Frenchy's has a ghost kitchen, Harvest Bowl comes to Seminole Heights and more Tampa Bay foodie news

And we say goodbye to St. Pete staple Babalu.

click to enlarge Frenchy's has a ghost kitchen, Harvest Bowl comes to Seminole Heights and more Tampa Bay foodie news
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We’re back with another loaded list of local food news; Amalie Arena debuted its highly-anticipated Cigar City Taproom, two ghost kitchens are coming to town and blood donors will be able to get a fat plate of Hooters wings for free this weekend. Here’s what’s new, what’s coming and what’s happening in the Tampa Bay food scene.

Openings

Cass St. Deli After a little over half a year in business, Cass St. Deli was acquired by Blind Tiger owner Roberto Torres earlier this month. More on the new partnership as the details unfold. 1331 W. Cass St., Tampa.

Cigar City Taproom The long-awaited new taproom at Amalie Arena officially opened under the Pam Iorio Parking Garage adjacent to the west plaza. Amalie Arena, 375 Channelside Dr. Tampa.

Elevation Coffee Roasters The new shop offers up brewed coffee like drip, cold brew and nitro, various espresso drinks, as well as hot or iced green, black and herbal blended teas. 4952 Northdale Blvd., Tampa.

Harvest Bowl The new concept is a blend of a specialty market and a fast-casual restaurant. The menu choices range between $7-$13, comprised of ingredients that are either locally-sourced or house-made. 6109 N. Florida Ave., Tampa.

Havana Creamery & Subs Combining cafe, restaurant, and ice cream parlor, Havana Creamery & Subs is East Tampa’s newest one-stop eatery for both savory and sweet bites. 859 S. Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Brandon.

Michelle Faedo’s Tampeño Cuisine Award-winning Cuban sandwich restaurant Michelle Faedo's Tampeño Cuisine has officially launched its second location stationed within the county building. This concept also offers a 10% discount for county employees on Monday and Friday, and a $0.75 discount on drinks and coffee if you bring your own cup. 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

Momma Cooks & Co. North Pinellas County’s newest bakery offers custom cakes and treats, and will offer light lunch bites throughout the week as well. 12081 Seminole Blvd., Largo.

The Tiki Tavern Safety Harbor’s newest sports bar is celebrating its grand opening with a weekend-long celebration filled with live music, charity fundraisers and giveaways from January 22- 26. 217 Main St., Suite 101, Safety Harbor.

Water Oak Upscale steak and seafood restaurant is now dishing out crab crusted grouper and filet mignon. 201 Main St., Suite 100, Safety Harbor.

Coming soon

Catrina’s Tacos and Tequila Bar Opening January 17 to the public, true fans of Catrinas might remember its previous location Cocina Y Galeria on MacDill Ave., which closed in 2017. This new location will dish out all of the same Mexican bites, but will feature an open-kitchen concept and freshly made tortillas and tamales. 1611 N Howard Ave., Tampa. 

Chicken Salad Chick St. Petersburg is finally getting its first Chicken Salad Chick location within the former space of the iconic China City restaurant that served locals for nearly six decades. It’s set to open sometime in 2020. 1221 4th Street N., St. Petersburg.

Ding Tea The joint is set to make its grand opening to the greater North Tampa area on January 24. Celebrate the cafe’s grand opening with a buy one get one 50% off deal on all drinks. 2202 W. Waters Ave., Tampa.

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille The seafood-forward concept is opening on the St. Pete Pier in March. Waterfront views while dining is a great way to welcome the new, long-awaited debut of the pier. 800 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg.

Dwntn Social University of Tampa students are getting a new acai bowl spot. 1000 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 100, Tampa.

Frenchy’s ghost kitchen The new ghost kitchen concept dubbed “Frenchy’s To Go” is dedicated to fulfilling multiple online food delivery partners; customers can pick up their online Frenchy’s orders or get it delivered to them. The ghost kitchen is expected to be up and running by early 2020. 

Otsuka Set to make its debut next week, the new ramen restaurant will join a lineup of Tampa favorites including Ichicoro, Dosunco and Noble Rice. Will it be able to hold its own? 6800 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa.

The Joinery Set to open before the end of the month, the new food hall is set to be home to the second locations of Gallito Taqueria, King State, and Ava Pizzeria, as well as, Sabu Ramen, Ato (from the founders of Armature Works' Zukku) and Mayday Ice Cream (from the company behind Hyppo Pops). 640 E. Main St., Lakeland. 

Woven Water The craft beer brewery is set to open in the first quarter of 2020— although an exact debut date is still unknown. 456 W. Columbus Dr., Tampa.

Xilo ghost kitchen Owners of Tampa restaurants Kofe and Xilo, Rosana Rivera and Ricardo Castro, are utilizing a commissary kitchen in Clearwater as a virtual eatery—where customers order food online and get it delivered to their door. Add another ghost kitchen to the list. 

Closings 

Babalu After over 70 years in business, St. Pete staple Babalu has closed down. The restaurant and full bar posted a sign on the door reading, "The Babalu would like to thank our patrons from the many years of support! At this moment we are no longer on business."

Events

Hooters This Saturday, January 11, various Hooters locations throughout Tampa Bay are giving free boneless wings to anyone who donates blood at its Blood Drive on January 11. Hooters locations participating in this Blood Drive are 4125 4th St. N and 2901 Tyrone Blvd. in St. Petersburg, 10023 E. Adamo Dr., 13606 Bruce B Downs Blvd., 4420 Gandy Blvd., and 4215 W. Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa, 2800 Gulf To Bay Blvd. in Clearwater and 5336 Treadway in Port Richey. 

Einstein Bros. For National Bagel Day on January 15, Tampa Bay Einstein Bros. Bagels locations are giving guests a free bagel and shmear with any purchase. 

Plant Love Ice Cream Plant Love’s year anniversary celebration is set to be celebrated as a weekend-long block party. On Friday and Saturday (Jan 17-18)  from 5 p.m.- 11 p.m. live music from bands and singer-songwriters, as well as art from Tampa Bay artists and locally-made goods from vendors will all be on display. NahDogs and Ray’s Vegan Soul Food will be on-site slinging the goods, too.

Gen X Tavern Beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 18, Gen X is throwing a birthday bash with cake while bumping throwback music, and hosting special bottle giveaways and raffles. 

Brū Florida Growler Bar On Wednesday, January 22, Brū is serving up the free booze from 3 p.m.-10 p.m. or until the kegs kick. $5 donations are encouraged to benefit Autism Speaks.

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