Months after getting 'Bar Rescued,' Ybor restaurant The Loft will close this weekend

The bar and restaurant celebrates its final week open with one last "Born this Way" drag brunch.

click to enlarge The Loft - Photo via TheLoftYborCity/Facebook
Photo via TheLoftYborCity/Facebook
The Loft
A Tampa restaurant featured in the most recent season of 'Bar Rescue' will permanently close this week.

The closure of Ybor City’s The Loft, previously known as Cerealholic Cafe and Bar, comes just a few short months after host Jon Taffer “shut it down.”

Our time in this community has been the most honored feeling for all of us....this is a very difficult decision, which we have contemplated and reviewed for some time now. With a very heavy heart, we have decided to move on from our wonderful, amazing business," a post from The Loft wrote on Facebook.

Owners Lisa and Darrell Lawson go on to explain that they need to focus on family issues that require their full attention.

The Loft’s final event is a nod to a program that's been around since its pre-Taffer days–an extravagant Sunday drag brunch.

It’s final “Born This Way” brunch will take place on Sunday, Aug. 21 from noon -6 p.m., featuring a slew of popular Tampa Bay drag queens. It will be hosted by the "First Lady of Ybor City" Joey Brooks and feature performances by Hazel E. Genevieve, Kory Stevens, Crystal Chambers, Kylie Augusta and many more—in addition to $30 bottomless mimosas, BOGO bloody mary's and  access to The Loft’s full menu.

The Loft recently stated on its social media that this weekend's final drag brunch is almost sold-out, so call 813-562-9411 or email [email protected] to reserve your spot ASAP. Before this Sunday's final event, The Loft will be open Thursday-Saturday 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
When Taffer gave the bar and restaurant a facelift  and changed its name to The Loft earlier this year, he ditched its cereal-centric offerings for more sophisticated menu, adding brunch dishes like biscuits and gravy, hot chicken and waffles, breakfast sandwiches and BBQ pork nachos.

In their farewell post, The Loft owners also state that another business will soon take over their historic Ybor City space at 1909 N 15th St., although details of the new spot are still currently unknown.

We took painstaking measures to ensure we find a business to take over our place in this community and honor the rich history and community we have become a part of, " The Loft's social media reads.

Cerealholic Cafe—its original nostalgia-obsessed concept—opened out of space in early 2021 with a menu of milkshakes, tater tots and Apple Jack cereal-infused burgers. When Jon Taffer shut the Ybor City bar down and changed it into The Loft, he dialed back the colorful decor and "aimed to elevate" its menu— although a few remainders of its inner child-friendly atmosphere, like its collection of board games, survived the transformation.

This is a developing post. 

About The Author

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.
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