Blue Rooster. Photo by Eddie Kirsch.

Sarasota County’s nightlife of music, arts and entertainment

Whatever your fashion choices may be for the evening, there is a nightlife alternative in Sarasota to fit your style.

Stilettos and suits or flip-flops and Bermuda shorts? Whatever your fashion choices may be for the evening, there is a nightlife alternative in Sarasota to fit your style.

The Blue Blue Rooster

Kick off the after-hours adventures with some craft cocktails and “New American Southern fare” at The Blue Rooster in downtown Sarasota. Expect live, hopping entertainment in a juke joint environment and a dancing crowd. This hotspot is just a stone’s throw from a plethora of bars/restaurants that have top-notch drinks on the menus and energetic bands on the marquees.

Bentley's Boutique Hotel and Lono Tiki Bar

If pub-crawling is not on the evening’s itinerary and a more stationary approach to reveling is in order, Bentley’s Boutique Hotel is the surefire fix. Book a room at the Osprey resort and have an adrenaline-filled experience without ever leaving the property. Treat yourself to an upscale dinner at Brasserie 41, where the herb-marinated sirloin steak with bleu cheese butter is as decadent as the truffle macaroni and cheese. Sip tropical libations at Lono Tiki Bar, with its view of the Infinity Pool, and listen to laid-back melodies. Then, tuck in for the night in a boutique-style room that is reminiscent of swanky, metropolitan lodging.

Music and Dance Performances

The next night, prepare to get cultured. The arts-based evening alternatives in Sarasota County are simply unmatched. Though many of these opportunities are seasonal, they undoubtedly pack more than enough power into their May-to-October schedules.

Historic Asolo Theatre
Historic Asolo Theatre

Audiophiles flock to the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, which features classical music programs with internationally renowned performers. Concerts are held at the Historic Asolo Theater and other small area venues, and most shows begin at 7:30 p.m. to give patrons ample time for pre-concert dining. The Sarasota Orchestra (the oldest continuing orchestra in Florida) has been dazzling audiences for nearly seven decades with exciting classical, family and pops concerts. Every June, locals and out-of-towners anticipate the Orchestra’s Sarasota Music Festival, with its lecture series, workshops and recitals.

Dance aficionados, be sure to buy tickets to The Sarasota Ballet of Florida’s quick-to-sell-out performances. The company’s repertoire includes works by some of the most high-profile choreographers in the world of ballet and the most skilled dancers. Lucky spectators may even see an American ballet premiere onstage.

Theatre and Comedy

Asolo Theatre
Asolo Theatre

Theatre buffs, check out the Asolo Repertory Theatre, which stages up to 15 productions each season. Talented actors in the Asolo Rep perform everything from newly commissioned plays to fresh reinterpretations of modern and classical works. Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is “where the street meets the elite,” and the downtown Sarasota staple invites audiences to engage in interactive theatre that is hip and lively but unfailingly professional.

When it’s time to laugh, McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre in downtown Sarasota brings the humor. Touring national acts perform standup comedy in the remodeled showroom as audiences pick items from a full menu of cocktails and grub. Most of the seats are less than 35 feet from the stage (which is flanked by two high-definition monitors), so every spot is golden and there is no shortage of visibility.

Siesta Beach

Siesta Key beach is one of the best beaches in the world, and down the road, Siesta Key Village is one of the most active nightlife scenes downtown. Enjoy live music and DJs at Daiquiri Deck and Siesta Key Oyster Bar, and stroll down the road to one of the dance clubs!

So eat, drink, giggle and experience the mirth of a quintessential evening in Sarasota County.