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Fly Bar and Restaurant reveals new location just outside downtown Tampa

In Tampa, Fly Bar & Restaurant’s new home is planned for the front point of the building at Kennedy Boulevard and Grand Central Avenue. [Fly Bar & Restaurant]
In Tampa, Fly Bar & Restaurant’s new home is planned for the front point of the building at Kennedy Boulevard and Grand Central Avenue. [Fly Bar & Restaurant]
Published Apr. 4, 2019

After a long, hard search, Fly Bar and Restaurant has swooped into a new home. And the cool part? It's not far from where the popular hangout started livening up the downtown Tampa nightlife scene in 2006.

Co-owner Leslie Shirah Culbreath closed Fly last year following the sale of its original location on Franklin Street. She and business partner and husband Mark Culbreath checked out some sites around the Channel District and downtown for Fly's rebirth, she said. But Miami-based real estate investment firm Tricera Capital, which first approached the couple about bringing their second Hotel Bar concept to St. Petersburg (a proposal that remains on the table), pointed them toward the one.

Fly plans to relaunch in the Mise en Place building that Tricera owns at 442 W Kennedy Blvd. The restaurant and bar, known for craft cocktails and inventive small plates, is shooting for November.

"It just spoke to me," Culbreath said of the 3,000-square-foot space.

Although patrons won't find a rooftop deck like at the original Fly (bummer), the 100-seat Fly promises a patio out front — and both lunch and dinner.

Look for a menu of eclectic American dishes from chef Justin Dunfee, who will mix a few old favorites with new creations. Hotel Bar beverage director Alex Watson will oversee the cocktail program.

The restaurant and bar, overseen by general manager Brittany Rosen, will feature a modern Art Deco design that pays homage to the building's history. Local creatives are also expected to put their stamp on everything from the woodwork to what art ends up on the walls.

"I think a lot of people miss it. I think a lot of people were sad to see it go," Culbreath said. "We're just excited to bring it back and be a part of what's going on in this area."