December 22, 2021

The Tampa Bay restaurants and bars that have closed since the beginning of the pandemic

The past two years have been incredibly tough for local restaurants and bars, and while many have survived, adapted, or even completely reinvented themselves, the COVID-19 pandemic has also helped shutter some of our favorite Tampa Bay haunts.

While not all of these spots closed specifically because of coronavirus, every one of these eateries closed their doors amidst the pandemic, and we miss them all.  Here are some of our favorite local bars and restaurants that are gone but not forgotten. 
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Cafe Ponte  
13505 Icot Blvd., Clearwater
After 18 years of serving the Tampa Bay community with its modern Italian cuisine and fine dining atmosphere, Cafe Ponte closed down for good following complications stemming from the pandemic. However, last year the owners opened a new Italian restaurant, OLIVIA, in Tampa.
Photo via Cafe Ponte/Facebook

Cafe Ponte

13505 Icot Blvd., Clearwater
After 18 years of serving the Tampa Bay community with its modern Italian cuisine and fine dining atmosphere, Cafe Ponte closed down for good following complications stemming from the pandemic. However, last year the owners opened a new Italian restaurant, OLIVIA, in Tampa.

Photo via Cafe Ponte/Facebook
Ballyhoo Grill
7604 Ehrlich Rd., Citrus Park
Citrus Park fish camp staple Ballyhoo Grill closed its doors on Sunday, Sept. 26. Some form of the local favorite has sat at the corner of Ehrlich Road and Gunn Highway since the 1910s.

Ballyhoo Grill

7604 Ehrlich Rd., Citrus Park
Citrus Park fish camp staple Ballyhoo Grill closed its doors on Sunday, Sept. 26. Some form of the local favorite has sat at the corner of Ehrlich Road and Gunn Highway since the 1910s.
The Bunker  
1907 N. 19th St., Ybor City
After online rumors began circulating, Ybor City's The Bunker employees confirmed its closure. Nicknamed "Ybor's living room" by many, the cafe had acted as a community hub for coffee drinkers and art show and DIY concertgoers since its opening in 2006, after a restoration of the building, which has been standing in the district since 1924. A new coffee shop, Foundation, now operates out of the space.
Photo via Michael M. Sinclair

The Bunker 

  1907 N. 19th St., Ybor City
After online rumors began circulating, Ybor City's The Bunker employees confirmed its closure. Nicknamed "Ybor's living room" by many, the cafe had acted as a community hub for coffee drinkers and art show and DIY concertgoers since its opening in 2006, after a restoration of the building, which has been standing in the district since 1924. A new coffee shop, Foundation, now operates out of the space.

Photo via Michael M. Sinclair
Hall on Franklin  
701 N. Franklin St., Tampa
Tampa's Hall on Franklin, the area's first food hall, closed in mid December of 2020 following a lawsuit with the landlord. As great as the original Franklin Street site was, there are certain things we were not able to do there, such as outside dining, adding a private dining room and other amenities that are especially important amid COVID-19, founder Jamal Wilson told CL. Wilson's next concept, Hall at Midtown, is expected to open in 2022 but a new concept—Asian food hall Urban Hawkers—has eyes on opening this year within the old Hall space.
Photo via Colin Wolf

Hall on Franklin

701 N. Franklin St., Tampa
Tampa's Hall on Franklin, the area's first food hall, closed in mid December of 2020 following a lawsuit with the landlord. As great as the original Franklin Street site was, there are certain things we were not able to do there, such as outside dining, adding a private dining room and other amenities that are especially important amid COVID-19, founder Jamal Wilson told CL. Wilson's next concept, Hall at Midtown, is expected to open in 2022 but a new concept—Asian food hall Urban Hawkers—has eyes on opening this year within the old Hall space.
Photo via Colin Wolf
Four Green Fields Irish Pub  
205 W. Platt St, Tampa
Popular Irish pub Four Green Fields closed in early December, 2020 but have no fear because the original thatched roof's legacy will live on at a forthcoming location near Channelside. The restaurant has famously hosted musical legends like Sinead O'Connor, The Wolfe Tones, Paddy Reilly as well as the late Tommy Makem. A rep from Four Green Fields told Creative Loafing Tampa that the restaurant does not have an official grand opening date in mind for the forthcoming Channelside location.
Photo via Four Green Fields Irish Pub/Facebook

Four Green Fields Irish Pub

205 W. Platt St, Tampa
Popular Irish pub Four Green Fields closed in early December, 2020 but have no fear because the original thatched roof's legacy will live on at a forthcoming location near Channelside. The restaurant has famously hosted musical legends like Sinead O'Connor, The Wolfe Tones, Paddy Reilly as well as the late Tommy Makem. A rep from Four Green Fields told Creative Loafing Tampa that the restaurant does not have an official grand opening date in mind for the forthcoming Channelside location.
Photo via Four Green Fields Irish Pub/Facebook

Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future.