Since most of the migration from the British Isles has nested close to the Gulf beaches, Hillsborough has suffered a pub deficit. Now, thanks to the opening of Flanagan's Hunt Irish Pub (11744 N Dale Mabry, Tampa) last month, there's a bit of the auld sod on the east side of the bay, too. One of the publicans, however, is Tampa Bay's most famous British import. Alex Pringle, the Scot who was one of the original Tampa Bay Rowdies, joined with Bobby Whitmill, a London builder, to put the pub together.
They've given the place an Irish theme and music for fun and hunt club prints for a touch of upper-crust class. The pub grub runs from Scotch egg and curried fries to meat pies and fish 'n' chips. There's beer and ale from England, Scotland and Ireland on draught and Irish musicians on tap Thursday through Saturday.
And that's just one of the foreign flavors in this cosmopolitan corner of Carrollwood.
Main Street Shopping Center is also home to Al Hara (11724 N Dale Mabry), a new restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern food, a particularly rare commodity in the bay area.
British pub grub and Middle Eastern banquets are an odd mix but welcome additions to the usual mall menu. And the restaurateurs don't mind, says Whitmill. "We all get on together."
Turning tables: Sale of Le Bordeaux (1501 Howard Ave. S, Tampa) holds one bit of good news for fans of Hyde Park's French hot spot.
The restaurant will stay open most of the summer, closing only for the month of August, much briefer than the several-month hiatus enjoyed by Michel and Cindy Robert every year.
Under new owner Gordon Davis, who took over last week, minimal change is promised. "It's to continue exactly as the Bordeaux always was, which is wonderful," said Colette Hatch, who will manage it as Davis' partner.
Hatch, like Robert, is French and experienced on both sides of the
Atlantic; she formerly managed Restaurant du Villages in Chester, Conn. Meanwhile, the Roberts are headed - where else? - to Bordeaux. "It's time to get back to the roots for a while," he said last week before leaving for France.
It's time to say both adieu and bienvenue. Since we'll be watching to if Le Bordeaux remains "The Affordable French Restaurant," the Nibbler adds en garde!