New restaurants: Taco spots in Tampa, a World Cup St. Pete pop-up

Published June 27 2018
Updated June 27 2018


It’s getting eerie how many taco spots are popping up in the Gandy Boulevard to Ballast Point area of South Tampa. Just a sampler: An outpost of Taco Bus opened recently at 4308 W Gandy Blvd., the owners of Big Ray’s Fish Camp are opening Teepee Taco at 6118 Interbay Blvd. any day, and now Nueva Cantina will open mid July.

As at the St. Petersburg location, Nueva Cantina will feature large-scale murals by the Vitale Brothers, pictured above. Having received much positive attention from the 1625 Fourth St. S location in St. Petersburg, it’s no surprise that managing partner Louie Spetrini hired the artists to remake what was Love’s Artifact Bar and Grille at 4918 S MacDill Ave.

Along with the release of the Brothers’ newest project, the grand opening on July 11 will include complimentary dishes and cocktails, giveaways, live music and performances by a local salsa team. The new location will have three full bars and seat 300 with indoor and outdoor seating.

SOCCER FEVER: World Cup Central

Mike Sponagle, owner of Buya Ramen in St. Petersburg, is clearly a soccer fan. In 2014, he did a World Cup pop-up event in Miami under the name Prost. And he’s doing another one in St. Petersburg now through the end of the World Cup finals. World Cup Central is hosted by Openhouse, an event space owned by real estate developer Jonathan Daou in what used to be Ricky P’s at 1113 Central Ave. The focus of the pop-up is artisanal, handmade exotic sausages (duck chorizo, chicken/apple/gruyere, that kind of thing), and it will open at 9:30 a.m. daily for live games (and will air recorded games later in the day). The space has a second-story veranda level where Sponagle will put TVs and sofas to facilitate an Xbox FIFA 18 tournament, one he says will be joined by Rowdies players so regular folks can pit their talents against the pros. The pop-up will culminate at the World Cup’s end with a block party cosponsored by Green Bench Brewing.
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