By Leon Konieczny
What the heck is a “culinary collective,” and what is one doing inside of an old railroad depot in historic, downtown Sanford? The first railroad depot in Sanford was built in the 1800’s by Henry Plant. In 1940, Henry Plant’s original depot was demolished and a new one built on that site. Rail traffic declined and eventually disappeared, so the building sat empty for many years until Sean Kelly brought his vision and his idea for a culinary collective to Sanford. Henry’s Depot is the result of Sean’s vision to take a grand old building with a glorious history and repurpose it for something new and great.
So, what is a culinary collective? Restaurant? Bar and lounge? Entertainment venue? Coffee shop? A local hangout? The answer is yes! —it is all those things. Henry’s Depot features 8 one of-a-kind tenants — each local, each unique, and each passionate about what they do.
The Basin at Henry’s Depot is a bar/lounge, which includes a large open patio and ample seating for dining or relaxing in a Florida-themed atmosphere. The Basin’s bar features signature and craft cocktails, wines, and a variety of craft beers. While relaxing at The Basin, sipping your favorite beverage, you can order food from any of the seven other establishments that make up the culinary collective. You can order at The Basin or at any individual venue and the food will be delivered right to your table, wherever you are— and there is something for everyone.
Dharma Fine Vittles features plant-based BBQ. If you have never tried plant-based food products, you are in for a real treat. You will find it hard to believe that their tasty fare is all meatfree and totally vegetarian. Across the hall, for those who want meat, you will find great craft sandwiches at Salvatore’s Prime Sandwiches where the portions are huge, and the sandwiches are freshly made to order while you wait. While I recommend the Classic Italian, there are many great choices and you will not leave hungry, for sure.If pizza is your thing, you can head over to get a custom made, oak fired pizza at Oak Flame Pizza. Each pizza is made to order and cooked in their wood-fired oven. Build your own; you will not be disappointed. Perhaps seafood is calling you? Then step across to The Current Seafood Counter. I recommend that you follow them on social media since their standard fare—which is quite tasty—is often supplemented by pop-up specials, such as a whole Maine lobster, fresh gulf shrimp, or other fresh catch of the day. But be aware, the specials ofice cream boutique featuring traditional and plant-based, small batch ice creams—think classics, reimagined—and way better.
Henry’s Depot Culinary Collective is a great, family-friendly place to gather with family and friends and you will find something for every taste right there. It is a comfortable place to hang out for an hour or an afternoon. All food items can be ordered to-go, too. But whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed, of this, I am sure.