Oktoberfest returns to Tampa Bay, Oldsmar gets a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, and more local foodie news

And Filipino restaurant Manila Eats opens its first brick and mortar in Tampa.

click to enlarge Green Bench Brewing hosts its annual Oktoberfest this Saturday, Sept. 16. - GreenBenchBrewing / Facebook
GreenBenchBrewing / Facebook
Green Bench Brewing hosts its annual Oktoberfest this Saturday, Sept. 16.

Manila Eats If you’ve ever dined at Manila Eats—a Filipino walk-up window and outdoor dining space in Riverview—then you know that the popular dishes sell out in a few hours. But a much larger space may change its first-come-first-serve basis into a full-service dining experience. On Facebook, Manila Eats announced plans to relocate and celebrate the grand opening of its new Tampa eatery—located at 1601 S 22nd St, just south of Palmetto Beach— on Thursday, Sept. 28. Owner Veronica Meneses—who was born and raised in the Pampanga province right outside of Manila—took to social media to inform her customers of the new Manila Eats outpost, stating that the soon-to-open restaurant can seat up to 48 patrons and will host karaoke and live bands on the weekend. Until her Tampa restaurant debuts later this month, Meneses will continue to dish out her beloved pork and chicken adobo, a variety of fried pork and fish, lumpia and Filipino desserts like sapin-sapin, halo halo, cassava cake, flan and ube ice cream out of her flagship Riverview location at 10621 Tucker Jones Rd. 1601 S 22nd St., Tampa. @Manila-Eats on Facebook

Oldsmar’s Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Oldsmar has reached every culinary milestone you could expect for a Tampa Bay suburb. The town of about 15,000 people already has a Chic-fil-A, a Chili's, a Tijuana Flats, a Steak 'n Shake, a Panera, a Cracker Barrel and a B-Dubs. But now, it's finally going to get Beefed. Brandon-based sports bar chain Beef 'O' Brady's will open its first Oldsmar location on Monday, Sept. 18 in the area's central dining district at 3687 Tampa Rd. The owner, Bassem Rizk, previously owned a seafood restaurant called The Great Catch at the same location, but has recently decided to convert it into a Beef's, according to a press release. "We chose Beef ‘O’ Brady’s because a lot of people know the brand,” said Rizk in a statement. “We can have hours that attract a wider range of guests." Known for wings, burgers and a vast array of TVs, Beef O’Brady’s currently operates about 140 locations throughout the country, and is planning to open eight new Beef's within the next two years. 3687 Tampa Rd., Oldsmar. beefobradys.com–Colin Wolf

Slim Chickens Yet another popular chicken tendy franchise is expanding in the Tampa Bay area. Arkansas-based chicken chain Slim Chickens will debut its first Wesley Chapel location on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 27244 Wesley Chapel Blvd, just down the street from The Grove shopping mall. This will be the second Slim Chickens in the Tampa area. The first is actually located within Mac Dill Air Force Base. The franchise is known for its buttermilk chicken tenders served with toast and fries, as well as salads, wraps and waffles. Plus, there's "Southern Sides" like fried okra, mushrooms and pickles, and classics like coleslaw, potato salad and mac and cheese. Founded in 2005, Slim Chickens currently has 8 locations in Florida and over 200 locations around the country and overseas. 27244 Wesley Chapel Blvd., Wesley Chapel .slimchickens.com—Colin Wolf

Coming Soon

Champion Pizza New signage indicates that NYC-based chain Champion Pizza will be opening out of Ichicoro's former space at 5229 N Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights. Although Champion Pizza’s posters are plastered in the building’s windows—alongside an autobiography of its founder Hakki Akdeniz—Tampa’s upcoming location is not yet listed as “coming soon” on the company’s website, but Akdeniz tells Creative Loafing Tampa Bay this his first Florida outpost will open by the end of the month. Champion Pizza is known for offering over 30 different flavors of thin crust ‘za, although no two locations boast the same exact menu. Popular options include Buffalo chicken, margherita, lasagna, meat lover’s, pesto chicken and supreme, alongside other flavors that are particular to certain locations. In addition to a spread of New York-style pies and slices, Tampa's Champion Pizza will also offer a variety of Korean fried chicken. According to Forbes, Champion Pizza has plans to open an another pizzeria in Miami, in addition to Tampa’s upcoming location. Akdeniz tells the magazine that he’s interested in franchising new locations of his pizza brand all throughout the country, and recently debuted the chain’s first shop outside of New York in College Station, Texas. 5229 N Florida Ave., Tampa. @championpizza on Instagram

