Long-awaited Sesh debuts in St. Pete, Chief’s Creole Cafe closes, and more Tampa Bay foodie news

And the10th anniversary Eggs & Kegs brunch happens in Tampa this weekend.

click to enlarge Long-awaited Sesh debuts in St. Pete, Chief’s Creole Cafe closes, and more Tampa Bay foodie news
Chief's Creole Cafe / Facebook

Sesh After literal years of anticipation, St. Pete’s newest craft brewery and restaurant opened last week on Fourth Street North. Sesh’s debut has been a long time coming, since its owners—the same folks from John's Pass' Mad Beach Craft Brewing Co.—have been tirelessly restoring the historic, wooden building for the greater part of two years. With a menu full of beer-friendly eats similar to its sibling Mad Beach, Sesh offers hearty dishes like alligator po’boys, grouper sandwiches, baby back ribs, and build-your-own grain bowls. Alongside its lunch and dinner options, the new brewpub also features a wide variety of sangria, craft cocktails and house-brewed craft beers, seltzers and ciders—although its tap list hasn't been posted on its website yet. Sesh St. Pete is now open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for brunch on Sundays. 2221 4th St. N., St. Petersburg. seshstpete.com

bb.q Chicken A slice of Seoul is coming to the Tampa suburbs now that Korean fried chicken chain bb.q chicken is open in Northdale. The spot is holding a two-day grand opening event Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 at the new location right across from the Whole Foods. Guests can expect a Chinese lion dance and various promotions, including a drawing to win a 65-inch TV. The menu ranges from mild golden fried chicken, to super spicy wings of fire. In addition to the fried chicken, there's also items like ddeok-bokki, kimchi fried rice and fried dumplings. Chairman Yoon Hong-guen founded bb.q chicken —the “bb.q” means “best of the best quality”—in Seoul, South Korea in 1995 and has over 3,500 locations worldwide in 57 countries. The new Tampa location is only the chain's second Florida outpost. There's also a bb.q chicken in Orlando. 3805 Northdale Blvd., Tampa. Bbqchickentampa.com

Lakeland’s Fresh Kitchen Popular build-your-own bowl concept Fresh Kitchen opens its newest location next week in Lakeland. The grand opening happens on Tuesday, April 18 adjacent to the new Aldi store, and will feature giveaways, free food and merch. There will also be a pre-opening event April 16-17, where anyone who donates in support of Children's Home Society of Florida will receive a free bowl. This new location is unique because it is the second location to offer the company’s new online ordering drive-thru pickup window. The menu lets guests create their own bowls with ingredients ranging from fresh greens, sweet potato noodles, roasted vegetables, grilled meats, and homemade sauces. In addition to the bowls, the spot also offers family meals that can feed a group of four or eight. This new location will mark the spot's 14th restaurant in Florida. 4520 Florida Ave. S, Lakeland. Eatfreshkitchen.com

Oldsmar’s Chuck Lager America's Tavern Celebrity chef and “Top Chef” contestant Fabio Viviani will debut his newest Chuck Lager America’s Tavern location in Oldsmar next week. The grand opening is on Wednesday, April 19, kicking off at 5 p.m. with a ribbon cutting by the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce. Guests can enjoy complimentary appetizers, drinks, and live music. The menu is focused primarily on casual "New American," cuisine but features international influences, like Fabio’s signature beef & pork ricotta meatballs, truffle mushroom flatbread and Italian Cubano sandwich. The drink menu includes craft cocktails, bourbons, wines, whisky and draft beers. 4016 Tampa Rd., Oldsmar. chucklager.com

Coming Soon

Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails 2.0
Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails is already an essential part of downtown St. Petersburg, and by the end of 2023 it’s set to move into an even bigger Central Avenue location. Later this year, Intermezzo will move down the block to Independent Bar’s former space at 1049 Central Ave., which shuttered its doors in the fall of 2022. ILovetheBurg says that Intermezzo’s new location will have a “Florida-meets-Mediterranean” style and will expand on its coffee and cocktail programs that have cemented its reputation as a go-to spot in St. Pete. Intermezzo also plans to open an outdoor bar within its fenced-in patio space, which is adjacent to Central Avenue’s roundabout sculpture that’s commonly referred to as “The Butthole.” Until its move later this year, Intermezzo will remain at its current location at 1111 Central Ave., open at 8 a.m. daily.  intermezzo.co


Chief’s Creole Cafe Last week. The Burg' lost one of its culinary gems. The owners of Chief’s Creole Cafe took to Facebook to announce the immediate closure of their southern restaurant. “Mr. & Mrs. B are moving to their next chapter. We wish to thank our staff for their dedication, loyalty, and commitment,” the restaurant’s social media reads. “We will retain the facility and it will be available to any entrepreneur who would like or need a venue.” The Brayboys are of course known for their delicious southern dishes, but even more so for being active in St. Pete’s Black community over the decades. Elihu and Carolyn Brayboy opened Chief’s Creole Cafe in South St. Pete in the fall of 2013, in honor of Elihu’s late mother, Mary Brayboy. According to a February article from St. Pete Catalyst, the Brayboys recently announced plans for a "uniquely affordable housing project" in the Deuces district. 901 22nd St., St. Petersburg. chiefscreole.com


