Make us your home page
Instagram

The Lure opens on Central Avenue with pool tables, sushi and … grasshoppers?

ST. PETERSBURG — Downtown St. Petersburg is poised to welcome another big handful of restaurants and food businesses. But let's wager that only one of them will be selling this: grasshoppers.

The Lure, which opens officially today at 661 Central Ave. in the space formerly occupied by Octave, will be serving them atop the Kwai Chang tacos, one of six taco options. Corn tortillas, sliced avocado, spicy jicama slaw and — drum roll — jerk seasoned and deeply sauteed "chapulines."

That's grasshoppers. Because, as partner Tom Golden says, "Only 17 percent of the world doesn't eat insects, and we're it."

Chapulines on the menu follow a strong national trend toward insects as grub (and yes, grubs are among them), a sustainable and ostensibly delicious source of protein. At the Lure, with the tagline "cold dead fish," the chapulines are just one tiny part of a vast menu that includes sushi, flatbreads, wraps, sandwiches, tapas and more.

Golden, along with partners Richard Alday (formerly of the Rack in Tampa) and Michael Stewart (co-owner of Tampa's Ava), aims to debut a something-for-everyone approach. With two red-felted pool tables and a wall-length mural by David Boyd of Boyd's Clocks, the Lure will be alluring for, "bikers to judges, University of South Florida students to Shorecrest moms," said Golden during an exclusive walkthrough for the Times on Tuesday.

He said the team had looked at space in St. Petersburg several years back and worried that it "couldn't support a Sunday to Thursday crowd."

"You could shoot a cannon down Central midweek," remembers Golden.

Alday says the recent growth in St. Petersburg echoes the feeling in Hyde Park in 2002 during one of its dramatic growth periods.

"That's when we took a big chance and opened the Rack," explains Golden. "Sushi and billiards? What's that?"

The Lure won't just be the Rack West. With an inviting industrial-steampunk feel (think light fixtures strung from antique box springs) to the reimagined 100-year-old building, it will showcase some novel strategies. Each flatbread was created by a different local chef, with $1 of every one sold going to a charity of each chef's choice. With 3 Daughters beers on draft (all draft beers are local, nationals only in bottle), 50 cents of each beer benefits three charities chosen by Golden's three daughters.

"There are six or seven places doing sushi downtown," says Alday. "But I don't think there's an amalgam approach like ours."

Amalgams are good, but for now how about those chapulines on the side?

Contact Laura Reiley at lreiley@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2293.

The Lure opens on Central Avenue with pool tables, sushi and … grasshoppers? 01/13/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 14, 2016 9:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 19

    Events

    Monster Jam Triple Threat Series: Come early for the Pit Party ($15 or free at local Ford dealers) to meet the drivers and get pictures with the trucks. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $15-$80. (813) 301-2500.

    A crew member from the El Toro Loco monster truck, installs a truck tire, Thursday, 8/17/17 in preparation for Saturday's  Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at Amalie Arena, Tampa. The event will be held Saturday at 1pm and 7 pm.
  2. There's a bar in Tampa where you can roller skate and eat sushi

    Food & Dining

    Roller skating, it's not just for kids birthday parties and the 1970s anymore.

    The exterior of Pattinis features this mural by Art Aliens! [Pattinis South Tampa via Facebook]
  3. At 'American Idol' auditions in Orlando, there are life lessons in line

    Music & Concerts

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — From her spot across the lawn, Sasha Orihuela studies her son.

    Jeremy Joshua Dorsey reacts after past American Idol contestants walk by ahead of his audition at the Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017. 

Hundreds of people showed up for the first auditions for ABC's reboot of 'American Idol'. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  4. Carnival announces five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Carnival Cruise Line is adding five more cruises from Tampa to Cuba in 2018, Port Tampa Bay announced Thursday.

      Carnival Cruise Line announced additional cruises to  Cuba. Pictured is its Paradise cruise ship departing on its inaugural voyage to Cuba from Tampa. | [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  5. Beach Drive mural is a first for St. Pete's swanky waterfront street

    Blogs

    Mural mania in St. Petersburg is spreading east.

    This mural in progress is on the side of the Smith & Associates building on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg.