Monday, June 18, 2018
Dining

Campy, gay-friendly Hamburger Mary's comes to St. Petersburg in August

ST. PETERSBURG — Mary is coming to town.

Hamburger Mary's, the famous drag-queen eatery with spots already in Ybor City and Clearwater, will open in August across from Tyrone Square Mall. It goes into a nearly 6,000-square-foot former Hooters location that most recently housed Bia Maria's pizza.

South of Market in San Francisco, Hamburger Mary's was the ultimate rebuttal to the 1980s fern bar. Gay-friendly, it was divey and free-spirited, with ruby slippers as planters, baby bottles serving as coffee creamers, and lots of people with suspiciously big feet dressed as women. It was a cross-dressing and gay hangout in which straight folks felt just fine, a warm and inclusive late-night destination where a messy burger and slightly sodden fries were the inevitable capper to carousing.

There never was a Mary, but in the 1990s her cheeky concept was franchised across the country, with almost 20 units at its peak. Tampa's Centro Ybor got one in 2009, the shambling 240-seat burger emporium settling in and immediately drawing crowds for its female impersonator shows "Maryaoke," drag queen bingo and such. The check comes in a vampy red stiletto, the fried Twinkies and tabletop s'mores are a hoot, the soundtrack an eye-rolling trip down 1970s memory lane.

In 2013, the Ybor City location owner, Kurt King, opened a Clearwater location. King, who will helm the St. Petersburg Mary's at 2901 Tyrone Blvd., said Sarasota may be next.

St. Pete will meet the Sloppy Mary, the Spicy Mary and the Queen Mary (all burgers, this last comes with grilled onions, bacon strips and a slather of Thousand Island) as well as shock-and-awe sandwiches like the Mac Daddy, whereby you can top your patty, be it Angus ground beef, turkey or garden burger, with a big scoop of housemade mac. Add to that a full array of cocktails (many with sly gay innuendo names like the Zipper Ripper or the Long "Guy" Land Iced Tea) and some hilariously excessive desserts, and it's not hard to adhere to the tagline: "Eat, drink and be Mary."

Contact Laura Reiley at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.

Comments
From soft serve to ice pops, 12 places to get frozen treats

From soft serve to ice pops, 12 places to get frozen treats

I know we have three more months or so of hot-as-dog-breath Tampa Bay summer, but let’s start things off on the right foot with some frozen treats. Ice cream is on my mind after a recent visit to Disney Springs, when I found love in a perfect scoop o...
Published: 06/13/18
Five restaurants worth checking out at Disney Springs in Orlando (w/video)

Five restaurants worth checking out at Disney Springs in Orlando (w/video)

LAKE BUENA VISTA Disney Springs has swiftly become a playground or trial balloon for the country?s celebrity chefs. Art Smith, Masaharu Morimoto, Rick Bayless, Guy Fieri, Tony Mantuano, Wolfgang Puck and others are already on board, with names like ...
Published: 06/13/18
A hook-to-table food experience in Tampa Bay

A hook-to-table food experience in Tampa Bay

Going fishing is like doing your taxes. If it’s something you dive into just once a year you end up relearning the whole thing every time. Jake Whitfield eyed me, no judgment, and decided to cast for me the first time, my little wriggling greenback z...
Published: 06/11/18
Ceviche closing in South Tampa

Ceviche closing in South Tampa

TAMPA – The Ceviche restaurant at 2500 W Azeele St. is closing.Caledon Concepts, which operates Ceviche restaurants in Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg, said the restaurant’s last day at that location will be June 16."The expiration of the lease for...
Published: 06/08/18
Deal alert: Hard Rock Cafe has 71 cent burgers for its birthday

Deal alert: Hard Rock Cafe has 71 cent burgers for its birthday

SAVE THE DATE: HARD ROCK B-DAYOn June 14, 1971, the founders opened their own American-style diner in an old Rolls-Royce dealership and called it Hard Rock Cafe. They had a vision to combine music, memorabilia and all-American fare. Here’s a tip: To ...
Published: 06/06/18
Restaurant review: El Chapo Taco fills a need with fun, friendly Mexican spot in Gulfport

Restaurant review: El Chapo Taco fills a need with fun, friendly Mexican spot in Gulfport

GULFPORTWhat do we know about El Chapo, a.k.a. Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán? He ran the Sinaloa Cartel, even from prison, and first appeared on Forbes’ billionaires list in 2009. He’s 5 feet 6. He’s the father of 12 or 13 children. He has a talen...
Published: 06/04/18
Updated: 06/07/18
National Doughnut Day is back. Where to get free doughnuts, doughnut beers and more

National Doughnut Day is back. Where to get free doughnuts, doughnut beers and more

Believe it or not, Friday is already June 1, which means National Doughnut Day is back with sweet deals.The day was created to celebrate the Salvation Army’s "Doughnut Lassies," who served the treats to American soldiers on the front lines during Wor...
Updated one month ago
A look at how Tampa steakhouse Ocean Prime keeps its menu fresh

A look at how Tampa steakhouse Ocean Prime keeps its menu fresh

TAMPAThe executive chefs all fly into Columbus, Ohio. Before they step into the kitchen, before they sharpen a knife, they sit down and have a meeting, an open dialogue. They examine the whole menu: What’s working? What needs fixing? And then they ge...
Updated one month ago
Restaurant review: Bar Asia will have to raise the bar if it wants to thrive in South Tampa

Restaurant review: Bar Asia will have to raise the bar if it wants to thrive in South Tampa

TAMPALet’s review our star system. One star is fair, two is good, three is great and four is mind-blowing. I’m going to start my review of Bar Asia by saying that one star for service is generous. Here’s why.On my first visit, the bartender was crabb...
Updated one month ago
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Updated one month ago