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New downtown St. Petersburg restaurant has a rocky start

After just a couple weeks in business, the St. Pete Kitchen has had a shake up in the kitchen.

Executive chef J. Sean Squires is no longer part of Jeff Knight's Jannus Live entertainment complex at 200 First Ave. N in St. Petersburg. MacDinton's Irish Pub opened in the complex at the end of December and the St. Pete Kitchen held its soft opening the first week of April. Since its opening, there has been a bustle of nighttime activity there, with people dining at the sidewalk tables and passersby watching the action in the open kitchen.

Knight and Squires declined to comment on the nature of the parting, but the menu and food service has been in a state of disarray since Squires' departure. He previously worked as the opening chef of 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House as well as stints at Island Way Grill and Salt Rock Grill.

New in Palm Harbor

Ugies Smokin' Good Seafood opened March 21 at 34726 U.S. Highway 19 N in Palm Harbor. The new restaurant, which features affordable menu items, short wait times and coastal-style seafood, brings a new quick-casual seafood concept to the market. Owner Dave Ulgenalp and his wife, Lisa, are former multi-unit franchisees of Panera Bread and bd's Mongolian Grill.

Ugies' menu features smoked, steamed and grilled seafood options ‑— including smoked mullet and salmon, peel and eat shrimp, fish and shrimp tacos, shrimp and cheese grits, and jambalaya — and beer, wine and sangria. Ugies' simple decor includes white picnic-style tables, photographic art of coastal living and a signature mullet mural.

New Burgers and Greek in Tampa

Dan Soronen opens his second outpost of Brewburgers this week at 3681 S West Shore Blvd. in Tampa. Competing in the hot-and-heavy premium burger wars, the concept is a limited menu (burgers, wings, salads) with a focus on beer (30 choices), which is also an ingredient in the signature Guinness-infused BrewBurger. The first location opened recently at 4195 34th St. S in St. Petersburg.

Little Greek opened its eighth location last week, this one at 1155 S Dale Mabry Hwy. in Tampa, with a St. Petersburg location opening next month. Little Greek will have doubled from four to eight locations since past Beef 'O' Brady's president, Nick Vojnovic, formed a partnership with founder Sigrid Bratic last May. Little Greek provides quick-serve Greek/Mediterranean dine-in, take-out, and catering; (813) 443-4594. The South Tampa location is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

New downtown St. Petersburg restaurant has a rocky start 04/25/12 [Last modified: Monday, June 18, 2012 6:57pm]
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