St. Pete’s 22 South is back, Bubushka’s coming to South Tampa and more local foodie news

Miami’s Benh Mi is coming to Willa’s Provisions, too.

click to enlarge Chicken kiev at Temple Terrace’s Babushka’s, which is opening a new location in South Tampa. -
Chicken kiev at Temple Terrace’s Babushka’s, which is opening a new location in South Tampa.


Acua Bistro The collaboration between Karma owner, Josie Barber and Acua Bistro's chef, Acua Silva will live in the old Baum Avenue Market location where Karma holds the lease. Karma Eatery will still remain open during the daytime while Acua will open in the evenings on select days of the week. The menu is gluten-free and vegan-friendly. The arepas themselves come stuffed with chicken, beef or veggies and the ceviche is made with white fish and a passion fruit sauce, topped with onions and crunchy corn. 1113 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

Ceviche This much anticipated reopening brought with it a newly-remodeled interior and exterior—including an all-new wine tasting room set to focus on Spanish wines with international and domestic options. While a new menu is set to be released, it looks like guests can still get a taste of the old one with “lots of favorites still available,” including pollo al ajillo, several paella options and, of course, ceviche. Daily happy hour and Tapas Tuesdays also made their return, along with live music and dancing. 332 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg.

The Studio Public House Within the former Pom Pom’s, former Moon Under Water executive chef Michael Crippin redesigned the cafe with his wife Alison after purchasing the space last October. Not only can you find Crippin’s fan-favorite curry on the menu, but you can choose from the restaurant’s selection of sandos—a nod to Pom Pom’s old menu—and soon find coffee, grab-and-go food and eventually liquor. 2950 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.


22 South Food Hall The St. Petersburg community was shocked last week when 22 South Food Hall announced its closure after just three months in operation. But 22 South now has plans to reopen with the help of local investors. In a phone call to CL, Callaloo Group partner Mario Farias said initial plans to permanently close have changed and that the food hall will remain open. He added that 10 investors came forward and are helping reopen 22 South Food Hall. 642 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. @22southfoodhall on Facebook

Coming soon

Babushka’s The popular Temple Terrace restaurant is opening a South Tampa location in the fall according to a sign hanging at the former home of Boca, which closed in December 2020. Though CL hasn’t heard back from owners there is no evidence on social media that the original location, at 12639 N 56th St., is closing. So we’ll cross our fingers that this we’ll be the second location. Opened since 2018, the strip-mall located spot is one of the few places in Tampa Bay to get Russian cuisine like borscht, beef stroganoff, and pelmeni dumplings. Babushka’s also serves brunch on the weekend with goodies like Salmon Drakini (vodka and dill salt cured salmon served with hashbrowns, capers). 901 W Platt St., Tampa.

The Crumb Factory What started as a cottage kitchen concept has now grown to a full-scale baking operation, and it could finally open its doors in the old Rae Rae’s Cafe space as early as Aug. 15. Owners Pablo Mardones and Felipe Zavala—who make pastries, whole wheat loaves, baguettes, ciabatta and even two-pound sourdough country loaves—started their venture on Instagram last year, taking orders through direct messages. The duo shortly announced the brick-and-mortar location, and they’ve been renovating the 2,400-square-foot-space since. 5701 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. @crumbfactorybakery on Instagram

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille Following its location at the St. Pete Pete Pier, Doc Ford’s shared plans for a second waterfront location in west St. Pete at an old Green Iguana location that closed back in 2012, next to Boca Ciega Resort near Madeira Beach. An opening date has yet to be announced, but HM Restaurant Group hopes to have the location open by the end of 2021, according to St. Pete Rising. 8790 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg.


Miami’s Benh Mi restaurant is having a Tampa pop-up at Willa’s Provisions next weekend “Benh Mi” sandwiches—stuffed with Willa’s roasted chicken or Benh Mi’s char siu mushrooms—are on the menu, plus a crunchy tender chicken bucket, vegetable spring rolls, street fries and green papaya salad. Drink specials include an ube (purple yam) latte and a boozy Saigon Sunrise pouch. Located in Miami Beach, Benh Mi started as an underground pop-up and through popularity ended up a brick and mortar location in June. Willa’s Provisions, a coffee shop and cafe, opened in April about a month after its older sibling the French-American family-friendly Willa’s. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 14-15, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 310 N Rome Ave., Tampa. @willasprovisions on Instagram

Nonprofit Reach St. Pete is transforming a city bus into a mobile grocery store Reach has spent the last five years working to prevent and alleviate homelessness, low-income and at-risk situations in Pinellas. The goal of the mobile grocery store is split into three parts—direct access, food affordability and community awareness. By partnering with local organizations, the nonprofit can bring awareness to the needs that exist in the area. From there, donations are made and underserved communities gain access to the food they need. If you’re interested in donating, you can do so here. Reach St. Pete’s goal is to have the bus up and running in 2022.

‘Orange County Choppers’ star Paul Teutul Sr. will meet fans at his new Pinellas Park restaurant He’ll take pictures, sign autographs and maybe give mustache advice, if you're lucky. The 11,000-square-foot space also has a billiards hall, shuffleboard tables, floor games, steel darts, ringer games, foosball, and an expansive menu featuring burgers, pizzas, and barbeque. Monday, Aug. 9, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Free. 10575 49th St N, Clearwater.

South Tampa’s three-week ‘Epic Chef Masters’ competition kicked off on Monday Chef Ferrell Alvarez (Rooster & the Till) and Chef Michael Buttacavoli (Cena) dueled on Monday, and future competitions go down on Aug. 9 (Chef Ted Dorsey of The Mill v. Chef Eric McHugh of Hew Parlor & Chophouse) and Aug.16 (Chef Marty Blitz of Mise en Place v. Chef Tyson Grant of Parkshore Grill). Proceeds from tickets and a house special at Epicurean benefit Feeding Tampa Bay. Epicurean Theater, 1207 S Howard Ave., Tampa.

West Tampa’s Boozy Pig has a raw meat vending machine Located near the Oakford Park neighborhood, the machine allows the butchery to sustain its “whole animal butchery ethos.” Inside are steaks, ground, burgers, fresh and smoked sausages, bacon and even beef jerky. It’s a contact-free, after-hours alternative to the offerings you can always find inside. Boozy Pig started as Tambuzzo Sausage Company and has been the meat plug for local eateries like La Segunda and Empamamas with house-made links for years. 3255 W Cypress St., Tampa. @theboozypig on Instagram

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About The Authors

Stephanie Powers

Freelance contributor Stephanie Powers started her media career as an Editorial Assistant long ago when the Tampa Bay Times was still called the St. Petersburg Times. After stints in Chicago and Los Angeles, where she studied improvisation at Second City Hollywood, she came back to Tampa and stayed put.She soon...
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