Friday, May 25, 2018
Dining

Downtown St. Petersburg restaurant scene sees changes

ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown restaurant scene is heating up, with a big handful of newcomers, concept changes and personnel adjustments.

BellaBrava owners Dyce Craig and Robert Sanderson have had a parting of the ways with Mike Harting, who also owns 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg. Last week it was announced that BellaBrava owners will launch a yet-to-be-named tavern at 224 Beach Drive NE — now Bruce Watters Jewelers — this year.

Harting, who was with the Italian eatery for the past five years, will remain a silent shareholder but is no longer involved in day-to-day operations.

"I think it was God's way of saying I have too many irons in the fire," Harting said.

"In the end I have more time to invest, and I can grow 3 Daughters more quickly than I thought. BellaBrava has a strong management team, so I don't see them skipping a beat," Harting continued. "Dyce and Robert have a great vision for what their next concept will look like. I think it's going to be a great addition to Beach Drive, and I can't wait to see it."

The brewery's beer can now be found at restaurants and bars in nine counties, and 3 Daughters will enter the Naples/Fort Myers market midsummer. Harting plans to begin canning beer by the end of summer.

In other beer news, St. Petersburg Brewing, which has been a long time coming at 544 First Ave. N, is set to open. Tom and Michele Williams anticipate opening by mid April but have yet to have final inspections. Head brewer and part owner Jon McCracken will debut five of their beers at launch, and the brewery will work closely with next door's Papa Angelo's Pizza, because, as Tom says, "craft beer with craft pizza is a knockout punch."

Primi Ristorante Italiano has closed quietly at 27 Fourth St. N after a number of years and a couple of ownership changes at this location.

And after a rocky road with health inspections, India Grill closed at 409 Central Ave., to be reopened soon as Bombay Grill.

The historic Garden Restaurant has been reinvented by Jeff Knight's Knight Global Entertainment as Calypso Rum Bar & Island Grill. Purported to be the oldest restaurant in St. Petersburg, dating to 1890, the space at 217 Central Ave. has maintained its indoor seating, patio courtyard and stage for live music. Knight Global Entertainment also owns Jannus Live, St. Pete Kitchen, Pelican Pub, Club Detroit and MacDinton's.

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

Comments
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 ó Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughterís 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...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

OPEN NOW: BAHAMA BUCK’S Feel a shiver? Just in time for Florida’s sultry summer, Bahama Buck’s opened this week in Trinity with an avalanche of sno. The 2,346-square-foot island-inspired shop opened at 8815 Mitchell Blvd. with more...
Published: 05/23/18
Restaurant review: Baytenders Oyster Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

Restaurant review: Baytenders Oyster Bar & Steamer is a low-key, friendly spot to gather

ST. PETERSBURG Brian Storman has had a long and colorful career in the Tampa Bay area. In the 1980s he had the insanely popular Storman’s Palace in Feather Sound, which in 2008 became the grownup playground "ultralounge" called the Venue (25,0...
Published: 05/21/18
Waltís Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

Waltís Fish Market, a Sarasota institution, to celebrate its 100th anniversary

A Sarasota seafood fixture is celebrating its 100th anniversary.Waltís Fish Market, Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 4144 S Tamiami Trail, will host a party at noon on Sunday complete with a mechanical shark, live music, live auctions, silent auctions, an al...
Published: 05/18/18
Food events this week: St. Pete Taco and Beer Fiesta, Brunched 2018, Sweet Corn Festival

Food events this week: St. Pete Taco and Beer Fiesta, Brunched 2018, Sweet Corn Festival

TACOS: AND BEER You can get the weekend started Friday evening at the St. Pete Taco and Beer Fiesta from 6 to 11 p.m. at Albert Whitted Park. It’s a serious all-star cast of food trucks: St. Pete Taco Lady, I Wanna Wok, Fiesta Bowls, Boom Boom...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
McDonald’s has ditched frozen patties for fresh beef, and we tried them

McDonald’s has ditched frozen patties for fresh beef, and we tried them

LARGO — Ray Kroc, fast food’s founding father, was a quotation machine. One of his doozies was, "We’re not in the hamburger business. We’re in show business." This month, McDonald’s show got a little more sizzle. In the...
Published: 05/16/18
Tarpon Springs culinary school graduate nabbed coveted spot on U.S. team for Bocuse díOr, the culinary Olympics

Tarpon Springs culinary school graduate nabbed coveted spot on U.S. team for Bocuse díOr, the culinary Olympics

TAMPAWhile the James Beard awards are the culinary Academy Awards, the Bocuse díOr is the culinary Olympics. Itís a biennial world chef championship historically dominated by France and other Western European countries. In 2017, the United States won...
Published: 05/15/18
Review: At charming C House in Tampa, all food starts with the letter C

Review: At charming C House in Tampa, all food starts with the letter C

TAMPARemember that game? "My father owns a grocery store and in it he sells something that starts with C?" All sexism aside (my mom could have owned a grocery store, no sweat), I killed at that game. Yes, it was because my family was cheap and did a ...
Published: 05/14/18
Need a last-minute Motherís Day reservation for Sunday? We got you covered.

Need a last-minute Motherís Day reservation for Sunday? We got you covered.

How do we express our love and gratitude to the women who brought us into this world? Clearly itís with brunch and bottomless mimosas. Many big brunch buffet go-toís are already fully booked by now, but hereís a potpourri of options that are still li...
Updated one month ago
Edison chef Jeannie Pierola will take over iconic Pachís Place location

Edison chef Jeannie Pierola will take over iconic Pachís Place location

TAMPA ó Al Pach, wearing a signature loud vest, would sit at the counter corner nearest the entrance and greet every regular by name. He was a fixture for years, since Pachís Place was established in 1992. Pach died in 2005 but Pachís Place lived on ...
Updated one month ago