Loko Cuisine’s 10th anniversary Eggs & Kegs A Sunday morning brunch pop-up loaded with a hearty, but creative spread of beer-friendly eats, Eggs & Kegs, happens at different breweries throughout the Bay area each month. Loko Cuisine (stylized “LOKO”) has been hosting its Eggs & Kegs event at Tampa Bay breweries for a decade, and owner John LoScalzo is pulling out all the stops for this weekend’s celebratory brunch. A few of its regular venues include Bastet Brewing, Green Bench Brewing Co. Another favorite, 7venth Sun Brewing, hosts this weekend’s brunch party. Loko Cuisine’s 10th anniversary Eggs & Kegs happens this Sunday at Tampa’s 7venth Sun Brewery, with tickets costing $43 each. Guests can expect Tampa-fied breakfast dishes like chorizo biscuits and gravy, Spanish-style omelets and his beloved french toast loaded with cinnamon maple cream cheese frosting and barrel-aged tres leches drizzle. 6809 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. lokocuisine.com
Xtreme Tacos and 7venth Sun Brewery’s ‘stoner burrito’ eating contest Put your munchie cravings to the test at this 4/20-themed eating contest. Xtreme Tacos and 7venth Sun Brewery are teaming up for their annual stoner burrito eating contest—taking place on Thursday, April 20 (duh)—where the businesses will crown a new munchie champion. Whoever finishes the massive, 18 inch-long burrito first will receive a $250 gift card to Tampa’s Xtreme Tacos, a four-pack of 7venth Sun beer, and ultimate bragging rights. To enter yourself into the contest, simply DM Xtreme Tacos on Facebook or give the restaurant a call and pay for your burrito ahead of time to secure your spot. And even if you don’t see yourself as the stoner burrito-eating champion, then you can still hang out at 7venth Sun’s 4/20 party, which starts at 4:20 p.m. sharp. Other party festivities include a Mary Jane-themed movie marathon and the release of its exclusive "Pineapple Xpress," a new pineapple and jalapeño sour. 6809 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. 7venthsun.com Lucky Tigre’s Filipino fiesta For the last six months, Julie Sainte Michelle Feliciano has been sharing her take on Filipino food with Tampa Bay with help from a small team that runs the area’s only sari-sari store concept. Later this month Feliciano and Lucky Tigré expand the tent and welcome the community for a one-day “Mini Fiesta Market” celebrating Filipino Food Month. Set for Saturday, April 22 from noon-4 p.m., the market includes vendors like Filipina-owned jeweler and vintage shop She Greets The Day, plus pop ups from Filipino food scene favorites Masarap Bowls, fishcake guru Juju Taiyaki and local chili oil genie Jasmine Dragon. There’s also an eating contest built around lumpia, the fried spring rolls that provide warm memories for countless non-Filipinos who were lucky to have a pinoy friend. 1101 S Howard Ave., Tampa. @theluckytigre on Instagram

Tampa Bay Taco Week returns with over a dozen local restaurants offering specials for $10 and under The best way to discover your new favorite taco spot is back. The 2023 rendition of Tampa Bay Taco Week runs 10 days from Thursday, April 20- Sunday, April 30, with almost two dozen local restaurants, taquerias and cantinas offering their best dine-in and take-out deals. Each restaurant participating in this year’s Tampa Bay Taco Week will offer their own taco special, plus deals on Corona beer, Hornitos, El Tesoro, and Tres Generaciones tequila, and more. Concepts participating in the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay event include: Cider Press Vegan Gastropub, Gallito, Datz, Independent Bar & Cafe, Jimmy’s Tacos, JoToro, Miguel’s and Red Mesa Cantina, alongside many more. From expected proteins to innovative tacos, folks will be able to enjoy a wide range of Mexican-inspired eats starting next week. All you have to do is ask an employee at any participating restaurant what their Tampa Bay Taco Week specials are. tampabaytacoweek.com

The 20 hottest new Tampa Bay bars and restaurants to open so far in 2023 As the temps begin to climb, so does the hype around this year's new eateries in Tampa Bay. As of now, 2023 has witnessed a full menu of new eats, including everything from high-end dining, top notch tap rooms, popular out-of-state chains, new fusions spots, and more. So, for those of you who haven't been paying attention, here's a quick primer on some of the hottest new bars and restaurants to make their debut this year. Some of our favorite concepts on this list include Barbouni, The Rollin’ Mullet, Coasis, 511 Franklin and Peach Cobbler Factory.

About The Authors

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
Scroll to read more Openings & Closings articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.