

Florence and the Spice Boys serves up Middle Eastern fusion cuisine.
Florence and the Spice Boys serves up Middle Eastern fusion cuisine.
Courtesy image
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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A restaurant that traces its origins to a popular food truck will establish its second brick-and-mortar location soon, this time at University Town Center in north Sarasota. 

Florence and the Spice Boys, which serves up Middle Eastern fusion cuisine out of one location in south Sarasota, plans to open a new restaurant on Cattlemen Road this fall, according to a spokesperson for Benderson, developer of UTC, a fast-growing retail area just west of the University Parkway exit of Interstate 75.

The Spice Boys started in 2019 as a food truck, which was so popular that in March 2023 the owners decided to open their first location — Florence and the Spice Boys — in The Landings shopping center in south Sarasota. (East Manatee County-based Benderson Development is also the landlord for The Landings.) 

Florence and the Spice Boys started in 2019 as a food truck.
Image via Florence and the Spice Boys / Instagram

"It's hard for us to believe that we are making this announcement; it feels like yesterday we were still in the food truck, dreaming of one restaurant, let alone two,” owner Florence Schmitt says in a statement. “We are incredibly excited to get started, truly humbled by the opportunity and more than ready to see our Lakewood Ranch friends more often!"

The new restaurant will span 2,500 square feet, opening onto a large patio with an indoor-outdoor bar. Like the original location in The Landings, the UTC eatery will feature lush greenery and bohemian decor to set the ambience.

On the menu will be classics like turmeric fried chicken sandwich, chicken shawarma taco and vegan falafel pita taco as well as “a few more elevated dishes,” according to a statement.

Florence and the Spice Boys is the latest in a string of restaurants coming to UTC, according to Benderson. Farm-to-fork eatery the Naked Farmer plans to open in June, while healthy cafe Pura Vida Miami is slated for a late summer opening.



Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

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