Robbyn Mitchell, Times Staff Writer

Robbyn Mitchell

Robbyn Mitchell covers pop culture, entertainment, night life, local events and arts for tbt* and the Times. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a 2007 graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee.

Phone: (813) 226-3373


Twitter: @RMitchellTimes

  1. Aloft, Le Meridien hotel lounges become stylish downtown Tampa hangouts

    For weeks, Twitter has been lighting up with pictures of two new additions to downtown Tampa's happy hour scene. Bars aren't new to the burgeoning area, but these two are hotel bars — once the domain of ladies who lunch — aiming for a younger crowd.

    Both Bizou Brasserie and W XYZ Bar cater to the young, urban set with painstakingly detailed interiors, themed menus and knack for creating Internet buzz. Diners compulsively Instagramed photos of Bizou's artfully plated meals, and loungers could not get enough get enough of the view....

    Bartender Katie Greene, above, mixes a Mangrove Mule cocktail at W XYZ Bar at the Aloft Hotel. Kaitlin O’Brien and Kylie Briody, left, of Tampa enjoy drinks at the Bizou Brasserie in Le Meridien Hotel.
Photos by Luis ­Santana/tbt*
  2. A darker path tolightness


    Eric Wheeler strummed the notes of The Cure's The Drowning Man as his 15 students lay in a corpse pose on their mats, looking up at the ceiling and paintings of sports heroes and grapefruit.

    "I've only been playing for a year and half," said Wheeler, 44, of Tampa. "I always like to play during Shavasana because I've got a captive ­audience."

    The melancholic tune was one of many used to help move bodies during Wheeler's weekly Dark Wave Yoga class at Tempus Projects, a Seminole Heights non-profit gallery dedicated to hosting local artists. ...

    Instructor Eric Wheeler leads the Dark Wave Yoga class.
  3. Tampa native Josh Murray's family and friends weigh in on his 'Bachelorette' win


    Editor's note: Josh Murray's family and friends gathered at CineBistro in Tampa during Monday's 'Bachelorette' finale to cheer him on. We sent Times reporter Robbyn Mitchell to see how they reacted to his big win.

    Lauren Murray smiled as an acquaintance handed her a rose in the lobby of CineBistro Hyde Park Monday night.  ...

    Dorfman and Murray
  4. Morning at the Mons Venus: The party's on till the break of dawn

    Bars & Spirits

    The sun would rise soon, but still there were nine people seated around the stage of the Mons Venus watching a dancer work her magic to Lil Wayne's She Will.

    An online viewer, a person paying to watch the club's livestream from the stage remotely, mused: "Wow. That girl is really flexible."

    The Mons is one of several of Tampa's strip clubs that keeps its doors open until the wee hours, closing as late as 5 a.m. on some weeknights. ...

    Several Tampa strip clubs remain open until the wee hours.
  5. A day-drinker's guide to Tampa Bay's top destination for all-day debauchery, Treasure Island

    Drinking in the morning presents a whole host of problems, and the biggest one seems to be what happens with the rest of the day.

    You can't drive. It's not like you can run a marathon. Pretty much, all day drinking sets you up for is afternoon sleeping and evening binge eating.

    So the location you pick to get your a.m. sip going is crucial. Luckily, the ideal spot is right in your backyard....

    Heather Martin of Lakeland and Blu Terrell of St. Pete enjoy the early morning air with their stocked cooler  of beer and liquor on Treasure Island.
  6. From This Day: Business turns to pleasure and matrimony


    TAMPA — "What do I have to do to marry you?" T. Hampton Dohrman asked earnestly as he jotted down bullet points on a sticky note.

    The 31-year-old leader of Hampton Arts Management wanted to make sure that all of Erin Tracy's conditions were met before he formally proposed spending their lives together.

    "I was really clueless about the process," he said. "I wanted to know if I should ask her dad first and what she really wanted."...

    T. Hampton Dohrman, 31, and Erin Tracy, 30, were married 
May 3 at the Tampa Theatre in front of 60 guests.
  7. Tampa Bay bars, restaurants gear up for World Cup final between Germany, Argentina


    Fancy fans can take their World Cup Final with a side of prime rib at Rococo Steak at 655 Second Ave. S, St. Pete. Doors open at 1 p.m. and tickets are $55 in advance. That gets you a seat, a premium feast from the buffet, and two drink tickets. Before kickoff, Tampa Bay Rowdies players will be signing autographs, and amateur Peles can burn some calories with soccer games on the lawn. For more information, call (727) 822-0999 or visit

  8. 'Steel & Stilettos' workout class puts a sexy spin on fitness


    "What is it? What is the fear you're holding on to? What is that thing that your are most afraid of?" asked the sprightly fitness instructor as she sat cross-legged with her back to a room full of women deep in thought.

    The answers were expected: Letting go, being confident, confrontation.

