Fall Restaurant Preview 2017: New places to fall in love with around Tampa Bay

A list of coming-soon food and drink spots to get you even more pumped about where we live.

click to enlarge In Tampa, Bulla Gastrobar is bringing its shareable menu to the SoHo corridor. - Bulla Gastrobar
Bulla Gastrobar
In Tampa, Bulla Gastrobar is bringing its shareable menu to the SoHo corridor.

We haven’t done one of these roundups in while. Mostly because restaurant opening dates are such a moving target (American Social, please hurry), but also because new places to go for food and drink (which the edit team and I try to keep you updated on as much as possible) continue to debut on the daily around Tampa Bay.

But just to get you even more pumped about where we live (and hopefully some cooler weather), here are the coming-soon concepts CL’s covered over the last several months that’re expected to launch throughout the fall.

2nd & Second In downtown St. Pete, this new 24-hour diner is on track to premiere sometime in autumn. The menu is being finalized, last we heard, and something tells us there’ll be plenty of good coffee to go around, as Kahwa Coffee co-owner Raphael Perrier is involved with the project. 201 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-388-1340, 2ndandsecond.com.

Bulla Gastrobar A Florida-based Spanish restaurant with contemporary tapas-style cuisine, inventive cocktails (made-to-order pitchers of sangria, anyone?) and a rooftop bar called Luna Lounge in the heart of Tampa’s SoHo area. Built around a communal vibe, the 172-seat Bulla has lunch, dinner and weekend brunch in store. 930 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-773-8626, bullagastrobar.com.

Burgerim This Israeli fast-casual burger chain was originally slated to open its downtown Tampa location in late July. Diners can look forward to Burgerim’s signature gourmet fast-food item — create-your-own mini burgers — served up in a stylish, inviting setting. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. Locally, there’s another Burgerim coming to Clearwater Beach. 800 N. Franklin St., Tampa, burgerim.com.

Byblos Café The longtime South Tampa eatery known for Lebanese cuisine is getting an updated look inside and out, reworked menu that's more focused on hot and cold mezes (or shareable Mediterranean plates), and new additions — among them a lively bar with cocktail and outdoor lounges. Byblos does plan to close for a short time to redo its dining room eventually, but the expansion is shooting for completion by the first or second week of October, give or take. 2832 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, 813-805-7977, bybloscafe.com.

CW’s Gin Joint Training is underway at this buzzed-about cocktail bar and restaurant. Owned by Wilson Company president Carolyn Wilson, the Gin Joint is set to carry all sorts of libations alongside the booze at the center of its “Gin Matrix,” an easy-to-digest definition of gin that spirits specialist Dean Hurst and the rest of the crew have worked tirelessly to develop for their staff and guests. 633 N. Franklin St., Tampa, facebook.com/cwginjoint.

click to enlarge Edible cookie dough from Dough Nation. Soon. - Metropolitan Ministries
Metropolitan Ministries
Edible cookie dough from Dough Nation. Soon.

Dough Nation Also a downtown Tampa newbie, Dough Nation specializes in the nostalgic, unbaked goodness that is edible cookie dough, dishing flavors like dark chocolate and s’mores. The dessert-forward restaurant, an extension of Metropolitan Ministries’ Inside the Box Cafe, carries ice cream, shakes and coffee drinks as well. Yup, we’re ready for September. 505 N. Tampa St., Tampa, itbcafe.org.

Dr. BBQ In late fall or early winter, St. Pete’s EDGE District can start grubbing on New American barbecue from Datz owners Roger and Suzanne Perry and Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe. The trio recruited seasoned Texas pitmaster Lee Jasper to lead their fresh takes on traditional ’cue, and beverage director Morgan Zuch spearheads the two-level restaurant’s rare bourbon selection. 1101 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg, drbbqs.com.

The Hall on Franklin A multidimensional food and drink experience in Tampa Heights that’s shooting to open next week. Featuring a lineup of industry vets under one roof, the seven outposts inside this sophisticated food hall, owned by Jamal Wilson with Lindsay Dixon on board as director of operations, are Kōfē, Poké Rose, Bake’n Babes, Heights Fish Camp, Heights Melt Shoppe, North Star Eatery and The Collection. 1701 N. Franklin St., Tampa, thehallonfranklin.com.

The Heights Public Market The collaborative dining destination at the mixed-use Armature Works is another anticipated fall opening (think late 2017) for Tampa Heights. Its newest tenant — joining Ichicoro Imoto, Union by Commune + Co., Fine and Dandy, Butcher & BBQ, Ava, Inside the Box, O Cocina Taqueria, Swami Juice, Graze 1910, Cru Cellars, Astro Ice Cream, Zukku Sushi and a rotating stall — is Hemingway’s, showcasing classic Cuban flavors with a twist. 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa, 813-250-3725, armatureworks.com.

Ichicoro Ane Expanded food, drinks and service drive the youngest member of the Ichicoro family. Ane, which replaces the mixed-use Station House’s original eatery in downtown St. Pete, is divided into four experiences, or areas — a small ramen shop, the main dining room, the central bar and a high-end sipping lounge — to create a multilayered atmosphere. According to chef-partner Noel Cruz, the launch date is “fall-ish.” 260 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg, ichicoro.com.

Kahwa Coffee The fourth drive-thru location, and 12th coffee shop overall, for owners Sarah and Raphael Perrier. Specialty drinks, coffee by the pound, baked goods and a small outdoor seating area are on the menu for the 410-square-foot cafe, which replaces a vintage Farm Store on St. Pete’s west side. 5820 Ninth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, kahwacoffee.com.

The Lure An indoor-outdoor second restaurant for downtown St. Pete's The Lure that previously had a mid-summer opening scheduled in South Tampa. The diverse menu covers sushi, salads, tacos, tapas and flatbreads, in addition to crowd-pleasing tiki drinks and other custom cocktails, in a laid-back environment with billiards. 2402 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, 813-215-7536, thelurestpete.com.

Mini Doughnut Factory The same jazzed-up menu of customizable, petite cake doughnuts, a similar layout, and interior murals by local artists are a few of the elements this St. Pete newcomer carries over from its South Tampa flagship. An added bonus? On-site coffee roasting. Owners Patrick and Zezura Ruddell anticipate a premiere the third or fourth week of September. 730 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg, minidoughnutfactory.com.

click to enlarge A look inside Pour Taproom. - Pour Taproom
Pour Taproom
A look inside Pour Taproom.

Pour Taproom Self-serve craft beer and wine spread out over 85 taps — largely reserved for local breweries. The next-door 2nd & Second diner will supply this downtown St. Pete bar with a dedicated food menu, and there’s a few outdoor activities (bocce ball, cornhole and Ping-Pong) to keep patrons entertained. 225 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-755-8271, pourtaproomstpete.com.

Razzle Dazzle Donut Co. Siblings with 9th Bar Coffee Co., where some exclusive creations are promised for the pastry case, Razzle Dazzle brings higher-end, customizable doughnuts to downtown Dunedin. The focus is on healthier options such as fruit toppings and whole foods at this mostly-takeout joint. Expect a few nitro cold brews on tap and nitrogen lattes, too. 316 Main St., Dunedin, facebook.com/razzledazzledonuts.

Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar A South Florida-born Mexican restaurant brand — known for its tequila list, tableside guacamole and lively feel — headed for International Plaza later this year. In addition to Rocco’s favorites like jalapeño rellenos and all-you-can-eat tacos, a covered bar and patio are highlights of the 265-seat, 7,613-square-foot Tampa location. 2223 N. Westshore Blvd. #B203, Tampa, roccostacos.com.

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