New life in Clearwater's old theater
It started life as the Fort Harrison Theater, renamed the Palace Theater in 1928 and then the Ritz Theater after that, closing in 1980. Since that time the space at 22 N Fort Harrison Ave. in Clearwater has been host to many dreams. For a while it was Liquid Blue and then Divino Italian Restaurant.
In August, new vitality will be breathed into the historic space with the ribbon-cutting for Sage Supper Club. Owned by Vincent Fiore (of the WiseGuy Kitchen television show aired on Verizon Fios, Cox and others), it's a 5,000-square-foot, two-level space that's a combination event, buffet, bar and kitchen venue. Not open every day as a restaurant, it debuts to the public with its first Italian buffet night on Aug. 21. With a buffet each Wednesday, the Sage will offer ticket-only four-course dinners as well as regular comedy and musical acts (including karaoke competitions). Italian night buffet are $17.95. For more information, call (727) 442-6100.
More beer in Dunedin
Clear Sky Draught Haus is expected to open at the start of September. The project of Dan Shouvlin and Michael Preson, operating partners of Clearwater's Clear Sky Café and partners in Frenchy's Corporation, this new concept at 680 Main St. in Dunedin takes over the former Living Room space. Currently being remodeled, the new concept will feature an ambitious gastropub menu in support of a craft beer list (20 taps, a couple dozen bottles).
Battle of the Burg(er) returns
St. Petersburg's Grand Central District is gearing up for its second annual monthlong hamburger contest. During the month of August, restaurant goers will be able to dine at the participating restaurants to taste the entries and then vote online for their favorite. In addition, a panel of celebrity judges will score each burger to determine the winner of the judges' choice. Participating restaurants include Beak's St. Pete, the Burg Bar & Grill, Craftsman House Gallery & Café, Georgie's Alibi, Mayster's Café, the Queens Head and Urban Brew and BBQ. To register your vote, visit grandcentraldistrict.org or visit Grand Central's Facebook page.