Yard House Sarasota Tampeños will be able to get a sneak peek of Water Street's upcoming Yard House location, when the popular Florida-based beer bar chain opens its new Sarasota location next week. The new location at 115 University Town Center Dr, will open on Sunday, April 2. Guests can expect menu favorites like poke nachos, Nashville hot chicken, and street tacos, as well as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-sensitive options. But the main event at Yard House is the 110 beers on draft, that all come from a glass-enclosed keg room, featuring a variety of steel barrels that flow to the bar to pour each beer at an exact 34-37 degrees, according to a press release. Yard House is open daily and offers a happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m., with half-price appetizers and discounted beer, wine and cocktails. The chain is owned by Darden Restaurant Group, which also owns Olive Garden and has plans for a new Yard House downtown Tampa location but the opening date has yet to be released. 115 University Town Center D.r, Sarasota. yardhouse.com—Tyana Rodgers
Caribou Coffee The Tampa Bay Business Journal announced that the Caribou Coffee was making its way to the Gulf Coast last spring, and its first Tampa Bay location will soon have a home on Central Avenue. ILovetheBurg says that St. Pete resident Michelle Mathis—who has owned several Subway franchises with husband Bill Mathis—recently secured the former Banyan Cafe space for Tampa Bay’s debut Caribou Coffee. St. Pete’s Caribou Coffee will open at 701 Central Ave. sometime this summer, but Mathis plans to open several more throughout the greater Tampa Bay area. Its menu consists of expected coffees and lattes with various flavors, in addition to breakfast and lunch sandwiches, bagels, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits and baked goods. Banyan Cafe used to have two locations in downtown St. Pete—its MLK cafe closed in early 2020 while its Central Avenue spot, aka the future home of Caribou Coffee, shuttered its doors just a few weeks ago. 701 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. cariboucoffee.com
Crislip Cafe Crislip Cafe took to social media earlier this week to announce its immediate closure. “It is with heavy hearts that Kevin and I have made the decision to close the cafe. Due to rising prices, staffing shortages, and other myriad reasons we have had to make this difficult decision,” co-owner Jennifer Schultz wrote on Instagram. Its last day open was Sunday, March 19. Crislip's owners state that its former cafe space will be used to expand their retail store The Merchant, open out of the same Central Avenue parcel. "Financially, we will be better off supporting local artists and making it the best gift shop," Crislip commented on Facebook. "High rents and so many things factored into this swift decision we made." Crislip Cafe—named after the 101 year-old open-air arcade it's located inside of—was known for its menu of specialty coffees, lattes, and teas in addition to a variety of locally-baked pastries. The Schultzs opened Crislip Cafe out of their local goods shop in 2020, while The Merchant itself has been at 645 Central Ave. since 2018. 645 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. crislipcafe.com
Taste at the Straz The all-you-can-eat-and-drink party happens on Saturday, April 1, starting at 7 p.m. and ending whenever you’re too full or drunk. Best of all is that much of it takes place in downtown Tampa, right there on the Riverwalk. A full restaurant list for 2023’s installment of Taste at the Straz (stylized "TASTE") can be found on its website and includes popular Tampa Bay eateries like The Brunchery, Bavaro's, Noble Crust, Sal y Mar, Bulla Gastrobar, Portillo's and Butter's Burgers—alongside many, many more. Tickets for Taste at the Straz, happening next weekend, are on sale now, starting at $95 for general admission. VIP tickets go for $175 each, but come with a variety of perks like early entry and access to all VIP lounges, in addition to all you can eat and drink. Funds raised from next year’s Taste at the Straz supports the theater’s various programs. As the Straz team says, “supporting the arts never tasted so good.” 1010 N Macinnes Pl., Tampa. strazcenter.org French Fry Fest The Burg's favorite carbo-loading fest is back for another year. 2023’s rendition of the French Fry Fest takes place at Albert Whitted Park, located at 480 Bayshore Dr SE. This free-to-attend foodie event runs from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. on Friday, April 7. Dozens of food trucks from all corners of Tampa Bay will offer their best takes on the beloved french fry, in addition to dishes that are on their regular menus. While potatoes might be the star of the festival, a wide range of cuisines—from BBQ to Asian-fusion—will also be featured. In addition to being free-to-attend, April’s festival is also pet and child-friendly. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and chairs, too. A few food trucks that will sling their best french fry-infused dishes include Asian-fusion spot I Wanna Wok, Westchase BBQ, Funnel Vision, The Melt Machine, Crabdaddy's Surf & Turf and Chief's Cantina. 480 Bayshore Dr SE,. St. Petersburg. @gulftobayfta on Facebook
Old Seminole Heights neighborhood bar and cafe Corner Club celebrates its second anniversary this weekend, on Saturday, April 1 from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. This charming watering hole hosts a fish fry and live music from Same Day Delivery Orchestra at its birthday party.