Mermaid Tavern closes, Good Night John Boy debuts in St. Pete, and more Tampa Bay foodie news

Plus, Riverfest returns, Tampa restaurants get Michelin praise, some sweet fundraisers and more.

click to enlarge The interior of Psomi, a local Greek restaurant that received a Bib Gourmand nod this week. - Psomi / Facebook
Psomi / Facebook
The interior of Psomi, a local Greek restaurant that received a Bib Gourmand nod this week.

Good Night John Boy St. Pete's newest bar and dance club is finally made its long-awaited debut. Themed like the 1970s, Good Night John Boy—located right next to Jannus Live—celebrated its grand opening last week on April 28. The bar and dance club dishes out all types of beer in addition to its kitschy signature cocktail menu. Last February, parent company Forward Hospitality Group announced that its 1970s-themed dance club would take over Ringside Cafe's former downtown space. The same Ohio-based hospitality group also operates newly-opened country bar Welcome to the Farm (stylized as "WTF), which is open out of downtown St. Pete's former MacDinton's space. For the latest updates on St. Pete's newest club and bar, head to its Instagram at @johnboystpete. 16 2nd St. N, St. Petersburg.


Mermaid Tavern A popular, divey Tampa bar has closed in Seminole Heights. Earlier this week, Mermaid Tavern's co-owner Lux Devoid confirmed that the bar has officially shuttered its doors. Mermaid Tavern is also listed as “permanently closed” on both Google and its Facebook, although the business hasn’t updated its patrons on any social media pages yet. Devoid took to social media to discuss Mermaid’s closure, citing the building’s “roof leaks, moisture issues and termites,” among other issues. “To help end the speculation, Mermaid was in an on-going lease negotiation. The 70 year-old plus building needed significant repair and updating,” Devoid wrote on Facebook. “The landlord was not only refusing repairs but increasing the rent significantly." DeVoid and Becky Flanders opened their Seminole Heights bar back in 2011, which quickly gained popularity due to its vast selection of craft brews and menu of beer-friendly eats. But over the past few years the Seminole Heights hotspot found itself under the microscope due to the owners' political views and brazen opinions about the Covid-19 pandemic. 6719 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. @mermaidtavernseminoleheights on Facebook

Bay Cannon Beer Co. As of this week, Tampa Bay is down one craft brewery. Bay Cannon Beer Co. took to Facebook to announce the official closure of its West Tampa taproom. “Due to a plethora of twists and turns we've weathered and managed together, Bay Cannon will no longer operate the Main St. facility,” the brewery wrote on Facebook this week. “We are selling the building and all of its contents, as is, for the next operator.” The 3,700 square-foot brewery is listed on for $1,950,000. The listing includes not only the building, but all the kitchen and brewery equipment, too. It’s not all bad news though, since the brewery promised that it wasn't permanently saying goodbye to Tampa Bay’s craft beer scene just yet. “That being said, Bay Cannon will begin making its rounds throughout the Bay area again soon. Our brand and flavors aren't leaving for good,” its social media post continues. 2106 W Main St., Tampa.


Gabby Bakes x Elevenses Co.’s 90’s-themed pop-up Two of Tampa's best bakers are teaming up for a great cause. On Saturday, May 6 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Gabby Bakes and Elevenses Co. will host an all-vegan, '90s-themed pop-up at Elevenses' newly-opened Tampa bakery. Gabby Bakes has her beloved Belgian chocolate chip cookies on the menu along with Cosmic brownies and Pop Tarts, while Jade Yelvington of Elevenses will dish out vegan macarons, savory galettes, and five specialty lattes in honor of the five Spice Girls. Ginger Spice is a layered ice latte with chai-spiced coconut milk topped with ginger-carrot milk foam,  while Posh Spice is a sparkly soda complete with lychee, lime and jasmine. In addition to their plethora of '90s-themed macarons, pastries, cookies, cake slices and lattes, the two bakers will donate a proceed of sales to the Tampa Bay Abortion Fund, a grassroots organization that "removes financial and logistical barriers to abortion access." 1001 E Columbus Dr., Tampa. Riverfest When Tampa’s annual Riverfest returns to downtown, it’s always a sure sign that summer’s around the corner. This annual, two day-long festival—happening Friday and Saturday, May 5-6— features a variety of food vendors, beer tents, live music and family-friendly activities like wiener dog derby, water ski shows and hot air balloon showcases. One of the most iconic Riverfest activities is its lantern parade, where folks are welcome to showcase their homemade paper lanterns amidst a sea of colorful and creative works of art. Both Curtis Hixon and Water Works Park host Riverfest activities throughout the weekend; and while admission to the festival itself is free, some individual events may require registration. While its Cinco de Mayo-themed "Riverfiesta" is just a small part of the annual festival, it will honor the Mexican holiday by offering a spread of expected eats. Folks can enjoy a variety of tacos, bowls and nachos, which can be purchased in sets of three for $15 or sets of 5 for $20. Downtown Tampa.

