Tampa’s Ballyhoo Grill is closed, Cass St. Deli coming to St. Pete, plus more foodie news

22 South reopened, too.

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click to enlarge Tampa’s Ballyhoo Grill is closed, Cass St. Deli coming to St. Pete, plus more foodie news


22 South In August, St. Petersburg’s 22 South Food Hall at the Historic Manhattan Casino announced a closure, then quickly backtracked and announced that a group of local investors had actually saved the concept. Well, 22 South officially reopened last week meaning local foodies can try 22 South vendors Irie Mon Jamaican Grill, Betterway BBQ, Louie’s Italian Eatery, Haper’s Burgers, and Scratch. The food hall is effectively being saved by Collective, a group of community-minded entrepreneurs. In addition to food, 22 South—located in South St. Petersburg’s historic Deuces neighborhood—can be rented out for events and will host live music. 642 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg. @22southfoodhall on Facebook

The Battery Its spring opening turned into an early fall one, but a new concept from the people behind Seminole Heights’ C House is now open at Sparkman Wharf in downtown Tampa’s Water Street district. The Battery soft opened on Sept. 16 and has been serving menu items like a Berkshire chop, charcuterie boards and fine bourbon ever since. Other offerings include steak and potatoes, wings and stuffed jalapeños, and the lobster mac and cheese. The Battery places an emphasis on “fine bourbon” and “exquisite wine,” but also has a full-service bar. 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa. @thebatterytpa on Instagram

First Watch The new 3,764-square-foot stand-alone Westshore First Watch location has open air dining options and alcohol. Specialty drinks include the “Cinnamon Toast Cereal Milk” with coconut rum, cold brew, coconut milk and agave. The “daytime cafe” chain has been in Tampa for 25 years—Florida for 35—serving its entire elevated seasonal breakfast, brunch and lunch menu (short rib omelet, smoked salmon eggs benedict, pumpkin spice donuts) from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. seven days a week. 1111 North Westshore Blvd., Tampa. firstwatch.com

Foxtail Coffee Co. Orlando’s Foxtail Coffee Co. opened its St. Petersburg location last week near Historic Round Lake Park in the old Mini Doughnut Factory space. It’s the chain's first location in Tampa Bay, and the opening comes two years after the company named a new COO in wake of 2018 sexual harassment allegations against former COO David Sievers. 730 4th St. N, St. Petersburg. foxtailcoffee.com

Kingsford Fire Grille Totally branded in partnership with the 101-year-old Kingsford charcoal company and helmed by former Salt Rock Grill Executive Chef Louis Scaramuzzi, the kitchen is focused on elevated backyard barbeque bites (chargrilled oysters, grilled fish, DIY s’mores) and, of course, smoked meats (Kansas City-style ribs, brisket, pork, chicken). The 8000-square-foot spot has plenty of dining options: inside, an outside patio, and even by the grill pit where diners can watch the meaty action go down. And yes, the game is on every Sunday. 204 Westshore Plaza, Tampa. kingsfordfiregrille.com

Mammamia Gelato Italiano While you can reach for classic flavors like mint and chocolate (After Hours), pistachio and even coffee, you can also choose from the space’s vegan and gluten-free pastries, waffles, coffee, gelato cakes and even crepes. The dessert space’s brand originated in Naples, Italy and has franchise locations worldwide. According to the St. Pete shop’s website, all of its base ingredients are non-GMO, and the toppings aren’t ever frozen. 1691 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. @mammamiagelatostpete on Instagram

Lighthaus After losing Fermented Reality in August, Sparkman Wharf has a new beer garden. Lighthaus—run by Guy Revelle who also brought Splitsville and Jotoro to the Wharf—also serves seltzers and wine along with NYC-style slices. 615 Channelside Dr, Tampa. @lighthaustpa on Instagram

Coming soon

Big Shake’s Hot Chicken and Fish You won’t miss the new location for this Southern-based franchise because it already features a bright new mural of Biggie, Prince, Aretha, Kurt, and Janis by local artist Derek Donnelly. Started by Chef Shawn Davis—aka former "Shark Tank" contestant “Big Shake”—the fast casual restaurant focuses on Nashville-style fare plus the item that almost got Mark Cuban to invest: the shrimp burger. The fried chicken can also be served on waffles or in a taco dressed in any level of heat from not spicy at all to “Executioner” level. Big Shakes also has fried Oreos and milkshakes to end the feast. 800 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa @bigshakestampa on Facebook 

