Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Dining

Hugo's restaurant in SoHo closing Friday; plans are to reopen under new owners

TAMPA — On Friday morning, the management of Hugo's Spanish Restaurant told an assembled group that it was the restaurant's last day of business under the current ownership. One of Tampa's iconic Spanish-Cuban restaurants since 1975, it will close today, undergo a transfer of ownership and reopen "as soon as possible," according to general manager Don Johnston.

The Cafe Con Tampa breakfast group, a weekly public forum hosted by Tampa public relations firm Tucker/Hall, was told that the restaurant will announce the new ownership and future plans next week. The group, which has met at Hugo's for eight years, will move next week to Oxford Exchange.

According to Johnston, "I can't say who the new owner is. It will still be Hugo's, the same name. There's just been a little hiccup in the transfer of ownership. It will be like the phoenix rising from the flames."

Johnston said he didn't foresee staffing changes in the eponymous restaurant, owned for decades by Hugo Sanchez. Tampa has lost a number of its iconic Cuban restaurants in recent years. Although dense with dining options, in the SoHo District Hugo's has represented one of the very few places to get a Cuban or picadillo sandwich.

Hugo's website boasts of an "extensive renovation underway," but other details are scant.

"I'm excited about the changes," Johnston said, "but I'm just supposed to quietly close the doors today."

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

Comments
Bowled over: From acai to poke, the top 10 bowls in Tampa Bay

Bowled over: From acai to poke, the top 10 bowls in Tampa Bay

Why, exactly, are bowls the new plates?The Wall Street Journal declared it so. Tableware companies like Fiesta have reported serious double-digit growth in the sale of bowls — salad bowls, cereal bowls, you name it. Fast-food restaurants have jumped ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
This Florida burger joint is one of the 10 best in America, travel website says

This Florida burger joint is one of the 10 best in America, travel website says

A 2˝-hour drive south could land Tampa residents at one of America’s best burger joints, according the review and travel website TripAdvisor.com.The website released a list of the "10 Most Delectable Burger Joints" in America on Wednesday, placing Na...
Published: 07/14/18
Friday is National French Fry Day. Find (free!) fries in Tampa Bay.

Friday is National French Fry Day. Find (free!) fries in Tampa Bay.

Guess what Friday is? It’s National Fry Day (#FRYdayThe13th, see what they did there?). Fun fact: Their origin story may not lie in France but in Belgium. So why do we credit France? Thomas Jefferson is said to have introduced deep-fried potatoes at ...
Published: 07/11/18
We got a preview of the food at Osteria, the new Tampa restaurant from Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani

We got a preview of the food at Osteria, the new Tampa restaurant from Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani

TAMPA — The evening began with chef Fabio Viviani telling the group to fork the fluffy coccoli in front of us, break it open then stuff it with the cold smoked prosciutto de Parma and stracchino cheese delicately laid out on wooden boards. "Stracchin...
Published: 07/10/18
Restaurant openings: The Donut Experiment, Oak and Stone, new offerings at Disney Springs

Restaurant openings: The Donut Experiment, Oak and Stone, new offerings at Disney Springs

NOW OPEN: DONUT EXPERIMENTDebbie Waldecker has just opened the Donut Experiment in Indian Shores. Things start with a fresh-made, warm cake doughnut and then you pick from a huge selection of icings and toppings. Yours can be as simple as plain or gl...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/06/18
Restaurant review: At the new Getaway in south St. Petersburg, you’re mostly paying for the tiki beach vibe

Restaurant review: At the new Getaway in south St. Petersburg, you’re mostly paying for the tiki beach vibe

ST. PETERSBURG - When the original Getaway opened in 2014 at the old Banana Boat spot, two huge-beamed open-sided tikis flanked by waterside tables, fire pits in the sand surrounded by low-slung Adirondack chairs, and a whole bunch of palm trees, the...
Published: 07/02/18
New restaurants: Taco spots in Tampa, a World Cup St. Pete pop-up

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

COMING SOON: NUEVA CANTINA 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&#...
Updated one month ago
Restaurant review: Viva Napoli lovingly recreates Italian cuisine’s greatest hits

Restaurant review: Viva Napoli lovingly recreates Italian cuisine’s greatest hits

TAMPA According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Italian continues to be the country’s most beloved ethnic cuisine. I’ve fallen out of love and then gotten moony-eyed again several times over the past decade or so. It’s a cuisine...
Updated one month ago
See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

See Datz pastry chef Alicia Wolding on Netflix’s Sugar Rush

When Alicia Wolding joined Datz as the new executive pastry chef last year her hair was rainbow — pretty much the whole ROY G BIV spectrum in cascading tresses. More recently, it’s bright purple, somewhere between iris and lilac. This is the color yo...
Updated one month ago
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Updated one month ago