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. ‘80s acts dominate lineup of 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

    Blogs

    Oh, yes. Christmas is coming early this year to ‘80s fans in Florida. Disney’s Epcot Center has announced the lineup to its “Eat to the Beat” concert series that coincides with their annual International Food & Wine Festival.

  2. Equality Florida leader honored at Tampa U2 concert

    Briefs

    TAMPA — Equality Florida director Nadine Smith couldn't attend last week's U2 concert in Tampa, but she can tell you which of her friends had great seats for the June 14 show at Raymond James Stadium.

    Nadine Smith, Equality Florida founder and CEO, received a unique distinction last week when U2 included her in a montage of photos saluting activism and women leaders.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 23

    Events

    Leslie Odom Jr.: A solo concert by the Broadway star who won a Tony for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. 7 p.m., Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35.50-$55.50. (813) 229-7827.

    Leslie Odom Jr. accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in "Hamilton"  during the 70th Annual Tony Awards  on June 12, 2016.  (Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
  4. Han Solo movie now in the hands of ... Ron Howard?

    Blogs

    Dear god, I love Ron Howard movies. All of them. Especially Cocoon and Night Shift in the '80s. Particularly The Paper, which is the most accurate comedy I've seen about the newspaper biz. And even Rush, which I was sad to learn was not about the band but instead about Formula 1 …

  5. Take your vacation! Being a work martyr doesn't help

    Travel

    The traditional start of the summer vacation season always produces vacation-themed reports. This year's theme is "vacation shaming."

    This year’s theme is “vacation shaming,” the common workplace condition when employees leave paid vacation time unused because they’re afraid to take time off.