Uncovering Southside Village: Our Story


In the heart of Sarasota, Florida, Southside Village is a vivid reminder of the city’s rich history and evolving character. With its charming tree-lined streets and quaint architecture, Southside Village has grown from its modest beginnings into a lively center of shopping, restaurants, offices and community. To truly appreciate the essence of Southside Village today, it’s important to look back at its past, filled with unique establishments and cherished memories.

Walking through the village, you can almost hear the echoes of its early days, where local shops and businesses laid the foundation for what would become a thriving neighborhood. Each corner of Southside Village tells a story, from the beloved family-owned stores to the markets that have served generations of residents.

Over the years, this neighborhood has managed to keep its small-town charm while welcoming modern changes. Neighbors greet each other warmly, and local business owners know their customers by name. Traditions are honored, yet innovation is welcomed, creating a unique blend that captures the spirit of community.

Southside Village is not just a place to live or visit; it’s a place where you can feel the blend of old and new Sarasota. This vibrant neighborhood shows how history and modern life can coexist beautifully.


Transformation and Growth


As Sarasota expanded, Southside Village experienced significant transformation. The post-World War II era brought considerable changes, evolving the area from a quiet residential neighborhood into a lively hub of commerce and culture. The establishment of Southside Elementary School in the 1920s was instrumental in attracting young families, further fueling the neighborhood’s growth.

During the mid-20th century, a wave of new businesses began to emerge, each adding a distinct touch to the village. Small boutiques, cafes, and specialty shops started lining the streets, turning Southside Village into a sought-after shopping destination. Despite these changes, the sense of community remained strong, with many businesses run by local families who lived in the area.



A Community with Heart


Despite the evolving businesses and landscape, the sense of community remains the heart of Southside Village. Whether reminiscing about the old days at Maribel’s Grocery Store or enjoying a modern meal at Libby’s, both residents and visitors appreciate the village’s blend of history and contemporary charm.

Southside Village continues to thrive, offering a welcoming environment where past and present coexist harmoniously. It stands as a vibrant example of how neighborhoods can grow and change while still preserving the essence of what makes them special.



Historic Photos of Southside Village


The photos below showcase the rich history and vibrant evolution of Southside Village, highlighting some of its most beloved buildings and landmarks.

Maribel’s Grocery Store was more than just a place to buy food; it was a cherished community hub where locals gathered to share stories and connect with one another. Its warmth and familiarity made Maribel’s a beloved fixture in the neighborhood.

The Original Chicken Coop Bar, with its unique barn-like exterior on Osprey Avenue, provided a cozy retreat for residents. This welcoming spot was perfect for friends and neighbors to unwind and enjoy each other’s company, adding to the quaint charm of the area.

Established in the 1920s, Southside Elementary School played a crucial role in the neighborhood’s growth by attracting young families. The presence of the school marked the beginning of a thriving community centered around education and family life.

As the mid-20th century approached, a wave of small businesses, including boutiques and cafes, began to line the streets. These new establishments transformed Southside Village into a lively shopping destination, enhancing its appeal and contributing to its town-like community atmosphere.

Morton’s Gourmet Market, which has served the community for over 50 years, remains a cherished institution. This family-owned market offers gourmet foods, fine wines, and specialty items, continuing the tradition of being a central hub where locals can shop and socialize.

Modern additions like Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie, with its diverse menu and stylish decor, have brought new life to the area. Community events such as the annual Holiday Stroll highlight the neighborhood’s strong sense of togetherness. These celebrations bring residents together to enjoy festive activities, preserving the village’s heritage while embracing the present.

  • These images capture the essence of Southside Village, illustrating its journey from a quiet residential area to a vibrant center of commerce and community.