    A voice chimed in happily amid the contemplative thought. "My biggest fear is dancing in front of others," she said....

    In their highest heels, class participants strike a pose in class.
  9. Male striptease group Rock Hard Revue set for magic shows in Tampa


    The emcee came out on stage, after letting the pre-show drinks flow for an extra 45 minutes, and asked the question of the hour.

    "Are you ladies ready to have a good time tonight?"

    A whoop went up in Orlando's Club Firestone, and 600 women surged closer to the stage. The lights brightened and the DJ dropped a hard mix of electro and hip hop. Several hooded figures took the stage and burst into sharp, acrobatic choreography with occasional pauses for pelvic thrusts and smiles. Then the layers started to peel off, methodically, until only oiled chests and artwork abs remained. ...

    The men of Rock Hard Revue want to move you.
  10. Review: Lil Boosie returns to the stage, drops hits at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa


    A mass of people poured onto the stage as an announcer primed the crowd. “Y’all ready for Boosie Badass?” the booming voice screamed. The area around the DJ booth filled with folks holding cell phones recording the crowd and the moment, until at last, Lil Boosie emerged in a brilliant green T-shirt and camouflage shorts to seize the front of the stage.

    “Where all my real Boosie fans at?” the recently released 31-year-old rapper from Baton Rouge quizzed the audience of more than 3,400 Friday night....

    Lil Boosie performs at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa on June 20, 2014.
  11. From This Day: 'I do' comes after half a lifetime together


    ST. PETERSBURG — A wedding party of 20 looked on as Michael Moses and Sara Hernandez shared their first kiss as husband and wife. It was a long time in the making.

    "When you've been together for 14 years and met people at different stages in your relationship who have been a part of your lives together, you want to include them," said Michael, 28, of Tampa, a marketing coordinator for U.S. AmeriBank....

    Michael and Sara first started dating in the eighth grade. They said they wouldn’t recommend meeting your soulmate so young. Photos courtesy of
  12. Tampa Natsumatsuri serving up a taste of authentic Japan


    Scooping a goldfish out of a pool with a paddle made of thin paper isn't easy, but it's one of Bahia Simons-Lane's favorite natsumatsuri games.

    "I wouldn't say I'm good at it. I've only caught one or two," said Simons-Lane, 32, a graduate student and employee at Florida International University. "But I like to play."

    She'll get her chance again on Saturday as she travels northwest for the ninth annual Tampa Natsumasuri — a local take on the traditional Japanese summer festival....

    Kazuhiko Hashimoto, at right, will be back at this year’s Tampa Natsumasuri, offering calligraphy demonstrations.
  13. Rowdies players plan parties, make predictions for World Cup

    World Cup

    Following Saturday's game against Minnesota United FC at Al Lang Stadium, the Tampa Bay Rowdies are taking a monthlong break. That means, like most of you, the players will catch this year's World Cup matches in bars and living rooms, grabbing beers and prognosticating about which nation will take it all home. Unsurprisingly, their predictions fall in line with national allegiance — but not everyone will be rooting for the home team. Tbt* talked to some Rowdies about how they think things will shake out, and got some interesting answers. — Robbyn Mitchell

    Rowdies defender Frankie Sanfilippo shares his World cup plans with tbt*.
  14. International soccer fans converge in Tampa for World Cup tune-ups

    World Cup

    "Nippon! Nippon!" the crowd of Japanese national soccer team fans chanted between drum beats Monday night.

    They had the rare opportunity to see the Samurai Blue play themselves into World Cup shape in a tune-up match against Costa Rica at Raymond James Stadium.

    International friendly matches are scheduled around the world in the run-up to the big tournament in Brazil. Luckily for soccer nuts in the Sunshine State, Florida plays to host six of the 17 games scheduled for U.S. soil, including Japan vs. Zambia on Friday night in Tampa....

    Fans cheer Japan’s team during a friendly match against Costa Rica in Tampa on Monday. Japan’s Football Association chose Tampa to give players a chance to acclimate to the weather on this side of the globe.
  15. Tampa Bay soccer fans headed to Brazil for World Cup

    World Cup

    Scott Swearengen knew he was fortunate. He had friends in Brazil baffled at how he scored tickets to five FIFA World Cup games in Rio de Janeiro when even they couldn't get them.

    "I was checking my e-mail like twice a day," said the 40-year-old urban planning consultant from Riverview. "It was really euphoric when I found out that I had gotten them."

    He'll be one of a handful of Tampa Bay residents who will see the inside of stadiums during the quadrennial international soccer tournament. Fans from around the world requested more than 10 million tickets but only 2.57 million had been awarded by April, according to FIFA. Only 154,412 were allocated to Americans. ...

    Scott Swearengen, a 40-year-old urban planning consultant from Riverview, shows off his World Cup 2014 tickets. He was one of a relatively few number of Americans to score tickets to the event in Brazil.