IRMA RELIEF: HOG'S BREATH IN WESTCHASE
Tampa Bay Brewing Co., one of the region's oldest independently owned and operated craft breweries, will host a daylong fundraising event and concert to benefit the Florida Keys in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The brewery seeks to raise $25,000 through on-site sales, a silent auction and a three-hour ticketed concert on Saturday. Proceeds will go to the Community Foundation for the Florida Keys.
In tribute to the famous Hog's Breath Saloon of Key West, Tampa Bay Brewing Co. will rebrand its Westchase brewery and restaurant, opening its doors at 11 a.m. as the Hog's Breath Saloon of Westchase. Florida Keys-inspired food and Hog's Breath brand beers produced by TBBC will be available for purchase throughout the day, and a portion of each sale will go toward the fundraising target.
There will be a silent auction of packages including trips, Florida lifestyle activities and beer experiences and live music from Key West-based bands will be on the patio during the day, culminating in a three-hour ticketed show on TBBC's 1-acre festival field featuring the Caribbean Chillers, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band (bring lawn chairs and blankets).
"The Florida Keys have been near and dear to our heart and a growing center of our business," said David Doble, managing partner of Tampa Bay Brewing Co. "We've developed great relationships and connections with the Florida Keys community and after seeing the impact from Irma, we knew we needed to develop a meaningful response."
General admission is $20; VIP is $65 and includes complimentary beer and wine, an entree with side from the barbecue, plus exclusive access to the VIP hospitality area with private bar, tables and umbrellas, unobstructed views of the stage, and private portable restrooms. 13937 Monroe's Business Park, Tampa. (813) 247-1422. tbbc.beer.
NOW OPEN: BULLA GASTROBAR
After many delays, Bulla Gastrobar, a Florida-based restaurant by Centurion Restaurant Group, joined the mix of bars and eateries in the South Howard corridor. Known for its fun, communal atmosphere, imaginative cocktail program and contemporary takes on shareable Spanish cuisine, Bulla (pronounced "boo-ya," confusingly, the same pronunciation as Buya Ramen in St. Petersburg) opened Sept. 28 at 930 S Howard Ave. in Tampa at the Morrison.
Inspired by the famous gastrobars of Spain, the casual 172-seat tapas bar offers indoor and outdoor seating. Luna Lounge, a stylish rooftop bar (one of the area's few) will open at the end of the year.
Bulla Gastrobar currently has three South Florida locations around Miami and Winter Park and a recently opened location in Midtown Atlanta. The concept has made a name with craft cocktails, made-to-order sangrias and top-shelf Spanish beer and wine alongside a menu that employs the "alta cocina" approach to tapas, applying modern innovations, such as a Josper charcoal oven-grill, to traditional Spanish recipes.
The Tampa location serves lunch and dinner daily, with brunch on weekends (bottomless sangria and mimosas). (813) 773-8626. bullagastrobar.com.
COMING SOON: MidiCi
MidiCi the Neapolitan Pizza Co. opens at the Tyrone Square Mall on Oct. 20. Established in 2015, MidiCi (pronounced me-dee-chee, which means "you tell me") has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Utah. The chain does classic Neapolitan-style pizzas served in an upscale dining atmosphere — they've trademarked the term "fast-fine," fine-dining quality made faster and more affordable. In addition to personalized Neapolitan pizza, MidiCi serves traditional appetizers, burrata, salads and desserts out of an open kitchen called "the Heart." This large newcomer, which has created more than 100 jobs in St. Petersburg, is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based restaurateurs and Italian natives Peppe Miele and Mario Vollera. This location, at 2424 Tyrone Blvd. N next to Bonefish Grill, is owned by co-franchisees Harold Bradshaw and John Eckermann. mymidici.com.