Spring Restaurant Preview 2017: Spring into the season with these Tampa Bay openings

A mix of new projects and new locations on either side of the bay.

click to enlarge Inside the Fort Lauderdale location for American Social, opening soon in Tampa. - American Social Bar & Kitchen
American Social Bar & Kitchen
Inside the Fort Lauderdale location for American Social, opening soon in Tampa.

With Mini Doughnut Factory St. Pete aiming to debut in May, here are a number of other food spots — restaurants or otherwise — expected to open (and, in at least one case, reopen) their doors starting this month through spring.

American Social Bar & Kitchen A long-awaited South Florida transplant that’s now slated to open before the end of spring (originally, it was August 2016) at The Pointe on Harbour Island. With restaurateurs Rick Mijares and Paul Greenberg at the helm, American Social (affectionately called AmSo) will introduce Tampa to the lineup of local and national craft beers, vibrant happy hours and comfort food menu that it’s known for. The Americana-style upscale sports bar and restaurant’s waterfront property, featuring patio dining, three full bars and a self-serve communal beer wall, puts it within walking distance of downtown Tampa destinations like Amalie Arena. 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa, americansocialbar.com.

Chop Chop Shop Launched in 2015, this speedy, Asian-inspired restaurant that’s quickly become a Seminole Heights go-to plans to reopen in early February after changes to its kitchen and menu are complete. Owner Steve Sera, who announced the shop’s temporary closure in December, promises more details as the reopening approaches. 6605 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-770-7306.

Ford's Garage Gourmet burgers, craft beer and other American comfort foods are setting up shop across from the Tampa Premium Outlets. The service station-themed Ford's Garage, based in Florida, is anticipating a February opening in Wesley Chapel, with locations in Clearwater and Citrus Park also on the horizon. 25526 Sierra Center Blvd., Lutz, fordsgarageusa.com.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop Brothers and Tampa natives Adam and Ian Lieberman, along with Adam's wife J-Ray Lieberman, will open their second Fuzzy's Taco Shop outpost in Temple Terrace on Jan. 26 (the trio's first launched in Brandon last year). Near USF Tampa, the fast-casual restaurant will highlight a large garden-style patio with truck-bed seating, a live music stage, communal tables, and a full bar with six barrels of frozen cocktails and 16 draft brews. The Texas-born chain's made-to-order Mexican favorites include signature Baja tacos, jumbo burritos and breakfast all day. 5621 E. Fowler Ave. #201-207, Tampa, fuzzystacoshop.com.

Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe The Grand Central District hangout — part neighborhood gathering place, part market and part deli — will soon keep its customers “#beerfluential” with education while serving up craft beer on tap and in 300-plus bottles, as well as more than 75 wines from around the world. Expect house-made deli offerings, including sandwiches, made with local ingredients. 2927 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, hbsforlife.com.

The Lucky Dill In the Westshore area, Palm Harbor’s Lucky Dill is anticipating a March opening for its latest New York-style restaurant with deli classics gigantic sandwiches included. The building, previously occupied by Boizao Steakhouse, will also house an LBC (or Local Brewing Company, which has almost 100 draft craft beers at its Palm Harbor flagship), Brooklyn Bakery and catering operation. 4606 W. Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa, luckydilldeli.com.

M-N-M BBQ Craft barbecue is the focus of this beloved Saturday Morning Market vendor and mobile caterer’s brick-and-mortar location. In November, M-N-M BBQ owner Mike Silverstein told CL he expects to debut his 2,000-square-foot, 45-seat St. Pete restaurant in the next month or two, showcasing a daily menu of freshly smoked meats and timeless sides like twice-baked potatoes and collards. Eight to 10 brews will be featured on tap, as well. 2827 16th St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-898-0085, tampapigroast.com.

