Listen up, night owls. Dan Soronen, former manager of Beak's Old Florida and former owner of Shackleton's Folly, is now managing Green Iguana Ybor. Since taking on the job last month, he's been running the full menu for half price from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. nightly. The two-story historic brick house has been a stalwart in Ybor City since 1994, with live music nightly and a menu that spans wings, naked tacos and planked salmon.
Meanwhile, at the former Beak's location in St. Petersburg, Butler's Old Key West Bar and Grill opens Wednesday at 11 a.m. with 60 cent wings, Bud Lights and oyster shooters. The Glass Half Full Band plays at 6 p.m. and a pig picking starts at 4 p.m. until the pork runs dry. The name Butler's is no accident: This is a new restaurant from the folks who ran Butlers Barbecue for nearly 20 years in a strip mall off Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Street at 94th Avenue N in St. Petersburg. Butlers, which closed in 2011, was famous for its North Carolina barbecue. As fans will fondly remember, it was pork roasted over an open grill, chopped and then settled into a tangy bath of vinegar and red pepper sauce. Let's hope the new Butler's follows suit.
Downtown St. Petersburg will see the Italian Bakery Café debut Friday at 119 First Ave. N in St. Pete. An Italian company with other locations going into Dubai and Russia, this is a traditional Italian bakery, with 100 kinds of bread, 50 kinds of pizza made from sourdough starter brought from Italy, and 40 to 50 kinds of Italian pastries and sweets. The 60-seat restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, with eat in as well as take out (and pizza by the slice for grab-and-go). Owner Luigi DeLucia has brought his brother, well-known Italian chef Gianluca DeLucia to oversee the kitchen. Look for lasagna, cannelloni and other classics.
The big news of this week? Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opened Monday at 2630 Gulf to Bay Blvd., across from the Clearwater Mall. So what, you say? Founded in 1974 in Atlanta, this is cult-status pizza, no question. Each Mellow is locally owned and operated with a hippie-collegiate 1970s vibe and lots of vegetarian-friendly options, as well as choices for those eschew the dreaded gluten. To find the location, look for the 50-foot-tall and 100-foot-wide tree, fully LED lit. Inside you'll find rainbow-colored clouds, a 10-foot mushroom bench and a pirate cove table. And look for lots of regional craft beers, because what goes better with pizza?
In other beer news (it's Tampa Bay Beer Week, after all), Steel City Brewhouse opens soon at 10400 Roosevelt Blvd. N in St. Petersburg (an old Hooters location), and New England's Ale House Grille is set to open later this month at 3419 Alt. 19 in Palm Harbor. If you want more information about Beer Week events, go to tampabaybeerweek.com.