The Blind Goat's vision, HiFi Homebrew and BBQ opens & more

Five Tampa and Clearwater establishments have the latest in food and drink news.

click to enlarge The Blind Goat's located along South Tampa's Henderson Boulevard. - Chip Weiner
Chip Weiner
The Blind Goat's located along South Tampa's Henderson Boulevard.


There's a new restaurant-bar called The Blind Goat Food and Drink Co. opening in South Tampa at 4106 Henderson Blvd., former home of The Wine Bistro that closed at the end of January.

The Blind Goat — its name is a throwback to the period of speakeasies, according to partner Perry Dube — will feature craft cocktails, pizzas and overstuffed sandwiches. Dube, who spent time in San Francisco honing his restaurant management skills, and business partner George Tsambis hope to launch the spot by Friday, March 6.

The duo will showcase a full liquor bar, and plans to carry a full complement of craft beers. The Blind Goat's cocktails will pay homage to American classics. —Chip Weiner

In Clearwater, HiFi Homebrew and BBQ Supply, owned by Robb Larson and Lisa Colburn, opened its doors Friday at 1650 N. Hercules Ave. It's the region's first one-stop shop for homebrewing and barbecuing essentials, according to a news release.

Larson and Colburn, who moved to Florida from Minnesota in 2005 and are involved in the local beer scene, fell for the craft "after being inspired by Summit Brewing," headquarted in St. Paul, Minnesota. While Colburn formed the Bay Area Barley's Angels, a women's craft beer group, Larson co-founded Ybor City's Coppertail Brewing Co.

In addition to providing supplies, HiFi Homebrew and BBQ allows homebrewers to brew, ferment and bottle, or keg, their creations on site. Professional assistance during production is offered, as well as barbecue and brewing classes.

The shop operates from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 to 6 Saturday and Sunday.

Besito, a lunch and dinner Mexican restaurant making its debut to the state through Tampa, will hold its grand opening from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 23. The event costs $50 per person, and the proceeds will benefit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

At 205 WestShore Plaza, the upscale eatery took over the Palm Restaurant's old space. Items such as skirt steak tacos, chile rellenos and Swiss-style enchiladas are featured at other Besitos, including the Massachusetts and New York locations.

Appetizers will run diners around $8 to $15, and mains will be in the $9 to $28 range.

Owners Dave Burton and Ralph Santell replaced their Pizza Fusion franchises — one in downtown Tampa at 777 N. Ashley Drive, and the other at 9556 W. Linebaugh Ave. in Westchase — with Tampa Pizza Company, the new concept they teamed up to create.

Their pies, and other fare such as zucchini boats and chicken pesto wraps, still have a healthy focus, with options for diners whose diets range from vegan to gluten-free. There's a lineup of desserts, wines and craft brews, too.

Alongside the Westchase restaurant's reimagined lounge area, the downtown Tampa site now features murals by area artists Robert Horning and Bianca Burrows, new chairs and banquettes by Clearwater's Florida Seating, a community table and additional furniture pieces from places like Tampa's RareHues.

"It was important to us to turn to our local vendors here in the Tampa Bay area to make improvements to the dining experience that we offer our guests," Burton said in a press release. —Meaghan Habuda

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