That sound is our stomachs gurgling after spending way too much time in the Food & Drink vertical of cltampa.com. This week our eyes are on pizza, a new restaurant from “Top Chef” alum Jeffrey Jew, a sports by co-owned by Drew Brees and also pouring one out as Honey Pot says goodbye to Ybor City.
Santoro’s Pizzeria Earlier this month, the New Jersey-style pizza joint celebrated a grand opening in the West Riverfront neighborhood near University of Tampa. Local artist Bianca Burrows aka “BBArt” painted a mural throughout the day. Guests can start off the meal with appetizers like mozzarella sticks, caprese, and salad then follow up with a pizza created from a variety of toppings including chicken cutlets, an assortment of veggies, and cheeses. When you’re full, take home a Santoro’s sub sandwich or dessert. A slice of pizza will set you back $2.50 while a square pizza rounds out the menu at $20. Santoro’s is open daily from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. 1329 W Cass St., Tampa. santorospizzeria.com
Lingr The new St. Petersburg restaurant from “Top Chef” alum Jeffrey Jew, had eyes on a fall 2020 opening, but pushed plans back so that the concept could build in new technology and safety measures like UV lights in the HVAC system, an expanded outdoor dining area canopy, HEPA filtration systems in the indoor dining room and kitchen, and more. We have a lingering feeling the concept is opening very soon. Because a certificate of occupancy is still not in hand, reps for Lingr could not share a firm opening date, but added that the hope to be able to share one “any day now.” Through a rep, Jew said Lingr has completed hiring in the front and back of house but is still looking to hiring more hourly waitstaff. Lingr’s Instagram has teased a few food offerings, including dumplings, raw snapper, and sea urchin all revolving around the restaurant's Nordic and Asian-inspired menu. Jew told CL his mother is Nordic and his father is Chinese, so the whole restaurant concept from name to food is in ode to his family. 400 6th St., St. Petersburg. lingrrestaurant.com
Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux Co-owned by former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees Walk-On’s is opening a location at Midtown Tampa, joining rooftop bar Sal Y Mar, which is already proving to be a popular hotspot in the city. The menu, described on the website as “authentic, mouthwatering Louisiana cuisine prepared fresh in a from-scratch kitchen”, includes several delicacies like their signature Cajundillas, Voodoo Shrimp & Grits, po boy sandwiches, salads, and burgers. Pair a meal with either one of their signature cocktails like the Blueberry Coconut Mojito, beer, or wine. Opening date is TBD but take the quick drive up to the Walk-On’s Wesley Chapel location. And don’t worry, going to a restaurant co-owned by Brees does not put you in danger of choking. 3740 Midtown Dr., Tampa. walk-ons.com
Taste of the Fair The carnival food pop-up is currently operating at the corner of Hillsborough Avenue and 40th Street in East Tampa, where it has several trucks with all your fair food needs from fresh-squeezed lemonade to deep fried Oreos to candy apples and multiple meats on a stick. If you don’t feel like driving-thru, Taste of the Fair is also on Uber Eats. Just remember, some fried stuff doesn’t travel well so don’t be disappointed if your footlong corn dog is a little soggy. Taste of the Fair has popped up all over Tampa Bay after last year’s fair got canceled because of the pandemic, and most recently parked at 2702 E. Busch Blvd. In February, owner Matthew Lauther told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that his plans for the trucks are uncertain and suggested following Taste of the Fair’s Facebook page for updates. 4015 E Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. @tasteofthefairtogo on Facebook
Honey Pot After 14 years in Ybor City, a historic district haven for dance floor darlings is moving out. In December, local officials banned gathering on the dance floor, and those restrictions seem to have spelled the end for the LGBTQ+ favorite. “The mounting expenses of maintaining the business while shutdown without income for months has made it impossible to recover financially,” Honey Pot wrote. In December, the club decided not to try and adapt to the dance floor restrictions. Other clubs around it did, and found themselves in hot water as code enforcement moved through Ybor City, citing some for repeat violations. “While we take the pandemic very seriously and understand the goal of local officials, it doesn't leave us much left offer to the community,” Honey Pot wrote in its December announcement. “We are at a dance club. We have no seating areas, no tables, and after eight months of being closed in 2020. no ability to buy them either.” We’re guessing Honey Pot is going to land on its sweet feet somewhere soon. But in the meantime, pour one out for one of Ybor’s best.—Ray Roa
Owner of Tampa Bay Beef O'Brady's offers employees $100 each to get vaccinated Chris Overbeck, franchisee of a Pasco Beefs kept paying employees even when the location closed last March and April and is offering the incentive because he knows the staff is the backbone of his business and wants them to be healthy. A press release adds that “He also recognizes that guests will feel more comfortable coming back to Beef 'O' Brady's if they know the staff are vaccinated.” The Tampa Bay Business Journal said that none of Overbeck’s 20 employees have taken him up on the offer yet, noting that most of them are too young to be eligible for the poke. "The first thing I did was tell them, 'I don’t want to make you do it. I want you to understand why you should do it,'" Overbeck told TBBJ. “My hope is 100 percent will do it. My best guess is 40 percent will.” 14851 SR-52, Hudson. beefobradys.com/hudson
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