DEP sets public hearing date for Liberty State Park ‘interior’ plan

The state Department of Environmental Protection has set 6 p.m. Oct. 20 as the time and date for the public hearing on its proposed plan for 234 acres of currently fenced-off land in Liberty State Park.

The hearing will be conducted virtually. Anyone wishing to attend must register by Oct. 15 by going to

Registrants will receive more details and a link to the virtual meeting.

Designers who have been working on a proposal for the land, known as the park’s “interior,” are at the 30 percent complete mark, triggering the need for the hearing. There, the DEP will present the preliminary design proposal, and attendees will be able to submit comments and ask questions. The DEP will also accept comments via an online survey.

In a news briefing last month, DEP officials gave a broad overview of its plan to remediate the contamination that exists in the interior and restore its wetlands with passive recreation and trails to improve access to the park.

The plan has already generated heated debate over the extent of contamination cleanup envisioned and the design.

Once the public comment period ends, the DEP will be tasked with deciding the next steps.

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Cottonmouth restaurant in Village of the Arts announces opening date

Cottonmouth is the newest restaurant by Chef David Shiplett, who also owns Birdrock Taco Shack, around the corner in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts.

Wade Tatangelo
| Sarasota Herald-Tribune

BRADENTON – The most highly anticipated Sarasota-Manatee restaurant opening to be planned since the start of the pandemic should take place a bit earlier than expected.

Chef/owner David Shiplett aims to unveil Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen to the public Sept. 30 after announcing earlier this summer he would open in October. The restaurant occupies a historic cottage on the main road through Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, near Shiplett’s other eatery Birdrock Taco Shack. 

A casual dining destination, Cottonmouth has indoor seating adored with local artwork as well as al fresco options including a spacious, fenced in backyard area with sprawling trees providing shade and dangling Edison lights. There will also be a covered stage in the back, too, where musicians will begin performing when Sunday brunch launches with the Brown Bag Brass Band on Nov. 8, followed by nationally acclaimed Bradenton-based blues artist Doug Deming on Nov. 15.

Cottonmouth’s tightly constructed menu focuses on Dixieland dishes such as fried green tomatoes, collard greens, and shrimp and cheese grits. “Those are the three things I knew I needed to have on the menu when I started thinking about the concept,” Shiplett said earlier this week. “And fried chicken. I also knew I had to have fried chicken.” 

Before attending California Culinary Academy, before working at fine-dining establishments such as Michael’s On East in Sarasota and the old Poseidon on Longboat Key, before opening Bradenton restaurants Ezra and Soma, and before opening Birdrock Taco Shack five years ago; Shiplett began his culinary career at a Kentucky Fried Chicken located just a few miles from where he was born, at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton 61 years ago.

“KFC was the first restaurant I worked at, at age 15, making two dollar hours, and I was lucky, I had friends working at other restaurants making $1.60 an hour in the early ’70s,” Shiplett said with a laugh. “I got to meet the (Colonel Harland Sanders) twice and I was awestruck. And I always wanted to do fried chicken, but, I wanted it to be worthy of the Colonel, you know?”

Gazing at the new Cottonmouth menu, one’s eyes are immediately are pulled to the Big Plates section and the Cast Iron Southern Fried Chicken Breast dish that comes with collard greens and mac and cheese.

“Uncle Jim, before he passed away, gave me a whole collection of cast iron, a lot that he used over an open flame,” Shiplett said. “And ever since he gave it to me I knew it was the perfect vehicle to cook chicken in; at a nice low temperature, after doing a buttermilk brine overnight so that it’s tender and juicy.”

Other Big Plates include the Bradentucky Meatloafburger with melted cheddar and tomato on Texas toast served with a side of tater tots. While Shiplett originally planned to

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Nation Kitchen and Bar Westwood location announces opening date

CINCINNATI — Get ready Westwood. Nation Kitchen and Bar will open its second Cincinnati location in the Queen City on Oct. 1.

“It has been a long road to get to this point, but we are finally ready to break ground and bring Nation Kitchen & Bar to Westwood,” said Andrew Salzbrun, restaurant co-owner, said in a press release earlier this year.

Salzbrun originally hoped to have the new Nation restaurant opened inside the decommissioned Engine 35 fire station located on Junietta Avenue in Westwood by July. The coronavirus pandemic pushed back that timeline.

Cincinnati’s Department of Community and Economic Development announced in June 2018 that Nation had won a bid to redevelop the decommissioned 35 fire station.

Nation Kitchen & Bar opened its first location at 1200 Broadway St. in Pendleton five years ago.

The new location will serve the same menu of beverage and burger options that made it the “best burger in Ohio” according to food website Thrillist.

When Nation Westwood opens it will do so with outdoor seating and carryout window only. Indoor dining will follow shortly thereafter.

For more information visit

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Apple reveals opening date and interior photos of floating Singapore store

Apple’s new Marina Bay Sands store in Singapore is opening on Thursday, Sept. 10. 

The retail outlet attracted attention last month, even before opening, as it is truly different from every other Apple store — it’s a floating, glowing sphere, located in front of the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel. 

Now, in a blog post, Apple has shared some more info about the store that’s nearly ready to start welcoming visitors. The company says its dome is an all-glass structure comprised of 114 pieces of glass, additionally supported with 10 vertical mullions. This way, the store will provide its visitors a 360-degree view of the surrounding skyline, and the opening on top of the dome will provide natural light to the interior. 

Apple reveals opening date and interior photos of floating Singapore store

The top floor of the store also has a Forum with a massive video wall. The company plans to use it for its Today at Apple sessions, with Singapore’s artists and musicians taking the stage. 

Apple reveals opening date and interior photos of floating Singapore store

The lower level of the store will host Apple’s first underwater boardroom, serving as a meeting place between entrepreneurs, developers, and Apple’s team members. 

Apple reveals opening date and interior photos of floating Singapore store

Apple says the store will be run by a 148-person team, and points out that rigorous health measures will be implemented, including mask requirements, temperature checks, and social distancing. 

The store officially opens on Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. SGT. 

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