Longtime St. Pete Beach special-occasion restaurant Fetishes Fine Dining closed at the end of 2011 due to lease problems. Owner Bruce Caplan kept his extensive wine inventory safe while casting about for a new location. Fetishes Dining and Wine Bar opened last Thursday at the old Monster Slice Pizza location at 6305 Gulf Blvd. in St. Pete Beach. After 17 years in fine dining, Caplan has decided to forego the "fine" this time around, crafting his new venture as a wine bar. This makes sense, given the new restaurant's location just across the street from the party-hearty Postcard Inn. But he will maintain one tradition: table-side service.
"To some degree, we've always been known as a special-occasion place and table-side presentations really exemplify this," explains Caplan. "It's really a lost art. The first five nights we were open, we had 40 to 50 guests and I bet we did 25 table-side Caesar salads."
In addition to Caesars, Caplan and staff will be preparing classic table-side dishes like steak Diane, Dover sole and cherries jubilee.
But for diners who remember the Palm Harbor restaurant that burned four diners with a flambéed bananas Foster in 2011, Caplan sets minds at ease.
"Flambéed desserts should never be made with 151 (proof liquor). There shouldn't be 151 on the cart — there's no reason for that."
Gunslingers to open in ICOT Center
Gunslingers is expected to have a soft opening this week at the former Tucson's near Cafe Ponte at 13563 Icot Blvd. in the ICOT Center in Clearwater. It's been a long time coming, with a Facebook page enticing country/western enthusiasts for months. Formerly of Largo, this new Gunslingers will be a full-service lunch and dinner restaurant, with a late-night bar/restaurant/nightclub, with an outdoor deck. The sprawling Tucson's closed in 2010 after a long run.
New at Westfield Brandon Mall
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers opens its fourth Tampa-area restaurant on Oct. 29 at 450 Brandon Town Center on the first level of Westfield Brandon mall at Brandon Town Center Drive — two dozen burgers, salads, wraps, "bottomless" fries and an intriguing sounding Samuel Adams Octoberfest Milkshake.
Meanwhile, Bahama Breeze Island Grille celebrates the opening of its newest location at Westfield Brandon Mall on Friday with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and $1,500 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay. The Brandon location opened Oct. 1 and is the 11th in Florida.
New at Largo Mall
Firehouse Subs holds its grand opening today at Largo Mall at 10500 Ulmerton Road. Founded in Jacksonville by former firefighting brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse is a 543-unit fast casual sandwich chain.c