YBOR CITY — Just in time for leprechauns, James Joyce Irish Pub opens Monday in the former Eighth Avenue location of Mema's Alaskan Tacos.
The owner, Ryan Gougeon, is planning a St. Patrick's Day bash March 16 and 17 with live music, Irish food, green beer and "of course, Guinness," he said.
The new pub is an upscale version of the original bar on Seventh and 17th avenues, with a 30-foot dark hardwood bar, two fireplaces, stained glass, vintage brass chandeliers and imported knickknacks. A bookshelf holds a collection of Irish and Ybor history tomes, handy for settling wagers or looking up limericks. An outdoor patio and side deck will accommodate large tent parties.
As for booze, the pub will offer 50 craft beers on tap, 100 varieties of bottled beers from around the world and about 30 varieties of Irish whiskey.
"It's quite possibly the best setup in all of Tampa Bay for craft beer lovers,'' Gougeon said, describing a $30,000 delivery system connecting taps to 75 kegs in a 16- by 10-foot walk-in cooler.
He has also imported a new chef, Irishman Andrew Periam, known for his shepherd's pie and Guinness stew. The kitchen will be open until 2 a.m. every day of the week, plus a lunch menu on weekends.
Gougeon expects to create 20 new jobs in Ybor City, "opportunities for cooks, servers, bartenders, musicians, security guards, a whole new staff, really."
James Joyce, 1724 E Eighth Ave., will be open 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit jamesjoyceybor.com or call (813) 247-1896.
Mikey's Café heads to Seminole Heights
The old-fashioned soda fountain and all the nostalgic decor comes along when Mikey's Café & Bakery Co. moves from the former Pickford Sundries building on Hillsborough Avenue to the Old Seminole Heights neighborhood.
"We'll be in another historic 1940s building," said owner/chef Michelle DeMicco, who expects to be serving and baking by April 1 on Central and Hanna avenues, just north of Hillsborough Avenue. She'll close out of the iconic Pickford site at the same time, she said, as those owners consider making it a community center.
DeMicco's comfort food menu won't change: soup, sandwiches and salads at modest prices, with dressings, sauces, pasta salad and coleslaw made from scratch.
"We'll still be one of the only places in town to get an old fashioned egg cream soda," said DeMicco, who grew up in Seminole Heights and moved back 13 years ago, near where her parents have lived for more than 30 years.
Sodas are mixed by hand in dozens of flavor combinations. Cakes and pies are sold by the slice or whole to go, including the popular chocolate peanut butter pie for $14.
Catering will be available. Custom wedding cakes and 3-D sculpted grooms' cakes are DeMicco's specialty.
Mikey's Café & Bakery Co. will be located at 6114 N Central Ave. Hours will be 11 am to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Visit cafe-bakery.com or call (813) 234-3755.
Expanded Bella Prana yoga on the move
Bella Prana expands its roster of yoga and meditation classes in new studio space near downtown Tampa. The new facility will have two studios and bathrooms with showers.
"And plenty of parking,'' says owner Roni Sloman, 31, who expects to open in late March or early April at 1000 Kennedy Blvd.
Sloman, still running Bella Prana in its current location at 2408 S MacDill Ave., has incorporated instructors who used to work at the Lotus Room, which closed the doors of its nearby Kennedy site on Feb. 26.
"Parking started to become a hassle," said Lotus' Room manager Kelly Weckoski. "We were constantly battling the University of Tampa for space." (Its sister location, the Lotus Pond on Lynn Road in Carrollwood, is unaffected by the closing, and continues to offer a full program of yoga classes and teacher training.)
Bella Prana will honor prepaid class packages from Lotus Room until June 1, including children's programs, said Sloman, a Plant High and Florida State graduate.
She claims that her facility, with 25 instructors available, offers the "most diverse schedule in Tampa."
To celebrate the grand opening, "for the next month or so'' yoga enthusiasts can take advantage of a special deal: one year of unlimited classes for $1,000.
Bella Prana Yoga and Meditation will be located at 1000 Kennedy Blvd. Visit bellaprana.com or call (813) 407-2140 for updates.
Share new business news with Amy Scherzer at [email protected] or (813) 226-3332.