Brass Tap pours for Ybor, Florida Cane Distillery's new gin & more

The Brass Tap, Florida Distillery and Harbor Dish Cafe have the latest in food and drink news.

click to enlarge The Brass Tap's Ybor site right off Seventh Avenue. - Meaghan Habuda
Meaghan Habuda
The Brass Tap's Ybor site right off Seventh Avenue.

The Brass Tap opened the doors of its seventh Bay area location to Ybor City's Centro Ybor complex at 1600 E. Seventh Ave. Monday.

Housed below Hamburger Mary's, the beer-cigar-wine joint, with a tap list of about 60 craft beers and more in bottles, also serves up bar bites like flatbreads, warm dips, pretzel pizzas (which seem to be all the rage, at least in the fast-food world) and panini.

The beer-bar chain operates in additional out-of-state locales, including Ohio and Arizona.

Pass the gin, please

Tamiami Gin, with organic juniper, coriander and more, is the Florida Cane Distillery's latest small-batch libation.

The Tampa-based craft distillery, founded by Lee Nelson and Pat O'Brien, will showcase its creation at six spots throughout the region, including The Mandarin Hide and Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club (here's the full list), from Thursday to Wednesday.

Folks may purchase the gin at the distillery, or through other retail outlets.

Redefining "restaurant"

With spring as its tentative opening date, Safety Harbor's Harbor Dish Community Cafe, mentioned in CL's spring restaurant preview, will craft items like soups, salads and wraps using organic when possible. The menu will vary daily, too.

The nonprofit cafe, featuring a community garden and event stage at 123 Fourth Ave. S., will function co-op-style. Although it won't follow traditional restaurant models, it'll be similar to Jon Bon Jovi's pay-what-you-can Soul Kitchen in New Jersey.

Diners will pay for their eats through suggested donation levels, or The Harbor Dish's volunteer program, where they'll bus tables, wash dishes and the like for one hour.

"It's important that we find ways for the community to support The Harbor Dish, even if someone is unable to do so monetarily," founder Christina Sauger said in a news release. "That's the purpose of our volunteer program."

According to Sauger, the cafe will provide a distinct dining experience while directly impacting the area. Plans for local programs include job-training classes for at-risk youth and culinary education for disabled veterans.

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