Dinner at the Linger Lodge

Suncoast British Car Club members gathering for dinner at the “unique” Linger Lodge.

On September 24, about 20 members of the club met for dinner at the Linger Lodge in Bradenton, FL. Due to the uncertain weather (the more than usual number of thunder storms) this month, most everyone left their LBC sheltered at home. It has been over a year since our last visit to this iconic restaurant, but the “Old Florida” atmosphere and good food remain unchanged. Nestled amongst massive, live oaks dripping with Spanish moss on the bank of the Braden River, it’s easy to imagine that the large, stuffed alligator on the wall of the main dining room came from their own back yard.

Until new owners arrived on the scene a few years ago, the Linger Lodge advertised its status as “untouched by time.” Unfortunately, many of the stuffed animal specimens, apparently preserved by someone taking up taxidermy as a hobby, were also untouched by dusters. Most of the better examples have now been rounded up and relegated to glass cases.  

Following dinner we were invited to Bill Stelcher’s garage and work shop, located only minutes from the Lodge. His 1965 Morgan plus 4 and 1929 Model A Speedster are kept ready in this roomy and impressively organized building. 

For all participants, it was a very pleasant late afternoon with rain showers conveniently only while we were in the restaurant. Photos by the author.

Dinner at Mr. Tequila Cantina

SBCC members at the Mr. Tequila Cantina. Note the colorful table. Also the take home boxes!

On July 13, twenty club members and guests assembled for a Mexican dinner at the Mr. Tequila Cantina in Sarasota. The threat of late afternoon & evening thundershowers led everyone to leave the LBC’s at home this time.

The restaurant is located in a nondescript storefront in a shopping plaza just off I-75. But upon entering, we were confronted with a burst of vibrant colors. The chairs, booths and tables are all colorfully painted in a festive Mexican style. The online food and service reviews are all over the map, but averaging a solid 3.5 stars. The food is authentic and the servings ample. The staff pushed several tables together to accommodate our group. We all had a great time there with everyone (hopefully) getting home before the rain came.

Thanks to Jim and Debbie Wilson for organizing this event.


Breakfast Run to the Silver Star East

On a beautiful Sunday morning, club members line up their cars outside of the Silver Star East restaurant in Myakka City. City?

We’re in the hot and humid summer months here in Florida and an estimated one-third of the membership has scarpered to presumably cooler locales up north. For those of us who remain, club activities involving our LBC’s are generally scheduled to avoid the afternoons with their searing temperatures and scattered thunderstorms. Enter the increased frequency of weekend Breakfast Runs on the club calendar.

On June 30, the destination restaurant was the Silver Star East in Myakka City, inland and away from the coastal population centers with stop and go traffic. Making the ‘run’ were four Triumphs – 2-TR3’s, a TR6 and a TR8, along with a Lotus Elan Plus 2, a Jaguar XK8 and a Maserati (?) Spider. The direct route to the restaurant would normally take about 20 minutes from our usual jumping-off point, the Fruitville Texaco. But, of course, President and caravan honcho Jim Wilson’s scenic route over rural roads and country curves was anything but direct.

For seven years, the family-run Silver Star was in downtown Sarasota. But, when a restaurant on State Road 70 came on the market, the family opted to move their “down home cooking” 25 miles east. Completely refurbished, the Silver Star East (“where friends meet friends”) has been open only a few months now. Trip Advisor gave their former location a 4.5 rating and club members reported that they saw no reason why they should not retain that level. Other feedback was “great food at reasonable prices” and “worth the trip.”

Joe Malaney provided the input for this report.

Road Trip to Cedar Key

The group stops en route for refueling at Cody’s Original Roadhouse.

The SBCC has a close relationship with the Sunshine Region AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America), with many of our members in both clubs. We occasionally share events and this was the case when some of the members teamed up for a weekend visit to Cedar Key, Florida. Cedar Key is an island city in the Gulf of Mexico off the northwest coast of Florida. It’s an old port and fishing village with many “Old Florida” shops and restaurants and great B&B’s. Cedar Key is about 180 miles from Sarasota.

The caravan to Cedar Key left Sarasota the morning of Friday, April 5 with the intermediate destination for lunch at Cody’s Original Roadhouse, a car-theme restaurant. Several traffic problems limited progress, but the group still arrived in time for lunch. After a good meal, the group journeyed another hour and a half to its final destination: the Cedar Key B&B. There was time for relaxing and cocktails on the spacious veranda before a short walk to Tony’s for a great meal.

After a fantastic breakfast the next morning the group was off for a full day of shopping and touristic activities. That evening there was another short walk to Restaurant 83. The great open water views were matched by the food and service. Sunday morning was more of the same adventures before heading back home. Everyone had a great time and the likelihood of a return visit is high.

Thanks to Jack Knuese for this report and photos. Additional input from Bruce Skaggs.

Poker Run 2019

Amid thunderous applause, Alex Hupe awards the coveted Poker Run trophy to the 2019 winner, Walt Mainberger

     On March 23rd we held our annual Poker Run, organized by Alex Huppe and Jeryl Schriever. The theme for this year’s event was “Garages.” The day started at Gene Cohen’s, where he is in the early stage of rebuilding from the frame up yet another one of the old Packards he keeps finding to resuscitate. The event routing then took us to three other garages where antique & classic cars (not all British) were proudly sheltered or under active restoration. The final stop was Joe Malaney’s house/garage to see his unbelievable collection of approximately 1500 model cars. We finished at Applebees where the score sheets were tallied to determine the surprise winner, followed by lunch (no surprise there). Congratulations are extended to Walt and Joanne Mainberger as the winners of the prestigious traveling trophy, and the honor of hosting next year’s Poker Run.

     Thanks to Alex and Jeryl for a well-organized, fun day. Input for this report was lifted from the works of Anita Woods and Bruce Skaggs. Photos by Joe Malaney and the author.