Noodle Kitchen & Market Thai Gourmet Market owner Petta Brown’s approach to her second concept, a SoHo noodle bar restaurant, is quick-serve gourmet fare. Noodle Kitchen & Market, looking to open mid-January, will offer healthful made-to-order noodle bowls that diners can top with a number of sauces. Like Brown’s Town ‘N Country flagship, a retail section inside the new eatery will primarily function as a takeout joint to sell what’s cooked, including her sauces. 500 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, noodlekitchenmarket.com.

Ocean Hai Inside the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, opening this month, the luxury resort's signature dining concept known as Ocean Hai will specialize in Asian American fusion. Other food and drink options at the 343-room waterfront hotel will include pool bar and grill Dock'S and eSKPades, a barista and lobby bar. 100 Coronado Drive, Clearwater Beach, 727-281-9500, wyndhamgrandclearwater.com.

The Reading Room As of Jan. 13, this garden-inspired, wood-fired dining spot in west St. Pete has one more inspection to go. The 2,000-square-foot, 50-seat Reading Room — next to freeFall Theatre and owned by freeFall co-founder Kevin Lane — is driven by sustainable, responsibly sourced ingredients. Executive chef Lauren Macellaro will spotlight a New American menu that changes as seasonally as possible with help from on-site garden beds, while four wines and beers on tap, a progressive wine list and low ABV cocktails with fresh herbs are planned behind the bar. 6001 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-343-0052, rrstpete.com.

Rosati's Pizza This 53-year-old Italian restaurant franchise specializing in Chicago-style pizza is coming to Largo. Scheduled to open in early February, the Rosati's menu boats house-made signature sauce, dough, beef and pasta, as well as four kinds of Windy City pies: thin crust, double dough, deep dish and stuffed. Two more Tampa Bay restaurants for Rosati's are headed for Oldsmar and Valrico. 10443 Ulmerton Road, Largo, 727-754-4554, rosatispizza.com.

click to enlarge Expect crispy plantain empanadas from Suegra Tequila Cantina. - Suegra Tequila Cantina
Suegra Tequila Cantina
Expect crispy plantain empanadas from Suegra Tequila Cantina.

Suegra Tequila Cantina Chef and co-owner Todd Hall is making farm-to-table Mexican a thing in Oldsmar. In the former home of City Fish, the two-time James Beard Foundation honoree will focus on the Yucatán Peninsula to pull off this modern, upscale restaurant’s traditional gourmet Mexican cuisine. With 240 seats and a patio, the indoor-outdoor Suegra Tequila Cantina, as its name alludes to, will also carry a selection of 200-plus tequilas and mezcals. 4022 Tampa Road #1, Oldsmar, 813-814-5800, suegratequilacantina.com.

Trip’s Diner A popular something-for-everyone restaurant, founded in St. Pete, will bring its generous portions and reasonably priced dishes — most of them diner favorites such as egg platters, burgers and pancakes the size of hubcaps — to the opposite side of the bay. Early this year, Trip’s Diner will premiere to Seminole Heights, its first location outside Pinellas, inside the old San Carlos Tavern space. 6416 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-234-1267, tripsdiner.com.

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza At the St. Pete building where the short-lived Pie Topia last operated (and the Social before that), Atlanta-based Uncle Maddio’s Pizza is shooting for an opening the first week of February. Husband-and-wife owners Mike and Ada Mateo launched the region’s first Uncle Maddio’s franchise to Lutz, and the brand’s second local branch will specialize in the same fast-casual fare: made-to-order pies that can be customized, build-your-own salads and Foldwiches, sandwiches folded into house-made pizza crust. 5226 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg, unclemaddios.com.

The Wine Bar Seminole Heights In addition to top-notch wine at affordable prices and locally made craft beer, the newest wine bar to hit Seminole Heights will open with a lineup of casual-meets-inspired bites in early 2017. The neighborhood spot will pair it all with “the perfect atmosphere to eat, drink, and be merry with friends and neighbors.” 6428 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, twbseminoleheights.com.

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