Concrete Jungle Many of us have fond memories of pre-pandemic Central Avenue, where you could stumble upon Iberian Rooster’s open mic night or a raunchy drag show on any given night. The restaurant's doors have been closed since 2021, but a brand new concept will soon open out of the two-story space at 475 Central Ave. N. Concrete Jungle, a “Tulum-inspired” concept from Hunger + Thirst Restaurant Group, will debut on Central Avenue sometime soon, although an exact opening date has not yet been announced. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Concrete Jungle can seat up to 150 patrons in its dining room and downstairs lounge, and will boast a refreshing menu of seafood, vegetarian options like jackfruit flautas and other Mexican-inspired fare. Its beverage program will feature all of the expected tequila and mezcal-based cocktails. 475 Central Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Hungerthirstgroup.com


25 ways to celebrate Oktoberfest around Tampa Bay this fall Craft breweries in every corner Tampa Bay love celebrating Oktoberfest every fall, each hosting their own versions of the world’s largest beer festival. From märzens and kölsches to pilsners and lagers, these Bavarian-themed parties feature some of the best German-style beer around—whether its imported from the motherland or brewed right here in Florida. For all the polka music-lovers and stein-hoisters out there— here are 25 Oktoberfest celebrations happening throughout Tampa Bay this fall. A few Oktoberfest events that are happening this weekend include parties at Tampa’s Coppertail Brewing Co. and Independent Bar and Cafe and across the bridge at St. Pete Brewing Co., Green Bench Brewing Co. and Dunedin’s Woodwright Brewing Company. Gabby Bakes “Pastry Box” day Gabby Bakes aka Gabby Duncan, known for her picturesque, heart-shaped cakes and beloved vegan treats, has spent the last several months rehabbing her first brick and mortar in Seminole Heights. The red and pink building is finally ready to welcome her loyal customers in for Duncan’s first “Pastry Box” day, a grab-and-go pop-up happening on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ( or until she sells out, which happens quite often.) Treats on this Saturday’s menu include spiced chai brown sugar cookies, peanut butter, shoyu, pepita and toffee cookies, squash herb and cheese scones and citrus passion fruit brioche buns alongside various other sweet and savory items. More of these casual pop-ups at Duncan’s production space may be on the way, but she doesn't plan on operating as a full-service bakery any time soon. 4404 N Florida Ave., Tampa. @gabbybakesllc on Instagram Harvest Fest One of Tampa Bay's best spots for locally-grown, organic produce is welcoming the community into its urban farm space next month. Meacham Urban Farm—located in between downtown Tampa and Ybor City—hosts its very first Harvest Fest on Sunday, Oct. 1 from noon-6 p.m. In addition to extended store hours and farm tours, this event features a pig roast (or BBQ jackfruit for the vegans), live music, educational talks, raffles, a petting zoo, interactive games, photo opportunities and a spread of local vendors. In addition to food provided by the farm, sandwich slingers Supernatural Food & Wine will be selling its beloved sourdough doughnuts, too. The Supernatural folks won't be selling any wine, but guests are welcome to bring their own booze (and chairs). Folks of all ages are welcome to attend next month’s Harvest Fest and children under the age of 12 can get in for free. Adult tickets run for $20 in advance or for $25 at the door. 1108 E Scott St., Tampa. meachamfarm.com
Event Details

Harvest Fest 2023

Sun., Oct. 1, 12-6 p.m.

Meacham Urban Farm 1108 E Scott Street, Tampa Tampa


St. Pete Beach’s Don Cesar Hotel (3400 Gulf Blvd.) hosts a $125 collaborative dinner with Green Bench Brewing Co. on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m. A variety of Green Bench’s craft beers and ciders will compliment a four-course dinner from the Maritana’s chef. Expert sommeliers and brewers will guide guests through each course and beverage pairing.

Seminole Heights mainstay Jug + Bottle (6203 N Florida Ave.) hosts its monthly brunch on Sunday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., complete with housemade mimosas, vegan eats from 3 Dot Dash and a variety of espresso-based drinks from newly-opened mobile coffee cart Only Child. If you frequent St. Pete cafe Bad Mother, you may see some familiar faces pouring your lattes.

HEW Parlor & Chophouse, the sleek restaurant located inside of Dunedin’s Fenway Hotel at 453 Edgewater Dr., recently completed renovations in its dining room, kitchen and private areas and is now open for lunch and dinner again. New dishes on its menu from Executive Chef Parrett include a confit duck croque madame, seafood beignets and a massive 40-ounce tomahawk steak accompanied by an 8-ounce lobster tail. The restaurant is now open for brunch from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and dinner service from 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m Wednesday and Thursday, 5:30 p.m. -10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Sundays.

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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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