The Loft closes in Ybor City, Salty Donut heads to Seminole Heights and more in Tampa Bay foodie news

St. Pete’s Green Bench Brewing Co. hosts a "Bibimbap & Hip Hop Brunch" this weekend, too.

click to enlarge The Loft closes in Ybor City, Salty Donut heads to Seminole Heights and more in Tampa Bay foodie news
c/o of The Salty Donut

Good Fortune
Hunger Thirst’s newest concept Good Fortune is now open out of the basement space at Station House that Ichicoro Ane most recently occupied. It boasts an Asian-inspired fusion menu with dishes like Korean disco fries, drunken noodles, signature sushi rolls, bao buns and Dan Dan noodles—in addition to an exclusive selection of sake, Japanese whiskey and signature cocktails. Good Fortune also operates a private karaoke room that runs for $150 to $225 per two-hour session. St. Pete’s newest fusion restaurant and late-night lounge is now open every day starting at 5 p.m., with reservations available on its website. 260 1st Ave. S, St. Petersburg.

Bolay’s first-ever drive thru Starting Thursday, September 1, South Tampa will be home to Bolay’s very first drive thru location (which will have all of its expected indoor seating as well.) The health-focused, fast casual restaurant offers a build-your-own bowl menu of lemon chicken and kale, Havana pulled pork and Thai shrimp and noodles—in addition to a variety of gluten-free and vegan offerings too. According to Bolay's website, its newest Tampa Bay location will host different grand opening events from Sept. 1-5, as the first 100 customers in line at its grand opening day can receive one free Bolay bowl a month for an entire year.  This is the 24th Bolay location in the country, as RSVP links and more details can be found on its website. 402 S Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa.


The Loft
The closure of Ybor City’s The Loft, previously known as Cerealholic Cafe and Bar, comes just a few short months after host Jon Taffer “shut it down.” “Our time in this community has been the most honored feeling for all of us....this is a very difficult decision, which we have contemplated and reviewed for some time now. With a very heavy heart, we have decided to move on from our wonderful, amazing business," a post from The Loft wrote on Facebook. Owners Lisa and Darrell Lawson go on to explain that they need to focus on family issues that require their full attention. The Loft’s final event is a nod to a program that's been around since its pre-Taffer days–an extravagant Sunday drag brunch. It’s final “Born This Way” brunch will take place on Sunday, Aug. 21 from noon -6 p.m., featuring a slew of popular Tampa Bay drag queens. It will be hosted by the "First Lady of Ybor City" Joey Brooks and feature performances by Hazel E. Genevieve, Kory Stevens, Crystal Chambers, Kylie Augusta and many more—in addition to $30 bottomless mimosas, BOGO bloody mary's and access to The Loft’s full menu. 1909 N 15th St., Tampa. @TheLoftYborCity on Facebook
Coming Soon

The Salty Donut
Tampeños can now anticipate the grand opening of not one—but two—Salty Donut locations, heading to both Seminole Heights and Hyde Park Village early next year. Salty Donut's Hyde Park Village location will reside at 1519 W Swann Ave., while the Seminole Heights brick and mortar will open at 5808 N Florida Ave. near restaurants such as 3 Dot Dash and King of the Coop. A representative for The Salty Donut states that its Seminole Heights location—a cozy, historic bungalow painted light pink—will serve as the production space for both of its Tampa storefronts, even giving customers a chance to see the production process and artistry behind their popular doughnuts. The Salty Donut is known for its rotating menu of both sweet and savory doughnuts, with popular flavors like chocolate cookie crunch and caramel toffee crumb. Exclusive Florida flavors (that we can probably expect in Tampa, too) include doughnuts like guava and cheese, toasted coquito and Key lime meringue. The Salty Donut also offers a full coffee and espresso menu of specialty lattes, maple brown sugar cold brews, cortados, cappuccinos and more.

Chef of Cena to open a casual pizzeria One of Tampa's top-rated chefs has more to offer. Michael Buttacavoli, chef of upscale Italian eatery, Cena, will open a casual pizzeria concept next door, according to Tampa Bay Business Journal (TBBJ). The pizzeria, Butta's second restaurant, has not yet been named but is expected to open its doors to hungry eaters within coming months. The casual eatery's menu will feature classics such as "all-encompassing" pizzas, subs, pasta, salad, beer, liquor and wine, but will also take on a modern, Cena-esque flair and "won't be just a pizza joint," says Buttacavoli. Cena's outdoor pizza bar and eight TVs became a popular spot for locals during Bucs and Lightning playoff runs, popularizing Cena's outdoor-dining-only menu, such as its traditional Italian pizza and the meatball parmesan subs that beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay—both of which will be found on the new concept's menu. The top-rated chef says the pizzeria will have its own identity and shouldn't be considered a sister restaurant to the modern Cena, but its dishes will be made with similar high-quality ingredients and flavors. —Max Steele


Bandit x La Sétima Club pop-up While we patiently wait for Ybor City’s newest wine bar La Sétima Club to acquire its wet zone permit, we can at least get a taste of its plant-based eats at St. Pete’s Bandit Coffee Co. this weekend. The “Po-bois & Pèt-Nats” pop-up will feature vegan eats and natural wines, letting its future customers know what they can expect when La Setima debuts sometime this fall. The pop-up's menu will consist of southern-inspired po’boys like Nashville hot shrimp smothered in Sétima sauce, coffee-infused buffalo chicken with homemade pickles and blue cheese and chorizo and Impossible beef with chimichurri—in addition to a variety of natural wines from Florida-based distributors DF Rosati and Arash Selects. Renovations on the Jug & Bottle-associated wine bar started in fall of last year, transforming the historic space into a sleek, yet cozy concept. 2662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
Bibimbap & Hip Hop Brunch On Sunday, Aug. 21, St. Pete’s Green Bench Brewing will host a special installation of their popular “Eggs & Keggs” brunch event, bringing together two beautiful things—hip hop, and the beloved Korean dish bibimbap. Tampa-based catering company LOKO Cuisine will provide an endless bibimbap bar of bulgogi beef burnt ends, gochujang buffalo tofu, rice, kimchi, garlicky wilted spinach, sesame bean sprouts, marinated mushrooms, fried eggs and a LOKO bibimbap sauce. There will also be a vegan green tea pancake filled with peanuts, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon for brunch dessert. Tickets run for $43 each and also include a beer, cider, wine, tea, or coffee of your choice, in addition to the endless eats, of course. 1133 Baum Ave. N, St. Petersburg.


Exclusive Vienna lagers available at BarrieHaus this weekend Ybor City is home to some extremely good beer, and there’s a brewery that’s quite literally the best in the world when it comes to Vienna lager. Barriehaus is a lager-centric stronghold on the west end of the entertainment district. At this year’s World Beer Cup—more or less the Olympics of beer where nearly 60 countries put forth more than 10,000 entries across more than 100 styles—it took home the gold medal for its Family Tradition Vienna Lager. To celebrate , BarrieHaus is throwing an all day party on Saturday, Aug. 20. Jim Barrie, head brewer and co-founder of BarrieHaus, and brewer Tana Meredith who has been with the company since opening day welcome the silver and bronze medalists in the category (respectively, New Mexico’s Ex Novo Brewing and Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company from Orlando) to party along fans of the style known for its reddish-copper hue and delicate malt character. 1403 E 5th Ave., Ybor City. —Ray Roa

About The Author

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
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