Downtown Tampa office workers have a new place to celebrate happy hour. The Office Café & Grill opened Tuesday (June 20) at 511 N. Franklin St. This is the first restaurant for owner Mike Jeckel, former manager of the Green Iguanas at both Anderson Road and Rocky Point. Jeckel said he hopes to create a "sports loungey" feel for a "casual hangout/restaurant" on downtown's main strip.
The new locale launched with a VIP grand opening this week, and opened its doors to the public following the party. Located at the former site of Trolley's restaurant, the Office has a sports bar theme with TVs throughout, including a large projection screen. The menu features standard bar fare, including 12 different wing sauce varieties as well as more upscale options such as grouper entrees, steaks and sandwiches. The Office will also have a full liquor and beer bar with daily happy hours from 5 to 9 p.m. and live entertainment Monday through Wednesday.
The Office is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. For information, call 813-221-4488.
Atlanta Bread Company locations to reopen
Three Bay area Atlanta Bread Company restaurants, which closed down in late February, are set to reopen this summer. The Atlanta-based chain is taking over the franchises from the local operator to have them back up and running as soon as possible.
The downtown St. Petersburg location at 179 First Ave. N. should be open before the end of the month, and the Tampa location at 12897 Citrus Plaza Drive and Clearwater location at 30200 U.S. 19 N. should be open later this summer.
Café Denali hosts breast cancer fundraiser
Newcomer to the Ybor City strip, Café Denali is hosting the area's first-ever "Think Pink" fundraiser next month. The "pink tie" fundraiser benefits the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Breast Cancer 3-Day, a 60-mile walk for women and men to raise awareness and money to benefit breast cancer research. Tampa Bay's 3-Day will take place October 13-15. Local businesswoman Christina Szott of Gifts by Maria hosts the July event to garner support for the event and her team of walkers.
The event will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 28 at 1327 E. Seventh Ave. There will be wine-tasting and hors d'oeuvres, a traditional Cuban dinner, a special performance followed by the silent auction and funkiest pink tie contest.
Café Denali, an upscale wine bar, coffeehouse and restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving paninis, salads and gourmet pizzas.
Advance tickets for "Think Pink" are $40 per person and may be purchased at Café Denali by calling 813-287-9717 or Gifts By Maria at 813-876-9500.
SoHo gets Chipotle
A new Chipotle Mexican Grill is scheduled to open its doors next week at the former site of the Ho Ho Chinese restaurant. The spot at 533 S. Howard Ave. in the Whaley's shopping plaza is the fifth Chipotle to open in the area since last February, with more opening soon, including a location at 2576 E. Fowler Ave.
Chipotle is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week. Call 813-254-6450.
Meanwhile, Ho Ho Chinese has opened its take-out only location at 2502 W. Columbus Drive, at the intersection of Armenia and Columbus. Ho Ho is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 4-10 p.m. Sunday. Call 813-254-9557.
Bad news for the Best
Longtime area favorite and winner of the Planet's 2005 Best of the Bay Reader's Poll for Best Chef called it quits in May. After more than 20 years in business at 8203 N. Armenia Ave., 3 Palms Grill closed its doors.
In South Tampa, Italian restaurant Café Anna shut down this month. The restaurant was located at 3671 S. Westshore Blvd. Café Anna was named Best New Restaurant in the 2004 Best of the Bay.
Know of restaurants opening or closing? Have news of new chefs, dishes or other culinary gossip? E-mail [email protected].