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. Appointments at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and the Straz Center highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Charities

    The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has named Matt Mitchell its new chief executive officer, effective Oct. 16. Selected by the Y's CEO Search Committee following a five-month search, Mitchell will succeed Tom Looby, who is retiring. Looby has served the Y Movement for 37 years, the past 10 …

    The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has named Matt Mitchell as its new Chief Executive Officer. [Handout photo]
  2. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  3. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  4. Lockdown: Florida's 97,000 prison inmates confined through weekend

    State Roundup

    All of Florida's 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about possible uprisings, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  5. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]