The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 12 - January 2, 2013


Bistro offspring gets honor

The judges at the Golden Spoon are in love with Sean Murphy’s Beach Bistro and now they’re saying “Eat here,” when talking about his newest restaurants. The Eat Here Restaurants at 5315 Gulf Drive, in Holmes Beach, and 1888 Main St., in Sarasota, have won the Golden Spoon “Best New Restaurants in Florida” Award

Murphy was profoundly moved by the award.

“It was an amazing thrill and it took me back to the Bistro’s first Golden Spoon Award,” he said. “To be recognized by Florida Trend is particularly gratifying when there are so many online selection processes that are subject to bias and abuse. Florida Trend still has a great deal of authority and culinary integrity. Chris Sherman is one of the few truly passionate and qualified restaurant critics that is still writing.”

The Golden Spoon recognition for Eat Here follows on the recent announcement by ZAGAT that the Beach Bistro was awarded “Best Food” status for the Gulf Coast. The Bistro has consistently garnered some of the highest scores for food and service in Florida and was selected by ZAGAT for inclusion in its small guide to the “Top Restaurants in America”.

Murphy was asked to explain the difference between his Bistro and Eat Here operations:

“At the Bistro, we are trying to honor your special occasion by giving you one of the best dining experiences that you have ever had,” he said. “The Eat Here concept is meant to be less sacrosanct and more frolicsome than the Beach Bistro’s.

“The two Eat Here restaurants on Anna Maria and in Sarasota had won ‘Best New’ kudos by local newspapers and magazines in their neighborhoods, but the statewide Florida Trend recognition was a particular endorsement of all the creative work that the Eat Here service and chef staffs have accomplished over the past year,” he said. “The ZAGAT and Florida Trend recognition helped bring Christmas early for us.”

A new Eat Here will be opening in Siesta Village on Siesta Key later this month.

The Eat Here restaurants serve more casual and lighter versions of Beach Bistro culinary creations. The Chef staffs are trained by Bistro Chefs. They focus Bistro methods on more accessible products to create dishes at pricing for more casual, every day dining. The Eat Here bars offer classic and creative cocktails and family crafted beers and wines.

To contact Eat Here, call 778-0411 in Holmes Beach and 941-365-8700 in Sarasota or log onto or

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Preparing for potentially higher tax rates

Investment Corner

The end of one year, the start of a new one is traditionally a time to reflect and also to look forward to new opportunities. As 2012 comes to a close, I am struck by the generally negative tone of the people we meet and talk to about the state of the economy and the prospects for things to improve, despite evidence that the economy is growing and has been gaining momentum recently. Of course, many are obsessed about what might happen with tax rates on both ordinary income and investment related activity.

Recently, at lunch with a very nice couple, the wife exclaimed it would be impossible for the economy to grow if taxes went up. I continued munching my salad, avoiding the temptation to point out that for much of the last 60 years, we had income tax rates significantly higher than we do today and that the economy managed to grow pretty well during most of that time. We also managed to put a man on the moon and to enjoy the most wonderful period of technological advancement and growth in life expectancy ever.

For higher income investors, it is a realistic expectation that tax rates will go up on our investment related gains and income. But as pointed out previously, we have observed rising stock markets and economic growth with much higher tax rates in past times. Having a strategy in place can allow you to minimize the tax bite no matter where rates end up.

Minimizing the number of transactions and increasing the duration of your holding period of assets in non-qualified accounts is a great way to reduce the tax bite anytime, but in particular if tax rates on dividends and capital gains rise. If you are pursuing any sort of short-term trading tactics, it would be best to do so in qualified accounts (like IRAs) not subject to capital gains. This has always been true, but again, has more meaning if rates rise on investment related activity.

So, try thinking of yourself as an owner of a business for the long-term when selecting stocks, rather than trying to trade every time the price rises a few percent and hoping to buy the same company back after the price falls. Simply mimicking the behavior of some of the more successful investors (Warren Buffett, for example) by owning good quality companies with an eye toward their potential value in the future and collecting a growing dividend stream along the way has proven in the past to be a tax friendly and successful approach.

Master limited partnerships (MLPs) are a form of corporate structure for companies which are in the business of transporting energy products like oil and natural gas. The high level of profit distributions (6 percent or higher is not uncommon) these firms share with their owners can be largely tax-deferred until the shares are sold at some point in the future. MLPs also provide the potential for growth of value in addition to the aforementioned tax-managed income. Like stocks, MLPs can fluctuate significantly in value, so a prudent plan for portfolio diversification is important.

Of course, municipal bonds pay tax-free income which may become more attractive if tax rates rise. One word of caution though. Like most bonds, municipals may experience temporary declines in value if interest rates rise. Values recover as the bonds' maturity date approaches, but if the investor were forced to sell for some reason before maturity, the risk of loss exists.

I don't believe we need to panic over potentially higher tax rates, but rather, spend our energy on doing what we can to minimize how the higher rates affect us. Have a great and successful 2013.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper