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Downtown Bradenton to be showcased in Taste Dining & Travel Magazine's food tours

BRADENTON -- Starting next week, Taste Dining & Travel Magazine will bring their popular history and dining tour to downtown Bradenton, according to publisher Neil Finelli.

There will be two tours a week with Tuesday's tour showcasing the Village of the Arts. On Thursdays, the tour will focus on the historic downtown area. Each tour is expected to last between 2-3 hours and will be a combination of exploring history while enjoying samplings from area restaurants.

The tours are based on similar tours offered in Sarasota.

Tuesday's tours will begin at Motorworks Brewery before heading into the Village of the Arts for stops at Arts and Eats Cafe and Ortygia. Guide Georgia Brown will explain the history and architecture of the 1930s cottages within the village.

Sugar Cubed will be the final stop of the day where guests can finish off their overall meal with dessert.

Sugar Cubed owner Dana Johnson said it's a wonderful way to introduce new people to what the village and downtown Bradenton have to offer.

"It's going to be great exposure," said Johnson. "It's all about getting people into downtown and the Village of the Arts in particular to show people that we offer a variety here. It's not just art galleries. We have cafes, events and all kinds of things going on."

Johnson, who opened last July, said business in the village has been good.

"We've seen a lot of growth in the six or seven months that I've been here, and we have stayed busy and are expanding like crazy," he said. "We've had a lot of community support and are just having a lot of fun."

Fun in what he does and fun in finding unique flavors for his customers is what he specializes in and is what Johnson hopes to portray to those who take the tour.

The Village of the Arts tour begins every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Motorworks where guests kick off the afternoon with a tour of the brewery and a free beer. Cost to attend the village tour is $45 and includes all food,

the brewery tour and non-alcoholic beverages, with the exception of the complimentary beer offered by Motorworks.

The Discover Old Main Street tour begins every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the South Florida Museum. The price for the downtown tour is $55, but includes a tour of the museum as well food that will be sampled from Soma Creekside and an English tea at The Londoner Bed and Breakfast & Tearooms. Guests will be taken on a tour of downtown Bradenton where the guide will delve into the struggles of early settlers and into the turbulent 1920s when Bradenton began its transformation from small town to bustling city.

The downtown tour will conclude at the South Florida Museum where guests will finish their history and dining day with desserts courtesy of Sugar Cubed.

Each tour is about 1.5 miles long and guests are asked to dress appropriately. All tours will take place rain or shine and reservations are required by calling the magazine at 941-366-7950 or visit tasteweb.net.

Menu items will vary with each tour and Finelli notes that special dietary needs cannot be taken into consideration at this time.

Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041 or follow him on Twitter @urbanmark2014.

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