The birth of son Jax and the opening of Irish 31 pub house kept Jay and Bianca Mize up nights the last few weeks. The baby arrived in August; the eatery opened Tuesday next to CineBistro in Hyde Park Village.
The number 31 doesn't refer to the quantity of menu items or beers on draft, although both are extensive. Jay wore No. 31 when he was a safety for the University of South Florida Bulls from 1997 to 2000. Now he hopes to score points serving Mulligan stew, shepherd's pie, lamb stew, bangers and mash, blarney burgers and other American fare.
Mize plans live entertainment four days a week and daily drink specials. For example, on Mondays, he welcomes networking groups and hospitality workers. Tuesdays mean $3.10 martinis for the ladies. Wednesdays offer "wine-down" deals.
Sports fans will find 16 televisions beaming college and pro football, soccer, mixed martial arts fights and more. Sportscaster J.P. Peterson and Tampa Bay Buc Jeff Fain will broadcast their live radio show Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m.
Irish 31, located at 1611 W Swann Ave., is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight. Visit irish31.com or call (813) 250-0031.
Organic goodness delivered
The Grass Root organic restaurant closed its dining rooms in two locations to become a catering and meal plan home delivery service. The restaurant on N Florida Avenue has been vacated and the catering business now operates out of the former restaurant kitchen on Manhattan Avenue.
"We deliver two meals daily, so this is better,'' says owner Sabrina Aird. "It's much more economical than eating out, and a lot of our clients have health or mobility issues."
Customers can sign up for a "Raw and Living" or a "Cooked Comfort" weekly plan, both featuring healthy, vegan meals: $20 a day for lunch and dinner, five days a week. A weekly fee of $25 to Mobile Meals pays for home delivery throughout the Tampa Bay area, from Lakeland to St. Petersburg, New Tampa to Brandon. There is no charge to pick up the meal packages at 4334 S Manhattan Ave.
"We were amazed at how this (home delivery) is exploding in New York and L.A. and all the major cities,'' said Aird. "It's a lot of work to make raw and vegan food."
For now, Aird said, the menu options are determined by her each week. But selections will be expanded when the company begins to ship nationwide, she said. Visit thegrassrootlife.com or call (813) 839-7668.
New restaurant is a catch
Restaurateur Rick Barcena named his newest venture Catch, a family-friendly sports bar adjacent to his pasta spot, Rigatoni Tuscan Oven, on Kennedy Boulevard near Himes Avenue.
"Catch has just one pasta dish on the menu,'' says Barcena, "and that's a Cajun mac and cheese." Burgers, salads, wraps, conch fritters and Cuban sandwiches are among the "wallet-friendy choices,'' he said, and his favorite, freshly-made seasoned potato chips with a pico de gallo dip, called the Hook and Line. There is a full bar, and plenty of televisions for sports fans.
Earlier this month, Barcena was proud to have Rigatoni named a finalist among the 2011 Small Business of the Year nominees honored by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. He's also pleased to be designated a disaster caterer "to feed city staff and responders in the event of a hurricane or, heaven forbid, something happens at the port,'' Barcena said.
Catch, located at 3441 W Kennedy Blvd., is open daily at 4 p.m. and weekends at noon; (813) 879-7000.
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