From Black Rock Bar + Grill to The Hall on Franklin to Ricky P’s Creole Kitchen, here’s 10 food spots with openings to look for through December.
American Social Started in Fort Lauderdale in 2012 (a Miami location in Brickell debuted last year), AmSo, as it’s nicknamed, will bring its sophisticated sports bar, restaurant and all-around hangout to Tampa’s Harbour Island sometime in fall. The indoor-outdoor gathering place will feature U.S. favorites with a spin — everything from burgers and seafood platters to shared plates and salads. Craft cocktails, beer and wine will also be on hand. 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa, americansocialbar.com.
BetterBYRD Ciccio Restaurant Group’s newest quick-serve concept has a chicken-centric menu, as you’ve probably guessed. BetterBYRD will allow patrons to build their own meals by choosing from chicken done up seven ways and which base their poultry selections are served on. Varieties like white Mexican barbecue chicken and buttermilk fried chicken, for instance, will be piled onto items like Mediterranean naan and crispy nachos. In April, CRG said the SoHo BetterBYRD’s anticipated opening is mid-September. There’s also a BetterBYRD headed for the vacancy next to Fresh Kitchen St. Pete, where Daily Eats was previously slated to open off Fourth Street. 2221 W. Platt St., Tampa, 813-314-7900, cicciorestaurantgroup.com.
Black Rock Bar + Grill The first local location for this Australian-style dining experience, founded in Michigan six years ago by the Morganroth family, will premiere to the public Aug. 23 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and soft grand opening. With regular hours kicking off at 11 a.m. Aug. 24, the Carollwood Black Rock invites diners to cook their own Angus steaks and seafood tableside on 755-degree volcanic stone. The bill of fare includes other eats such as appetizers, sandwiches and pasta, too. 11702 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 813-321-3577, blackrockrestaurants.com.
BT To Go Bistro Tampa restaurateur and chef BT Nguyen is breathing new life into the former Six Tables space through her latest project. Serving the Westshore area, the eatery — which plans to encompass cuisine, culture and community and is hoping to launch in mid-August — will combine dishes from her full-service Restaurant BT and young BT To Go with French bistro items. Herbs and veggies will even be grown in a garden on-site. 4267 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, restaurantbt.com.
D.P. Dough SoHo will see the grand opening of this locally owned and operated calzone franchise in September. Located in the same plaza as SoHo Juice Co. and Pita Pit, D.P. Dough is set to cook up its dreamy-looking lineup of 20-plus calzones stuffed with unconventional ingredients (think pineapple and taco seasoning) alongside tater tots, wings, “stix” (like breadsticks) and house-baked cookies. Carry-out, dine-in and delivery orders will be filled until super late. And nope, there’s no pizza. 500 S. Howard Ave. #C, Tampa, 813-603-7646, dpdough.com.
The Hall on Franklin A chef-driven specialty food hall, with a tentative grand opening of Nov. 1, that’s described as an “upscale collective eatery.” Influenced by European-style dining halls and successful restaurants in major cities, the indoor-outdoor Hall in Tampa Heights will showcase six local concepts: the Asian fusion North Star Eatery; Bar Ko-fe, a craft coffee bar; La Bodega and its Latin fusion cuisine; a bar with signature cocktails; and Heights Melt Shoppe, which will dish soups and sides, gourmet sandwiches, shakes and popsicles. 1701 N. Franklin St., Tampa, thehallonfranklin.com.
Hamburger Mary’s St. Pete Across from Tyrone Square Mall, the 250-seat St. Pete outpost from this bar and grill brand will offer popular events like drag queen bingo as well as menu favorites, including the Queen Mary burger (Cheddar and Jack cheese, grilled onions, bacon and special sauce). Kurt King, who owns the local Hamburger Mary’s franchise operating locations in Ybor City and Clearwater, told CL in July that the St. Pete Mary’s has been in the works for the past five years; here, he said he wants to introduce “more jobs for the transgender and LGBT community.” It’s scheduled to premiere in late August or early September. 2901 Tyrone Blvd., St. Petersburg, hamburgermarys.com.
Ricky P’s Creole Kitchen Ricky P’s, which closed its EDGE District restaurant in St. Pete July 31, will reopen as a new concept on Fourth Street, an area owners Rick and Lisa Parsons are no strangers to (they previously served the Fourth Street community through their po’ boy shop and a cafe). Focusing more on corporate catering and delivery, the Creole Kitchen will highlight its Cajun and Creole delicacies at affordable prices in the form of daily happy hours, chef’s specials and prepackaged to-go items (stuffed peppers, crawfish mac, corn maque choux and muffuletta pasta salad included). 11002 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-821-4061, rickyps.com.
Rubio’s Coastal Grill Though this California-based chain isn’t named after the U.S. senator from Florida, Rubio’s Coastal Grill been credited with bringing the fish taco craze to America. Grilled-to-order and responsibly sourced seafood, steak, antibiotic-free chicken and house-made guacamole top dishes such as rice bowls, salads, tacos and burritos on the lineup debuting to Tampa’s Corner at Westshore on Sept. 1. St. Pete’s Tyrone Mall is among the other Florida sites set to get a sea-themed Rubio’s throughout the end of 2016. 1824 N. Westshore Blvd., Tampa, rubios.com.
Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen Shrimp and andouille Cheddar grits, boudin balls, crawfish étouffée, Cajun blackened chicken and more feel-good plates will transport Brandon to the Big Easy later this month. Inside the first Tampa Bay operation for Tibby’s, whose other two restaurants are in Central Florida, look for a piece of the Krewe of Hermes’s Midnight Sun float from Mardi Gras 2015. The yellow-and-orange sun-shaped sculpture, which was mounted on the front of the float, weighs more than 600 pounds. 1721 W. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, 813-315-8443, tibbys.com.
Eateries from our summer restaurant preview that we’re still anticipating? Boca Kitchen Bar and Market in downtown Sarasota and St. Pete, Palm Harbor’s Catcher and the Rye (September, hopefully), Tampa’s Franklin Manor and Goody Goody (there’s finally a date!), and Proper Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown St. Pete.