25 dinner specials, bar crawls and fiestas to help celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Tampa Bay It’s Cinco de Mayo in Tampa Bay once again, and while it’s a shame that most folks don’t celebrate Mexico’s win against the French in the 1862 Battle of Puebla, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a good time with your friends (or strangers.) Here are 25 bar crawls, parties, and foodie events to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend; all events take place on Friday, May 5 unless marked otherwise. And please put the sombrero and poncho away Chad, and stick to what you do best (drinking during the day.) ICYMI

Tampa restaurants Psomi and Gorkhali Kitchen earn Michelin Guide Bib Gourmands Later this month, inspectors will release their full 2023 Michelin Guide, but this week the company awarded two new Bib Gourmands to a pair of Tampa restaurants on opposite sides of the city. NoHo Greek favorite Psomi, and Gorkhali Kitchen, a Himalayan spot in New Tampa, earned Bibs in the update. According to Michelin Guide, Bib Gourmand restaurants offer a meal of good quality at a good value. Last year, three Tampa restaurants—Rooster & the Till, Ichicoro and Rocca—earned bibs. Those concepts could very well still have Bibs, and may be upgraded to stars when a full update to the Florida Michelin Guide happens on May 11 during a ceremony in Miami. “We release just the new Bib Gourmands a week in advance to build excitement, but we don't provide the full list in order to save some intrigue for the ‘live reveal’ at the ceremony,” a rep for the Michelin Guide told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. “We have to wait to find out!”

Wine Enthusiast Magazine names Tampa’s Jug + Bottle as one of the ‘Best Beer Shops of 2023’ Wine Enthusiast Magazine, a national spirits publication, gave some love to a local mainstay this week. The magazine deemed Seminole Heights’ Jug + Bottle as one of the “Best Beer Shops of 2023,”—the only Tampa Bay shop that made the cut. “It’s an awesome shop that has something for everyone,” says Khristopher Johnson—head brewer and co-owner of Green Bench Brewing Co.— to Wine Enthusiast Magazine. “They have a great selection of packaged beer, wine, vegan food and some beers on tap available for growler fills.” Located at 6203 N Florida Ave. in the heart of Seminole Heights, Jug + Bottle has been dishing out specialty beers, wines and other beverages since 2015. The only other Florida-based bottle shop to make Wine Enthusiast's “Best Beer Shops of 2023” list is Miami’s Union Beer Store.

St. Augustine tiki favorite Boat Drinks is doing a Tampa pop-up this month Boat Drinks is a veritable oasis on the heavily-trafficked streets of tourist-laden historic downtown St. Augustine, and the Northern Florida tiki pioneer is bringing its state of mind to Tampa later this month. The concept—self-identified as a “​​Nautical, tropical tavern and oyster bar featuring fresh seafood, fresh & frozen cocktails, and a huge rum selection”—just announced plans to take over Tampa Heights coffee shop King State from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on Monday, May 22. If the offerings are anything like the menu at Boat Drinks, then expect homemade daiquiri and colada mix blended with a wide array of rum (including imported offerings from importer Back Bar Project), charbroiled garlic butter shrimp with Michelada sauce, fish dips and bites with ganja sauce, and spicy chicken skewers.

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.

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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