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Neighborhoods

Channelside

  • Events

  • Kid-friendly

  • Restaurants

  • Bars

  • Movie theaters

Events:

Restaurants:

  • Bamboozle Tea Lounge


    Features: Top restaurant

    Channelside: 109 N 12th St., Tampa, 33602

    The condos in the Channel District filled up enough in 2012 to merit some infrastructure. It was the year cafes, restaurants and boutiques sprouted up outside the still-beleaguered Channelside Bay Plaza. Buoyed by the success of their downtown Bamboozle, Lynn Pham and partners branched out, bringing their Vietnamese quick-serve to the neighborhood in October. They just got a beer and wine license and Pham is still tinkering with a menu of Asian fusion juices, but the nuts and bolts are in place. Pho is the way to go at this breezy charmer, the cheap one-dish meal crowded with a tangle of soft, pale rice noodles immersed in a rich beef broth made from simmered shinbones. The most basic pho comes with eye-of-round steak, sliced super thin so it cooks in the broth, which you doctor with a plate of crunchy bean sprouts, wedges of lime and rounds of jalapeno along with a swirl of the ubiquitous Sriracha chili sauce or sweet hoisin.

    This is part of Times Food Critic Laura Reiley's 25 Top Affordable Restaurants in Tampa Bay.

  • Cena


    Cuisine: Italian
    Features: Outdoor seating

    Channelside: 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33602

    The Grand Central in Tampa's vital Channel District has been up and running for a while. There's the Pour House and City Dog Cantina on one side of a central courtyard, and Stageworks Theatre and stylish little Cena on the other side. The dinner-only menu is resolutely Italian, but very personal: Start off with a small bowl of salted, warm housemade sunchoke chips while you consider whether to go with the mushroom arrancini or a hearty bacon and eggs, Italian style: a potato frittata paired with a thin, juicy plank of pork belly, both of them admirably showcased with a tomato vinaigrette. For entrees, the asparagus risotto is textbook and there’s a gorgeous seared filet mignon napped with a little truffled cheese sauce and accompanied by roasted sunchokes and still-snappy skinny green beans and bits of pancetta. Still, you don’t want to miss pastry chef Evan Schmidt’s desserts, all little architectural wonders.
    Hours:The bar opens at 4 p.m.; dinner service is 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    Read a review here.

  • Splitsville


    Cuisine: American casual
    Features: Big-screen TVs, Date night, Indoor play zone, Kid-friendly, Live music, Pool tables, tbt* Top Bar, Upscale

    Channelside: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

    Channelside's Splitsville is a 27,000-square-foot is a club that happens to have a few bowling lanes, 12 to be precise. Splitsville is all upscale razzle-dazzle, with great food and drinks to go with your strikes and spares. It has two bars, pool tables and a dining lounge. Arrive at 7:30 on a Saturday night and it can be a two-hour wait for a lane. Once you get that lane, the cost for four people to bowl two games and rent shoes: $60-plus. You won't stand out in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, but club gear is everywhere too. Girls in strappy high heels and drop-dead outfits travel in packs here. The liquor includes some high-end martinis and 64-ounce rum bowls. Expect to see a range of ages, from the over-40 crowd enjoying an evening out to the beautiful 20s working the scene at Channelside. But leave the kids at home on weekend nights. No one under 21 is admitted after 8 p.m. then. A dress code is enforced after 7 p.m. (check the website for details.) If you're set on bowling without a wait, come on a weekday afternoon.

    The grub: Bowling alleys and clubs aren't known for their epicurean finesse, but this hybrid churns out amazing food and drinks. The barbecue chicken pizza is a piping hot, messy masterpiece. Where else can you say, "I'll take a size 8 shoe and the spicy edamame? The bars stock all your top-shelf faves. And here's the crazy part: Service is fast and attentive. Here, the cool kids order the "big bowl," a mixed drink served in a 64-ounce glass, and share it with multiple straws — which reminds us: bring a few dollar bills to tip the restroom attendant.

    Prices: Everyone likes to gripe about how expensive Splitsville is, but the bowling itself is pretty reasonable. Thursday it's $3.50 plus shoes ($3) per person per game. Friday and Saturday after 6 p.m. it's $10.25 per person per game, including shoes. For a higher rate, you can call to reserve a lane that'll be ready when you walk in the door. Remember parking money, too. Reservations are accepted.

