Make us your home page
Instagram

Three restaurateurs have new projects simmering

Three of the Tampa Bay area's celebrated restaurateurs are expanding their empires, launching fresh concepts in upcoming months that bring something new to the table.

Curtis Beebe, owner of Dade City's Pearl in the Grove (which celebrates its third anniversary this month), will launch Local Public House at 32750 Pennsylvania Ave. in San Antonio in January.

The idea for the casual gastropub came from a need he perceived in his own life. On their nights off from the restaurant, he and his wife couldn't find a suitable "local."

"That's how the conversation started with my wife, Rebecca," says Beebe. "We asked ourselves what our perfect hangout would look like. That idea evolved and we kind of settled on the idea that we really like a great wine and beer list with a lot of great snacks, and a place to hang out outside, and the option of having good casual food to go along with it."

He felt that there was an untapped market in Pasco County and that "having two oars in the water" made more business sense.

"Right now I think we're losing business from people who live nearby and want to have an entire evening out. At Pearl we can give them a great meal and they can love it, but after dinner they are like, 'Now what?' "

Six miles from their flagship restaurant, Local will have fire pits, a casual beer-friendly menu (including what Beebe hopes will be a great burger and po' boys) and wine by the keg (a new trend nationally to control cost, transportation cost and waste). For a preview of Local's menu, visit Pearl in the Grove on Monday nights. (31936 St. Joe Road, Dade City; (352) 588-0008 or pearlinthegrove.com.)

Tacos in Ybor

In Ybor City, veteran Jason Fernandez (Bernini, Carne ChopHouse) has just taken over Tequilas at 1613 E Seventh Ave. Although it lived a measly six months, Fernandez decided the idea wasn't bad: Since the closure of Mema's Alaskan Tacos, Ybor City has seen a paucity of taco places. He signed a lease Oct. 1 and has closed briefly to gussy up the huge space (120 seats inside and a similar number outdoors). On Nov. 13 he will debut the new Tequilas with build-your-own tacos and burritos, a pass-through window for sidewalk sales and a serious tequila list.

"I love coming to this community every day," says Fernandez, who hails from a long line of Ybor City residents. "It's great to revive some of these old buildings that my grandparents were a part of."

South Tampa changes

Gordon Davis, the king of South Tampa restaurants, is mixing things up as well. Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club is launching a new menu, Boca Kitchen Bar Market welcomes new chef Justin Sells, and in April, Davis' SoHo Hospitality restaurant group will launch the main restaurant inside Tampa's new Le Meridien Hotel.

A classic French brasserie, it will be called Zazou, named for a hipster French subculture during World War II (think big zoot suits and crazy swing dancing).

Davis, who started with the very French Le Bordeaux in Hyde Park some 25 years ago, says, "It's time I got back to doing something French."

Laura Reiley can be reached at lreiley@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.

Three restaurateurs have new projects simmering 11/01/13 [Last modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 4:35pm]
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 the week of July 24-30

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The geek fest returns to the Tampa Convention Center from Friday-Sunday, bringing celebrity appearances including Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Uhura), Kate Beckinsale and numerous comic book artists and writers. Also, comics, videos, toys, action …

    Shaun Audit poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table

    Travel

    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers

    Nap

    Walk 6.2 kilometers

    Nap

    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  3. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot

    Travel

    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  4. Actor John Heard dies at age 72

    Blogs

    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  5. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 17: Think 11 miles of nothing but straight trail and open, flat fields sounds easy? Think again.

    Travel

    Day 17: Villarmentero de Campos to Lédigos: 33.5 km, 10.25 hours. Total for Days 1-17 = 394 km (245 miles)