Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Features and More

Second Queens Head opening in St. Petersburg; Baja Fresh in Wesley Chapel

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.

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Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Our editors' picks for things to do this weekend.
Updated: 8 hours ago
New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

OPEN NOW: BAHAMA BUCK’SFeel a shiver? Just in time for Florida’s sultry summer, Bahama Buck’s opened this week in Trinity with an avalanche of sno. The 2,346-square-foot island-inspired shop opened at 8815 Mitchell Blvd. with more than 91 flavors of ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lee Roy Selmon's original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon's original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon’s, the restaurant that paid homage to the community icon who rose to fame as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and grew to become a popular civic leader, will shutter the doors of its original location on Tampa’s Boy Scout Boulevard in...
Updated: 9 hours ago
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

It’s been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since. "Back in the ’80s, I had a couple o...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Well, it’s different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

Well, it’s different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

IF YOU SAY SO: PORN STARS ARE COMEDIANSWell, it’s different. Porn Stars Are Comedians extends the concept of the podcast Porn Stars Are People ("the only podcast with porn stars where we don’t discuss porn or the business of porn"), hosted by Dan Fri...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

CLEARWATER — Hat Trick Theatre, the resident company of Ruth Eckerd Hall, closes out its season with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. I must say it’s a stark choice, mainly because I can’t get two sentences into this without using the word "stark....
Updated: 12 hours ago
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

SHORTS: Art and Short Film Mini-FestA fundraiser for the [email protected] brings an Art and Short Film Mini-Fest to the studio tonight. There will be four short films, an exhibit of artwork by Corinne Leavengood and photography by Diana Lucas Leavengood. P...
Published: 05/23/18
Artist and activist Benny Andrews at the MFA, 50 years of prints at the Tampa Museum and dresses inspire art

Artist and activist Benny Andrews at the MFA, 50 years of prints at the Tampa Museum and dresses inspire art

MIX MASTER: BENNY ANDREWS AT THE MFABenny Andrews was an award-winning artist known for his innovative use of collage in his paintings and works on paper, starting in the late 1950s. He was also an activist and advocate for African-American artists, ...
Published: 05/23/18
A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

THE BEATS GO ON: Sunset Music FestivalAt last year’s Sunset Music Festival, the focus was all on crowd safety. After two fans died from drug overdoses at Tampa’s largest annual rave in 2016, organizers heightened security across the board, yielding a...
Published: 05/23/18