Here’s a selection of restaurants, breweries and other projects slated to open this summer — some as early as this week.
81Bay Brewing Co. The first craft brewery for South Tampa founded by friends and entrepreneurs Keelan Cottle, Michael Beard and Shawn Bowman. Brewer Stephen Foster, who is practiced at German styles and has international experience, will offer at least eight brews when the taproom opens in early June — an Irish stout, porter and pale ale among them. Expect entertainment in the form of video games, live music and more. 4465 W. Gandy Blvd. #600, Tampa, 813-837-2739, 81baybrewco.com.
Bavaro's The Italian haven has St. Petersburg folks looking forward to its soon-to-open location in the EDGE District. Driven by a wood-fired brick oven, the menu will highlight items such as Neapolitan pies, antipasti and homemade pasta and desserts. Bavaro’s has a Tampa International Airport location in the works as well. 945 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 813-868-4440, bavarospizza.com.
Boca Kitchen Bar and Market A fourth location from Hyde Park-based Boca will hit downtown Sarasota off Main Street in July. The brand’s menu and feel will carry over to its latest outpost, where the owners plan to test out hours that extend a little longer into the evening, alongside lunch and dinner. Another Boca restaurant will launch in St. Pete later this year. 19 S. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, 813-251-3130, bocakbm.com.
Catcher and the Rye Austin Sanchez and Mike D’Amico’s rustic downtown Palm Harbor restaurant and bar will feature indoor seating for 40 to 50, a covered patio that can accommodate more than 100, and a bar accessible from the inside or out. With a contemporary feel, the spot (where LuLu's used to be) will serve a crowd-pleasing drink lineup, including craft cocktails. Details on the food side are still developing, but "We're going for big presentation with a quality product," Sanchez tells CL. Construction is underway, and the duo’s looking to finish as fast as possible. 917 11th St., Palm Harbor, catcherandtherye.com.
Central Melt This downtown St. Pete grilled cheesery has some more inspections to go before its debut on the 600 Block. Though changes were made to the concept here and there, owner Ed Allen says he wanted the clean, urban interior to be a cross between an abandoned warehouse and a subway in the Bronx; the logo also speaks to this, with letters making nods to New York’s E train and more. The kitchen, focusing on quality and freshness, will specialize in creative spins on grilled cheese and other reasonably priced grub like house-cut fries. A something-for-everyone selection of canned beer will be on hand, too. 685 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
Chakana SoHo Culinary director and chef Edgar Hurtado oversees the artsy, modern SoHo joint’s Peruvian fusion cuisine. Set to open near the end of the month at the corner of Platt and Howard, Chakana aims to upgrade the dining and nightlife experience through signature eats like jalea and lomo saltado. 223 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-930-5789, chakanasoho.com.
Franklin Manor In less than eight weeks, this indoor-outdoor concept will launch on the downtown Tampa corner formerly home to Martini Republic. The timeless Americana venue plans to serve high-end cocktails inside and a more casual beverage list on the patio, where Salt Block Catering Co. will offer a lighter-meets-indulgent bill of handhelds and baskets at the on-site Carriage House eatery. 912 & 914 N. Franklin St., Tampa, thefranklinmanor.com.
Goody Goody Modern techniques will meld with the local legend’s flavorful past in a retro-looking menu that'll include burgers, shakes, fries and pies, alongside fried chicken, meatloaf and all-day breakfast. Beer, wine and locally roasted Naviera Coffee Mills coffee are also in store for the affordable table-service concept in Tampa. Hyde Park Village, 1601 W. Swann Ave., Tampa, 813-248-3000, goodygoodyburgers.com.
Grindhaus Brew Lab This B- and cult movie-themed brewery from HiFi Homebrew and BBQ Supply owners Robb Larson and Lisa Colburn, plus their friend and homebrewer Tony Vincenti, is anticipating a late summer or early fall opening. High-quality, drinkable beer will anchor Grindhaus's core lineup of ales, as well as seasonal and limited-release brews. The new Clearwater brewery is located inside HiFi. 1650 N. Hercules Ave. #1, Clearwater, 727-240-0804, grindhausbrewlab.com.
Mastry's Brewing Co. Founder and brewmaster Matthew Dahm's "light-bulb moment" will premiere to St. Pete Beach in the form of a nanobrewery sometime in summer. Beer that matches well with food was the cornerstone of Mastry's Brewing's beginnings inside CD Roma Restaurant, but on the beach, the brewery with a subtle, elegant coffeehouse atmosphere will have spices and fruit driving its brews inspired by coastal cities (think Thailand and Brazil, or Lebanon and Belize). 7701 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach, mastrysbrewingco.com.
Metro Diner Based in Jacksonville, Metro Diner will open its first restaurant locally June 27 in St. Pete, where Hiro's Tokyo Steakhouse & Sushi Bar previously operated. The neighborhood diner's emphasis on hearty portions and comfort food with flair has made it a go-to destination through the years, and the Yo Hala on the Square (challah packed with bananas, brown sugar, cream cheese and hazelnut syrup) is among the popular plates. The brand is scoping out other Bay area communities for expansion as well. 5250 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg, metrodiner.com.
On Swann American regional fare from the buzzed-about restaurant is scheduled to debut May 29. From Chris Ponte and a band of partners, the restaurant will carry specialty cocktails, local craft beer and wines, along with a thoughtfully sourced lineup of house-made charcuterie, veg-friendly options, fresh pasta and more via an open kitchen. Hyde Park Village, 1501 W. Swann Ave., Tampa, 813-251-0110, onswann.com.
Proper Kitchen & Cocktails This Southern-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar, a younger sibling of the Avenue eat/drink, is shooting for early July. With steel and burnt cedar, “It’ll have a nice Southern charm with a kind of industrial, real polished look,” owner Stephen Schrutt says. Houston native and chef Joaquin Alcocer Jr., who grew up smoking meat and is a veteran of barbecue competitions, will dish an array of ’cue to accompany Proper's elevated cocktails. 344 First Ave. S., 727-494-0700, St. Petersburg.
Seminole Heights City Wine Bar Wines by the glass, bottled craft beer and the food-pairing menu first established by Jayme Kosar’s Ybor City Wine Bar will debut this season in Seminole Heights. Her new location in the recently wet-zoned Graham Building (neighbors with the coming-soon Revolution Ice Cream Co.) will have on-site parking and room for private parties. 6703 N. Florida Ave., 813-999-4966, Tampa.