Make us your home page
Instagram

Downtown Tampa to expand its late-night eats with opening of Pita Pit

Downtown Tampa's lean late-night restaurant scene is getting a boost in the form of chicken souvlaki pitas and Philly steak sandwiches.

Andrew and Tom Turek are opening a Pita Pit this week along Twiggs Street near Franklin Street. What's noteworthy? It plans to stay open most days until 4 a.m. — nearly 12 hours after the office workers pack up and leave.

While downtown Tampa has much improved its nightlife, it still doesn't have an abundance of post-midnight munchies beyond the Taco Bus and chips at the Hub. Finally, the Tureks believe the area can sustain more.

The brothers hope to duplicate the success of their other Pita Pit a few miles away on S Howard Avenue. Opened in 2008, the location ranks fourth nationwide in terms of revenue, Andrew Turek said. Late-night customers account for about 30 percent of sales.

To augment business from downtown, the Pita Pit will offer late-night delivery to Ybor City, especially bar patrons and employees. They'll re-evaluate hours in three or fourth months, but Turek said he's fairly certain they will stick.

The Tureks considered expanding to Ybor but wanted downtown's busy lunch crowd and had help building out the space. The owners of the building are big fans of Pita Pit, which has about 350 locations nationwide and in Canada, mostly near college campuses.

Hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and until midnight on Sunday and Monday.

• • •

Lee Roy Selmon obviously loved the University of South Florida. Apparently, he also loved chicken and waffles.

For years, Selmon wanted the sinfully tasty dish on the menu of his namesake restaurant. Now, about a year after his passing, it's there.

The restaurant chain added chicken and waffles last week as part of a campaign to raise money for USF's new program, Mentoring U Selmon Style. Now through Nov. 1, a buck from every order of chicken and waffles and other signature menu items will go toward helping student athletes.

The dish heads up the restaurant's fall menu, which debuts next week and also has soft pretzels with a beer cheese sauce and meatball skewers. While not new to most foodies, chicken and waffles seems to be all over town, from Ciro's and Cafe Dufrain to Ella's and Three Birds Tavern, to name a few. It won't win any nutrition awards, but if Selmon liked it, it's gotta be pretty good.

• • •

If you've been shopping for Halloween costumes, you know they aren't cheap. Add the fake blood, matching shoes and other must-have accessories, and the cost might scare a ghost.

So it's no surprise that consumers are expected to spend an average of $79.82 on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy, according to recent survey by the National Retail Federation. That's up from $72.31 and amounts to $8 billion nationwide.

• • •

Thinking Mexican before the Halloween sugar buzz? Head to Chipotle for BOOrito night. Come dressed in a costume any time after 4 p.m. on Halloween, and you'll score a burrito, bowl, salad or tacos for just $2. Snap a photo of yourself in a costume at one of the restaurants and submit it to chipotle.com/boorito for a chance to win up to $2,500.

• • •

Get ready for the onslaught of holiday markets. Periwinkles at the Cottage and the adjacent Julie's Cottage in Largo kick off the shopping frenzy with the Holiday Marketplace this Friday and Saturday.

The free outdoor event will have more than 30 local vendors selling holiday decor, shabby chic furniture, handmade jewelry, food and more. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at 13128 Indian Rocks Road.

Susan Thurston can be reached at sthurston@tampabay.com or (813) 225-3110.

Downtown Tampa to expand its late-night eats with opening of Pita Pit 10/22/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man pleads guilty to forging check for fake investment

    Personal Finance

    A Tampa resident was convicted Thursday for forging a check for a fake investment. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation said that Eric Franz Peer pleaded guilty. He served 11 months in jail and will have to pay $18,000.

  2. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses

    Business

    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  3. Terrier Tri brings unique triathlon training to South Tampa

    Business

    Over a decade ago, Robert Pennino traded late nights in the music studio for early mornings in the Terrier Tri cycle studio.

    Terrier Tri, a cycling studio in South Tampa celebrates a grand opening on June 27. Photo courtesy of Tess Hipp.
  4. New bistro hopes to serve as 'adult Chuck E. Cheese'

    Business

    YBOR CITY — Inside Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy, a new restaurant opening in Ybor City, customers will find a mix of family recipes, games and secrecy.

    Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy readies to open in Ybor City. Photo courtesy of Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy.
  5. Ramadan having an economic impact on local charities, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Dodging the rain, a few families and customers gathered inside Petra Restaurant on Busch Boulevard. Around 8:30 p.m., the adham (or call to prayer) music begins, signaling Iftar, the end of the daily fast. Customers grabbed a plate to dig into the feast.

    Baha Abdullah, 35, the owner of the Sultan Market makes kataif, a common dessert that is eaten during the month long celebration of Ramadan in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]