The leftovers have hopefully made their way out of your fridge, so it’s time for some new eats—thankfully, these concepts are ready to provide. Below are details on Armature Works’ two fresh stalls, Bodega’s debut of a “secret” cocktail bar, and Tampa Bay’s latest rooftop bar.
If you like a little anticipation sprinkled into your openings roundup, read about the imminent arrival of South Tampa’s new indoor-outdoor dog bar, a bakery with two-pound sourdough country loaves, and an upscale chicken resto. There are even two local Christmas-themed pop-up bars—Miracle at Mezzo and Santa Social Club—to get you in the holiday spirit (and if you’re not a sit at the bar kind of elf, Wandering Whisk is hosting a holiday treat pop-up).
In other news, Edible Tampa Bay magazine is making a comeback in March 2021, and there are no major closings to announce. Stay safe and support local eateries by dining-in responsibly, grabbing takeout or delivery, tipping like your money is on fire and snagging gift cards as stocking stuffers for your fellow foodies.
Bake’n Babes The bakery’s second location is now slinging trendy treats from its brand-spankin’-new stall at Armature Works where the focus is on creating dishes that travel well (hello, photogenic taiyaki cone) plus special items not available at its current home at downtown Tampa’s GenX Tavern (which remains open). 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa. bakenbabes.com
Bar Chica Drinks like the Hotel Nacional made up of Havana Club Blanco rum, Giffard apricot liqueur, lime, pineapple, and sugar range from $10-$12 at this “hidden” cocktail bar tucked behind Bodega’s St. Petersburg location. Shareable bites are different from Bodega’s offers and include options like twice-fried chicken wings, black bean hummus, and sliders. Hours are 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Thurs., 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat. 1180 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. @thebarchica on Instagram
Bubbakoo’s Burritos The build-your-own-burrito chain’s first Florida location is bringing more Mexican-fusion cuisine to Riverview. Open daily 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. 3940 U.S. Hwy-301 S, Riverview. bubbakoosburritos.com —Alexandria Jones
Buddy Brew Coffee The local coffee sensation’s just-opened location shares an address with the second location of Chill Bros. Scoop Shop. This means you can snag a few scoops of Chill Bros. signature ice creams like orange creamsicle or peanut butter cup when you slide by for your espresso fix. 3302 W. Bay to Bay Blvd., Tampa. buddybrew.com
Ember LoungeThe rooftop bar boasts panoramic Gulf coast views as well an infinity pool with cabanas. The menu offers wine, brews, and seasonal cocktails like the “Madeira mojito” made with white rum, mint, lime, passionfruit and club soda. As far as bites go, visitors can enjoy shareables like mini wonton tacos, ceviche, scallops and flatbreads. When weather is less than ideal for rooftop dining, you can opt for the hotel’s third-floor restaurant, Prime Waters. Cambria Hotel St. Petersburg at Madeira Beach Marina, 15015 Madeira Way, Madeira Beach. choicehotels.com
Hale Life Bakery The vegan and gluten-free bakery joins Community Cafe’s St. Pete ‘Oasis’ collaborative space projected to open next year. Until then, slide into weekend pop-ups (Fri.-Sun. 11 a.m.- 11p.m.) at Allendale United Methodist Church at 3803 Haines Rd. N. Takeout and delivery is available via a new online ordering option. 1055 4th St. S., St. Petersburg. halelifebakery.com —Alexandria Jones
Miracle at Mezzo The Christmas themed pop-up returns for its third year, but with a few COVID-19 tweaks. That includes distancing tables and seating, offering contactless payment, QR code menus, one-time use menus, outdoor seating, to-go cocktails, mask requirements for both staff and guests and sanitizer stations. 1111 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. intermezzo.co
Muchachas The Mexican-inspired food stall—sister concept of Empamamas, another Armature Works resident—is serving up birria quesatacos, street-style tacos, big ol’ burritos, street corn, and other Mexican-inspired dishes. 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa Heights. @hola.muchachas on Instagram
Santa Social Club Dunedin’s Sonder Social Club is getting in the holiday spirit by transforming into an immersive Santa and Christmas bar with themed drinks and decor. Runs through Dec. 26. 966 Douglas Ave. Unit 101, Dunedin. sondersocial.club
The Crumb Factory Projected to open mid-January, the bakery storefront will offer hefty two-pound sourdough country loaves, as well as classic bakery finds like whole wheat loaves, baguettes and ciabatta. Expect an arrangement of freshly baked pastries at your fingertips, too. 5701 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. @thecrumbfactory on Facebook
Pups Pub Tampa Bay’s latest indoor-outdoor dog bar opens Saturday, Dec. 12 in between Courier City/Oscawana and North Hyde Park. Pups Pub offers a full liquor bar for two-legged visitors and a 3,700-square-foot space covered in turf for Fido to move about freely. Humans will also have access to 22 TVs inside and outside to watch catch sports games while their pups run freely. 2202 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. pupspubtampa.com
Sip Shop Hooray The retail shop is already up and running, but the bar is still waiting for permits. Until then, slide by from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wed.-Sun. to shop from local vendors showcased within the space. 2053 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. sipshophooray.com
Social Roost Kitchen and Bar Initially slated to open fall of last year, Social Roost has plans to finally open and make its debut this month. The full-service restaurant’s menu will feature globally-inspired chicken dishes which can easily be paired with craft cocktails. 150 1st Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. eatsocialroost.com
A Tailor’d Picnics Owner Bri Anderson offers picnics tailored for any occasion, from engagements to birthday parties. Clients don’t need to bring anything with them either because Anderson takes a hands-on approach when putting the everything together, from place settings to menu options from her partners Gather ‘Round & Graze or Creatively Iced. atailordpicnics.com —Alexandria Jones
Edible Tampa Bay After a two year hiatus, the food-focused magazine is back thanks to Robin Sussingham. ETB is devoted to telling the stories and supporting the efforts of local food communities including farmers, fishers and restaurateurs. Prior to the launch in March 2021, you can follow along on social media (@edibletampabay) or sign up for the mag’s newsletter. edibletampabay.com
Il Ritorno The restaurant is introducing a seven-course tasting menu featuring flavors inspired by different regions of Italy. “I wanted to create a worldly experience during a time when people could not travel, and take them on an international culinary journey right here in St. Petersburg,” said Chef David Benstock, owner and executive chef of Il Ritorno. The tasting menu will rotate monthly and cost $135 per guest. 449 Central Ave. N no. 101, St. Petersburg Ilritornodowntown.com
Wandering Whisk The bakery is back with another holiday pop-up. Since WW’s retro treat-inspired pop-up crushed in March, owner Jennifer Jacobs decided to do it again with a Christmas twist. One nostalgic childhood favorite in the pastry case will be Gingerbread Dunkaroos. Sat. Dec.12.10 a.m.-1 p.m. or until sold out. 4505 Park Blvd. N, Suite 5, Pinellas Park. wanderingwhiskbakeshop.com
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