As fall approaches, a slew of new restaurant concepts and additional locations are opening. Look for gourmet popcorn, pumpkin beer, coffee, calzones and a lot of chicken. Here's what's coming in September.
Mastry's Brewing Co.
The newest addition to the Mastry clan's long line of businesses is in soft opening mode, operating from 2 to 10 p.m. at 7701 Blind Pass Road in St. Pete Beach. The brewery features a taproom and beer garden, as well as 15 taps that pour a variety of Mastry's brews, collaboration ales and other drafts.
The Blind Tiger
Roberto Torres is bringing the signature swagger of the Blind Tiger, a hip cafe in Ybor and Seminole Heights, to a third location, in North Hyde Park across from the collaborative roastery, the Lab, that Torres owns with Peter Davidson of Zeal Coffee Roasters. At 910 N Rome Ave., the 2,000-square-foot cafe will serve coffee, tea, beer and wine like Torres' other locations and was targeted to open during Labor Day weekend. (Also, the Seminole Heights Blind Tiger outpost at 6500 N Florida Ave. is moving a few blocks to 4304 N Florida Ave.)
Chef Inspired Popcorn Company
Gluten-free and vegan, Chef Inspired Popcorn Company is moving its operation from Town 'N Country to South Tampa, aiming to open at 927 S Howard Ave. during the first week of September. With sweet, savory and specialty options, popcorn lovers can pick from flavors like birthday cake and black cherry to bacon cheddar and cherry cheesecake.
Next up for Ciccio Restaurant Group? A chicken-focused dine-in/takeout concept going in at 2221 Platt St. in Tampa's SoHo area and 4447 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg (the spot that was going to be the group's Daily Eats, right next to Fresh Kitchen). Serving varieties of chicken — think white Mexican barbecue or buttermilk fried — with tortillas and waffles, both restaurants will open this month.
Catcher and the Rye
Nodding to J.D. Salinger's iconic book, this new Palm Harbor eatery will feature American coastal cuisine ("catcher") and a stocked bar ("rye"). At 917 11th St., the indoor-outdoor restaurant measures more than 3,700 square feet and will be open for business this month.
The Ohio-based calzone chain is coming to Tampa, debuting this month at 500 S Howard Ave. Offerings include a variety of calzones (from steak and chicken to Hawaiian and cheeseburger options), wings and "stix" (traditional bread sticks covered in cheese, pesto or cinnamon).
Cueni Brewing Co.
Another brewery is opening in Dunedin, this one at 945 Huntley Ave., by late September. Owners Bren and Jon Cueni moved to Dunedin from Ohio and brought with them recipes for Jon's home brews, including an award-winning pumpkin beer. The brewery will feature a four-barrel system and 10 beers on tap.
Carlynn Crosby, Times correspondent