St. Petersburg gaming bar Park & Rec coming to Tampa's Channel District

Second location achieved.

click to enlarge Park & Rec owner Stephen Schrutt. - Courtesy of Hunger + Thirst Group
Courtesy of Hunger + Thirst Group
Park & Rec owner Stephen Schrutt.

Park & Rec, a popular downtown St. Pete watering hole, is bringing its adult playground to the other side of the bay.

The 2-year-old social gaming bar's second location at 290 S. Meridian Ave. — not far from Amalie Arena or Water Street Tampa — marks the first concept outside of the Sunshine City for Hunger + Thirst, the restaurant group that also owns St. Pete's Avenue Eat + Drink and forthcoming hangout No Vacancy.

Known for its nostalgic and new-school entertainment, Park & Rec will feature four bars in Tampa's Channel District when its 9,900-square-foot, two-story space debuts in early 2019: three inside and one outdoors. Staples of the St. Pete flagship — including giant beer pong, DJs and retro arcade games — are also planned, along with Sunday brunch.

As for the regular menu items, there's a lineup of playful food and signature cocktails like the Party Pouch, which is essentially a grown-up Capri Sun.

"All of our places are built on the sense of community, and my goal is always about bringing people together to share a fun experience above everything," said Hunger + Thirst founder and CEO Stephen Schrutt in a statement. "I'm excited to bring Park & Rec to where I grew up and spent most of my life. It's going to be fun with all of the new projects on Water Street and I really believe this concept fits a need in the Tampa hospitality scene."

Park & Rec opened its doors in 2016, then expanded into the former home of late sibling Proper Kitchen & Cocktails in 2017. A spin-off of the gaming bar, Ballpark & Rec, launched at Tropicana Field back in March and will remain under contract for the next few years.

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