The Queens Head restaurant at 2501 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg aims to open a second location. According to co-owner Paul Smith, in the next eight months a second outpost will open off of Beach Drive in the increasingly dense "restaurant row" area of St. Petersburg. Smith is mum about the new restaurant's name, but it will be a riff on the Royals. The original location celebrates its third anniversary in the Grand Central district on July 3.
Fresh Mex concept in Wesley Chapel
It's a titan in the Golden State, with legion fans in Southern California especially who swear by Baja Fresh's quick-Mex. Almost two weeks ago, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill debuted at 2653 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Wesley Chapel, operated by restaurant veteran Kush Vallabh. There's a tiny kiosk at the airport, but this location is a biggie, with 3,300 square feet and 110 indoor and outdoor seats. As the name implies, it's customized, made-to-order Mexican with a focus on fresh ingredients: The chain's simple carne asada taco with cilantro, white onion and a squeeze of lime explains their meteoric growth (230 restaurants in 25 states as well as Dubai and Singapore). Plus, free chips and six fresh salsas made daily.
Breastaurant closes in Carrollwood
Nationally, the Tempe-based sports restaurant chain called the Tilted Kilt is going gangbusters, Technomics recently naming it one of the country's fastest-growing. But here in the Tampa Bay area, the chain has run into a few snags. There was the "busty drug bust" of sexy, midriff-baring, kilt-wearing waitresses at the Clearwater location in 2011, and several weeks ago the Carrollwood location shut down. According to servers at the Clearwater location (where many of the Carrollwood staffers have relocated), a new Tilted Kilt is in the works for Raymond James Stadium.
Vietnamese cafe downtown soon
St. Petersburg residents have fallen in love with the spicy/herbal bánh mì sandwiches and pearl tapioca boba teas that Thuy Le makes at her eponymous café on 34th Street N. Word is, her new cafe La Vie, currently under construction at 437 Central Ave., will be open by the end of July. The menu will be an expanded version of her original spot, a boon since this has been a cuisine seriously underrepresented downtown.
The Kitchen delivers food — and booze?
Last week the restaurant at Jannus Live began doing something unprecedented. The Kitchen started a delivery service of menu items as well as delivering wine, spirits, beer and champagne. Some may say, "Why don't other restaurants do that? Genius!" Mostly it's because other restaurants can't do so legally. Florida requires special alcoholic beverage licenses — some are for sale in sealed containers and for consumption off premises only; and some are for consumption on premises only. Restaurant licenses are the latter, but because the Jannus Live complex contains Detroit Liquors, it is able to deliver libations offsite. Owner/operator Jeff Knight aims to deliver to selected areas within a 10 mile radius.