  • Channelside: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

  • Yacht StarShip


    Cuisine: American upscale

    Channelside: 603 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

    This 150-passenger luxury yacht offers dining cruises from Tampa and from Clearwater Beach. It's available for public excursions or can be chartered for private functions.

Bars:

  • Cena


    Cuisine: Italian
    Features: Outdoor seating

    Channelside: 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33602

    The Grand Central in Tampa's vital Channel District has been up and running for a while. There's the Pour House and City Dog Cantina on one side of a central courtyard, and Stageworks Theatre and stylish little Cena on the other side. The dinner-only menu is resolutely Italian, but very personal: Start off with a small bowl of salted, warm housemade sunchoke chips while you consider whether to go with the mushroom arrancini or a hearty bacon and eggs, Italian style: a potato frittata paired with a thin, juicy plank of pork belly, both of them admirably showcased with a tomato vinaigrette. For entrees, the asparagus risotto is textbook and there’s a gorgeous seared filet mignon napped with a little truffled cheese sauce and accompanied by roasted sunchokes and still-snappy skinny green beans and bits of pancetta. Still, you don’t want to miss pastry chef Evan Schmidt’s desserts, all little architectural wonders.
    Hours:The bar opens at 4 p.m.; dinner service is 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    Read a review here.

  • Splitsville


    Cuisine: American casual
    Features: Big-screen TVs, Date night, Indoor play zone, Kid-friendly, Live music, Pool tables, tbt* Top Bar, Upscale

    Channelside: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

    Channelside's Splitsville is a 27,000-square-foot is a club that happens to have a few bowling lanes, 12 to be precise. Splitsville is all upscale razzle-dazzle, with great food and drinks to go with your strikes and spares. It has two bars, pool tables and a dining lounge. Arrive at 7:30 on a Saturday night and it can be a two-hour wait for a lane. Once you get that lane, the cost for four people to bowl two games and rent shoes: $60-plus. You won't stand out in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, but club gear is everywhere too. Girls in strappy high heels and drop-dead outfits travel in packs here. The liquor includes some high-end martinis and 64-ounce rum bowls. Expect to see a range of ages, from the over-40 crowd enjoying an evening out to the beautiful 20s working the scene at Channelside. But leave the kids at home on weekend nights. No one under 21 is admitted after 8 p.m. then. A dress code is enforced after 7 p.m. (check the website for details.) If you're set on bowling without a wait, come on a weekday afternoon.

    The grub: Bowling alleys and clubs aren't known for their epicurean finesse, but this hybrid churns out amazing food and drinks. The barbecue chicken pizza is a piping hot, messy masterpiece. Where else can you say, "I'll take a size 8 shoe and the spicy edamame? The bars stock all your top-shelf faves. And here's the crazy part: Service is fast and attentive. Here, the cool kids order the "big bowl," a mixed drink served in a 64-ounce glass, and share it with multiple straws — which reminds us: bring a few dollar bills to tip the restroom attendant.

    Prices: Everyone likes to gripe about how expensive Splitsville is, but the bowling itself is pretty reasonable. Thursday it's $3.50 plus shoes ($3) per person per game. Friday and Saturday after 6 p.m. it's $10.25 per person per game, including shoes. For a higher rate, you can call to reserve a lane that'll be ready when you walk in the door. Remember parking money, too. Reservations are accepted.

  • Channelside: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

  • Pour House at Grand Central


    Features: Big-screen TVs, Import specialist, Pool tables

    Channelside: 1208 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33602

    With concrete floors, exposed ductwork and high ceilings, this Channelside District beer and wine emporium seems tailor-made for urban hipsters in search of off-the-radar libations. It sports 40 taps and 60 craft bottle selections, along with a varied wine by the glass selection. Don't expect any food to go with these pours, but they do offer menus for ordering some from nearby restaurants. The bar also offers retail selections to go.

  • Channelside: 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33602

    Sea Dog Cantina was inspired by a San Diego classic. They bring West Coast favorites to the dog-friendly neighborhood of Tampa. Sea Dog Cantina offers a balance of feisty flavors, healthy must-haves along with packaged liquor to-go.

