By Carlynn Crosby
February is the month for lovers, and the case remains true for food lovers in the Tampa Bay area. This month, in addition to a few grand opening parties, look for whiskey-infused syrup at a St. Pete coffee bar, a healthy quick-casual concept in Tampa from a former Buccaneer and a craft burger assembly line in Wesley Chapel.
Fans of Chicago-style deep dish pizza will be happy to note an addition to the bay area pizza scene. Rosati's pizza will hold a grand opening Feb. 7 at its newest location on Ulmerton Road in Largo from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Order a specialty pizza, like the Godfather or Rosati's Monster, or choose from items like calzones, wings and pasta.
This anticipated restaurant-brewery fusion concept from Barley Mow Brewing Company is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony 5:15 p.m. Feb. 8. At 2535 E Bay Drive in Largo, the eatery will raffle off prizes as well as provide food and drink tastings and live music.
Chop Chop Shop
Tampa's Chop Chop Shop will reopen on Feb. 8 after a temporary closure, according to a sign posted on its front door on Florida Avenue. Once it reopens, look for some cosmetic changes, like new counter seats, an open backyard and bigger bowls, as well as menu changes like new veggie options, marinated mushrooms, dark meat and new noodles.
The Nutrition Factory
Opening Feb. 25 on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa, this fast casual concept from Michael Youssef and Joey Galloway, former wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, features protein shakes, smoothies and juices (which are pressed daily in-house), as well as wraps, bowls and salads. Emphasizing fresh and organic products, the shop will have paleo, gluten-free, vegan and low-carb options available as well.
Story Brooke Craft Coffee Bar
In soft opening mode, this coffee shop on Fourth Street S in St. Petersburg boasts cocktail-style coffee beverages and waffles, which rotate daily and are topped with whiskey-infused syrups (or two scoops of bruleed ice cream, if your heart desires). Look for a grand opening in mid-February.
Expected to open sometime this month, this 1920s service station-themed craft burger and beer chain is setting up another shop in Wesley Chapel. With a flagship opened in Fort Myers in 2012, Ford's is also planning to open locations in Countryside and Citrus Park sometime this year. On the menu, look for signature burgers or an "assembly line" where you can craft your own, and an extensive beer list.
Know of any places opening in the area? Contact Carlynn Crosby at firstname.lastname@example.org.