Make us your home page
Instagram

Hootie's Dean Felber on restaurants and music

Dean Felber

Dean Felber

By Laura Reiley

Times Food Critic

Hootie & the Blowfish started in 1986 at the University of South Carolina. Over the band's career, they recorded five studio albums, the best known of which was 1994's Cracked Rear View. Dean Felber still gets together with Darius Rucker and fellow bandmates for charity events and reunion gigs, but these days the band's bassist is playing a new tune, as restaurateur of Seminole's new Blowfish Bar and Grill. We caught up with him by phone to discuss his new venture.

Why a restaurant in Seminole?

I've owned commercial property here for eight years. I owned the building that for a long time was Shells Seafood Restaurant before they went down and the economy kerplunked. (There are still a few left.) The last tenant left suddenly and took everything that was nailed down. I came down from Charleston with my friend to check out the mess. It was a long drive and by the time we got home we had cooked up Blowfish.

Is the food business new for you?

I'm kind of a food guy. I'm part owner of a winery in California, Perception Wines in Sonoma's Russian River Valley. We make pinot, zin and chard. And I'm an avid cook. I've taken a couple of weekend warrior culinary classes in Charleston.

So will we see you in the kitchen at Blowfish?

No, I like to cook when it comes to two or three people, but when you start adding numbers I get nervous.

What kind of foods are you introducing to this area?

The first thing that struck me about dining out here is the lack of Southern food on menus. I always thought of Florida as a Southern state. So we're doing shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes at lunch, and a couple of places in Charleston do these homemade chips with a blue cheese drizzle with some scallions and we're doing those.

Are there any parallels between the music business and the restaurant business?

Yes, 100 percent: If you don't have people with their hearts and their passion in it, it's not going to happen. And like music, the restaurant business is a grind and a half. You've got to get out there every day and be ready for it, and keep a smile on your face.

Laura Reiley can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.

Hootie's Dean Felber on restaurants and music 05/28/13 [Last modified: Monday, May 27, 2013 3:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  2. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway

    Stage

    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  3. A scene from "Epiphany."
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 22

    Events

    Clearwater Jazz Holiday: The Avett Brothers: The Avett Brothers, with their blend of folk, bluegrass and rock, lead the lineup. 1:30 p.m., Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $16 per day, $45 reserved, $170 VIP. (727) 461-5200.

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15:  (L-R)  Joe Kwon, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett, and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers pose for a portrait at the "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 21

    Events

    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

    Handout photo of Conor Oberst, performing Oct. 21 at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Credit: Grandstand Media