Attractions:

  • Splitsville


    Cuisine: American casual
    Features: Big-screen TVs, Date night, Indoor play zone, Kid-friendly, Live music, Pool tables, tbt* Top Bar, Upscale

    Channelside: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

    Channelside's Splitsville is a 27,000-square-foot is a club that happens to have a few bowling lanes, 12 to be precise. Splitsville is all upscale razzle-dazzle, with great food and drinks to go with your strikes and spares. It has two bars, pool tables and a dining lounge. Arrive at 7:30 on a Saturday night and it can be a two-hour wait for a lane. Once you get that lane, the cost for four people to bowl two games and rent shoes: $60-plus. You won't stand out in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, but club gear is everywhere too. Girls in strappy high heels and drop-dead outfits travel in packs here. The liquor includes some high-end martinis and 64-ounce rum bowls. Expect to see a range of ages, from the over-40 crowd enjoying an evening out to the beautiful 20s working the scene at Channelside. But leave the kids at home on weekend nights. No one under 21 is admitted after 8 p.m. then. A dress code is enforced after 7 p.m. (check the website for details.) If you're set on bowling without a wait, come on a weekday afternoon.

    The grub: Bowling alleys and clubs aren't known for their epicurean finesse, but this hybrid churns out amazing food and drinks. The barbecue chicken pizza is a piping hot, messy masterpiece. Where else can you say, "I'll take a size 8 shoe and the spicy edamame? The bars stock all your top-shelf faves. And here's the crazy part: Service is fast and attentive. Here, the cool kids order the "big bowl," a mixed drink served in a 64-ounce glass, and share it with multiple straws — which reminds us: bring a few dollar bills to tip the restroom attendant.

    Prices: Everyone likes to gripe about how expensive Splitsville is, but the bowling itself is pretty reasonable. Thursday it's $3.50 plus shoes ($3) per person per game. Friday and Saturday after 6 p.m. it's $10.25 per person per game, including shoes. For a higher rate, you can call to reserve a lane that'll be ready when you walk in the door. Remember parking money, too. Reservations are accepted.

  • Channelside: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

  • Channelside: 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 33602

    Stageworks prides itself not only on providing quality performances to the community but also on being Tampa Bay’s oldest professional theatre company. Founded by Carnegie-Mellon and University of California-Berkeley theatre graduate Anna Brennen, the company offers performances of classic tales such as To Kill a Mockingbird, but also offers other genres.

    The theater group moved into its new home near the port district in August 2011 after years of fundraising. Located in the Grand Central at Kennedy it is on the ground floor of one of the two buildings in the complex, which features a pleasant courtyard. It's basically a black-box theater, with 99 purple seats facing the high-ceilinged playing area and excellent backstage facilities. There's a spacious lobby and rehearsal hall in the two-story, 8,000-square-foot space. It’s a classic black box set-up.

  • Channelside: 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

    This 1940s-era merchant cargo carrier served during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. It's now being restored as a mariners' memorial, and your donations go to help that cause. You'll often see workers scrubbing, sanding and painting at various places around the ship.

    Tours are self-guided and usually not very crowded. You do get a real sense of how men lived and worked on this ship as it delivered supplies to troops. On a hot day, you are especially struck by the glare and heat that bounce off the white decks, so be sure to bring sunglasses if your eyes are sensitive.

    A highlight of the tour is climbing up to where the ship's bell is and giving it a good ring. It's a good photo op, too. Another favorite is viewing the galley and dining area, imagining what it must have been like to cook during rough seas. In fact, this is a good place to let imaginative kids role play as sailors. And yes, it's a good place to bring military vets.

  • Channelside Bay Plaza


    Features: Beach/Waterfront, Date night, Late-night dining, Outdoor seating

    Channelside: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 33602

    The struggling Channelside complex is situated along the water on the southern edge of downtown, near the Port of Tampa. In recent years, it has fallen on hard times and many tenants have moved out, leaving only Hooters and Splitsville luxury bowling as its major tenants. Until a new buyer is found, the once vibrant complex remains in limbo and is probably not worth a visit unless you're in the area anyway.

    Next to Tampa's cruise port on Garrison Channel, Channelside is near the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Bay History Center and the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

    The surrounding area, known as the Channelside district, is home to a number of new apartment, condo and loft developments.