As we enter December still full of Thanksgiving leftovers, it's hard to think about foods that don't fall under the umbrella of seasonal fare: stuffing and cranberry sauce and any kind of casserole. Let the restaurants opening this month be your buffer for all things festive, as we find a lot of seafood, barbecue and craft beer-heavy eateries making their debuts across the region.
Frankie's Patriot BBQ
Opening at 6250 Ulmerton Road in Largo, this Gold Star family-owned barbecue joint is decked out with red, white and blue to honor veterans and first responders. It opened on Dec. 1.
It reopened in St. Petersburg earlier this year on Oct. 1, but now the beloved specialty and craft beer bar, with its 25 rotating drafts, is holding a grand opening on Dec. 3. From noon to 1 a.m., bargoers can enjoy buy one-get one cans, wine tastings, nibbles and live music. The beer hall is located on the 1000 block of Central Avenue.
The owners of Barley Mow Brewing Company and the chefs behind Out of the Pot catering are teaming up to open the Raven, a gastropub featuring beer-infused dishes, craft cocktails and chef-inspired brews, in Largo. Landing at 2535 E Bay Drive, the Raven is set for a limited-menu soft open on Dec. 5 and a grand opening on Dec. 16.
A three-story Brazilian gastropub with a rooftop bar has opened in Lakeland at 215 E Main St. Offering traditional Brazilian dishes like picanha, a popular cut of beef in Brazil; baiao de dois, a smoked black bean broth with rice croquettes, collards and fried banana; Salpicao, a traditional chicken salad; and chicken Catupiry, chicken with creamy Catupiry cheese, mashed potatoes and microgreens, Posto 9 will open Dec. 6 barring any delays. Reservations via OpenTable are recommended.
Blake's Crab Cakes
Slated to open Dec. 9, this crab cake spot will bring Maryland favorites like jumbo lump crab cakes, shrimp salad, fried lobster and blue crab fingers to the far end of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Located on the 7000 block, the restaurant is geared to open that Friday at 5 p.m.
At 27 Fourth St. N, the nautical-themed pub will serve fare like grouper and Cuban sandwiches, key lime pie and stone crabs, as well as a list of wines, liquors and St. Pete-area brews. They plan to open during the beginning of the month.
Park & Rec
From the Avenue Eat + Drink, KINGS Street Food and Proper Kitchen & Cocktails owner Stephen Schrutt comes a fourth concept: this part game bar, part music venue, part sports bar. Featuring draft beers, craft cocktails, a limited menu and vintage arcade games, Park & Rec is set to open sometime in December at 100 Fourth St. S.
A popular fixture of St. Petersburg's Saturday Morning Market, M-N-M BBQ, known for its craft barbecue, ribs and signature sauces, is getting a permanent home at 2827 16th St. N. With a soft opening planned for either December or January, the barbecue brick-and-mortar will feature fresh-from-the-grill grub and an outdoor beer garden.
The owners of Brunchies are opening up a second location this month in Lutz. At 24400 State Road 54, the brunch spot will serve dishes like huevos rancheros, shrimp and grits, steak and eggs, and omelettes.
Know of any restaurants opening in the area? Contact Carlynn Crosby at firstname.lastname@example.org.