DAVIS ISLANDS — Redesigned and renamed Fountain Square, the former Bailey's restaurant on E Davis Boulevard has been reinvented by a trio of new owners.
Mark Newkirk, co-owner of the Patio in Palma Ceia, and brothers Rich and Jay Mize, owner of Irish 31 in Hyde Park, will run the casual corner hangout. Chef Kim Bailey will continue to handle kitchen duties.
Two new outdoor bars offer six beers on tap, wine by the glass or bottle and festive Key West drinks, "mojitos and such," said Jeff Single, who is helping the team target a Thursday opening.
The dining room will get a makeover, and the inside corner bar will be updated. "Lot of good memories there," said Jay Mize.
Bailey will cook "things he's known for," including sliders, conch fritters, fried green tomatoes and braised short ribs, plus several additions. "Kim will do what he does best," added Jay Mize, "prepare amazing food."
A video game arcade and a half-dozen TVs will keep all age groups entertained, plus live music is planned Thursday through the weekend.
"Come by after work, after Little League, Sunday morning, after a bike ride," Single said. "We really want to concentrate on the islanders — plus Tampa General employees."
Dinner is served seven nights a week; brunch on Saturday and Sunday only, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fountain Square, 238 E Davis Blvd., will be open 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Monday through Saturday, till midnight Sunday. Visit fountainsquaredi.com or call (813) 254-8018.
Lawyer turns passion into a profession
Paul Tabio has indulged his Picasso and Pollack passion while practicing family law in Hillsborough County for 30 years. Painting vivid, contemporary abstracts was always his escape, said the Cuba native and recent Ybor City resident. Now, turning an abandoned Spanish grocery bodega in the historic district into an art gallery has made the hobby a part-time business.
Renovations are complete and Box on 5th, at Fifth Avenue and 18th Street, is open for emerging artists to display their work. Also on site: Mitzi Gordon has parked her traveling literary project, the Bluebird Books Bus, offering a curated selection of art books.
Tabio, 61, a 1969 graduate of Jesuit High and a 1979 graduate of the University of Florida law school, paints a vision for the future — "live music, poetry readings, eventually a beer and wine lounge." He looks forward to turning an adjacent empty lot into a small park for art shows and outdoor events.
View the current exhibition from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free and beverages are available.
Box on 5th is at 1801 E Fifth Ave. Visit boxon5th.com or call (813) 361-8205 for gallery hours.
Mediterranean grill adds hookah lounge
Look for the addition of an outdoor hookah lounge at Kurdi's Fresh Mediterranean Grill on the corner of Polk and Tampa streets in downtown Tampa. Owner/chef Heveen Kurdi has also enlarged the kitchen, enhanced the lighting and added desserts, gelato and a children's menu.
"And flatbreads are new," said operations manager Shannon Quinn, calling the new lamb, cheese and manakish (za'atar) spice selections "Mediterranean pizzas" that go well with popular hummus, baba ganoush and falafel dishes.
Kurdi's Mediterranean Grill is at 777 Ashley St. Visit Kurdis Mediterranean Grill on facebook or call (813) 223-5800.
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