Cass Street Deli Tampa’s first and only New York-style Jewish deli will schlepp its signature dogs and corned beef sandwiches across the Bay. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Cass Street Deli owner Robert Torres plans to open a second location between November and February of 2022 in St. Petersburg at the newly built apartment complex WaterView at Echelon City Center. 1331 W Cass St location in June of 2019. 100 Main St. N, St. Petersburg. cassstreetdeli.com

Duckweed Urban Grocery Duckweed Urban Grocery has grown a lot over the last few years, and it’s not stopping yet. Last month, the local grocer said its North Hyde Park could open “in just a few weeks.” Official offerings are TBA, but Duckweed is known for its health-conscious selections that cater to diets of every kind—including vegan and keto. The other locations also offer beer, wine, pet products, ready-to-eat items and other grocery necessities. 500 N. Rome Ave., Tampa. @duckweedgrocery on Instagram

Mangosteen Whether you’re looking for tacos, tapas or yakitori, Mangosteen will have you covered when it comes to the 600 Block in Downtown St. Petersburg in the coming weeks. The concept is set to open right next to Boutique and Pacific Counter, according to I Love the Burg. Its original opening date was back in August, according to the local publication, but its Instagram now has the opening happening in October. 656 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. mangosteenstpete.com

Pop Goes the Waffle A physical location in Gulfport will open early next year according to I Love the Burg. Owner Sara Fludd is the face behind popular creations like a Hot Cheeto Waffle Dog, pumpkin cheesecake and waffle pops that come in all kinds of flavors. Specifics for the new menu are yet to be announced. Renovations are under way, but the new location is set to feature a bigger production space and seating for you to enjoy your waffle creations. And that’s not the only good news for Fludd. Last week she was unveiled as one of 10 female founders selected to receive a $10,000 grant from the Stacy's Pita Chips Rise Project. 5004 Tangerine Ave. S, Gulfport. @popgoesthewaffle on Instagram

Shiso Crispy The food truck announced plans for a dumpling concept in a new food hall set to open up on the ground floor of Fusion 1560, an apartment building in the Edge District, by December 2021. On the vegan-friendly menu so far: spring pea and roasted leek dumplings with dauban sauce, and you can grab a Shiso Sour beer to wash it all down with. The food truck is known for its soup dumplings—aka XLB "xiao long bao," which are small buns with delicate skins that contain fillings and broth—and handmade gyoza. 1560 Central Ave. N., St. Petersburg. @shisocrispy on Instagram

Wagamama Right now, Wagamama’s owners are warning customers about supply-chain-and-labour-related price increases on its menus, but that’s not stopping the U.K.-based Asian restaurant chain from expanding to Florida with a location at Water Street in downtown Tampa. Its 4,200-square-foot restaurant joins other U.S. Wagamama locations in New York City and Boston. It hopes to open in early 2022, according to a press release. 1050 Water St., Tampa. wagamama.us


Ballyhoo Citrus Park fish camp staple Ballyhoo Grill has closed its doors. Ballyhoo—located at 7604 Ehrlich Rd.—made the announcement on its Facebook page, saying that it wasn’t able to renegotiate a new lease on a restaurant building that dates back to the mid-’90s. The Florida seafood restaurant was opened by Chris Fargale of City Fish and Ozona Blue fame, who owned two other Ballyhoos in Tarpon Springs and Gainesville. The current owners took over 12 years ago. Some form of Ballyhoo Grill has sat at the corner of Ehrlich Road and Gunn Highway since the 1910s. "It was built in 1913," Randy Grasmann, then-president of Ballyhoo Grill told the Tampa Bay Times back in 1996. "It was a home that was converted into a restaurant more than 20 years ago."

Hideaway Cafe After 13 years, arguably one of the best—if not thee best—small venues in St. Petersburg is closing. Hideaway Cafe owner John Kelly took to Facebook last week, saying the venue’s lease was not renewed by the landlord, and its “days are numbered,” with just a few months remaining. “If you’re a fan and have supported original music and all of the truly incredible artists in this room and on this stage, if you’ve enjoyed coming in to say hey to our awesome servers, sound techs, door and kitchen crew or have some special memory that ties you to the Hideaway Cafe, now would be the time to come and take it all in while you still can,” wrote Kelly.  The popular living-room style listening room doubled as a recording studio and as well as a small 80-person venue, serving beer and food. 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. hideawaycafe.biz

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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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