Hootie and the Blowfish bassist Dean Felber owns a restaurant in Seminole
A couple of weeks ago, we got word that country star Darius Rucker was playing a secret show at a brand new bar and grill in Pinellas County, as a favor to a friend.
That friend, as it turns out, is Dean Felber, the bassist in Rucker's former band Hootie and the Blowfish, who happens to own the appropriately named Blowfish Bar and Grill in Seminole, not far from Tyrone Square Mall in St. Pete.
It's a vaguely '90s-themed music venue and restaurant featuring cocktails with names like Better Man, Wonderwall, Come As You Are and Self Esteem, while the food is barroom fare with a distinctly Southern flavor.
"The first thing that struck me about dining out here is the lack of Southern food on menus," Felber said in an interview. "I always thought of Florida as a Southern state. So we're doing shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes at lunch, and a couple of places in Charleston do these homemade chips with a blue cheese drizzle with some scallions and we're doing those."
Tbt* restaurant critic Laura Reiley writes that the food isn't spectacular, but it's not that bad, either (hey, kind of like Hootie and the Blowfish themselves!):
Of the more ambitious entrees, restraint would improve things. The house shrimp and grits ($9.95) brought six prawns with a subtle bacon flavor over way too much cheese grits (and their texture too solid). Cut that quantity in half and loosen it up and we're cooking with gas. Same goes for a blackened chicken pasta ($9.95), which brought a huge quantity of pasta and chicken, its blackening spices, marinara and alfredo coming together muddily.
Click here for Laura Reiley's full review of Blowfish Bar and Grill. And for more of her interview with Felber, click here.