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Tampa Bay restaurant and bar openings: Poke Fish expands, We Are Poke debuts in Tampa

Wesley Chapel newcomer Teriyaki Madness also keeps the personalized bowls coming at the Shops at Wiregrass.
In the SoHo area of Tampa, the new Poke Fish's menu mirrors what's featured at the original location. [Courtesy of Poke Fish]
In the SoHo area of Tampa, the new Poke Fish's menu mirrors what's featured at the original location. [Courtesy of Poke Fish]
Published Oct. 15
Updated Oct. 15


Poke Fish

A second location has allowed this fast-casual poke joint to expand its take on the traditional Hawaiian staple. First opened by owner Brad Matherne on W Kennedy Boulevard in 2018, Poke Fish became neighbors with SoHo Juice and Shula Burger in Tampa’s SoHo area on Oct. 4. The menu — highlighting sustainable fish, free-range chicken and gulf shrimp — mirrors what’s available at the original location. The build-them-yourself bowls come in snack, regular and large sizes, then they’re dressed with your desired base and protein, plus mix-ins, marinades, toppings and sauces. In case you can’t decide, the five predesigned creations include the One (white rice, mixed greens, tuna, salmon, house marinade, cilantro, green onion, onion, cucumber, radish, edamame, avocado, crab and seaweed salads, tobiko trio, furikake, sesame seeds, spicy mayo). The new Poke Fish features 14 seats inside and out. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 500 S Howard Ave., Suite F, Tampa. (813) 559-1046.

Poke Fish, which now has two Tampa locations, uses sustainable fish, free-range chicken and gulf shrimp for its bowls. [Courtesy of Poke Fish]

RELATED: From acai to poke, the top 10 bowls in Tampa Bay

We Are Poke

We Are Poke invites you to customize the poke bowl of your dreams, promoting experimentation through more than 30 toppings like white rice, tuna, carrots, edamame, spicy mayo and ginger. Fruit and yogurt dessert bowls are also on hand. We Are Poke aims to serve only organic ingredients, but because seasonality and suppliers may affect the restaurant’s offerings, it lists the products that are “organic this week” on its website. 3309 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 353-0355.

Guac n’ Cheese Mexican Grill

Guac n’ Cheese Mexican Grill is breathing fresh life into the former home of another Mexican spot, Chihuahua, in South Tampa. Meant for dine-in and takeout guests, the cozy, casual restaurant showcases everything from starters and salads to signature fajitas and specialty dinners — among them the vegetarian variety — and saves brunch for the weekends. On the beverage side, Guac n’ Cheese carries beer, wine and an assortment of frozen drinks. 4101 S MacDill Ave., Tampa. (813) 769-9035.

RELATED: Bar review: New St. Pete breweries have sour power

Aggregate Brewing Collective

Spring Hill’s Inoculum Ale Works has reopened and rebranded its downtown St. Petersburg taproom as Aggregate Brewing Collective. Inoculum partner and brewer Nick Moench announced the change earlier this month.

“I (Nick, partner/brewer) initially built the space and got it open, but was never supposed to run it. The plan was always for us to find an operating partner to take over and manage it, we just never did,” reads the Oct. 5 update on the Inoculum Facebook page. “... After stepping away for a month or so, I was able to refocus and start making good decisions for that business again. We chose to rebrand it to our parent company Aggregate Brewing Collective.”

The post goes on to say that Aggregate, which owns Inoculum and Krueger Brewing Company, will carry Krueger, Inoculum and its own drafts in the taproom led by operating partner Rooster Colomina, as well as beers from Saint Somewhere Brewing Company. Wine and canned and bottled brews complete the options. 554 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

Teriyaki Madness

Started in 2003 and based in Denver, this fast-casual, bowl-driven Asian grill franchise personalizes Seattle-style teriyaki chicken at the Shops at Wiregrass, where stir-fry kitchen Wok Chi used to be. Teriyaki Madness works your choice of rice or noodles and veggies into beef and tofu teriyaki bowls, in addition to the main event. The non-teriyaki chicken orders are chicken katsu and chicken pot stickers, rounding out the menu with yakisoba noodles, edamame, crab rangoon and egg rolls. Wesley Chapel has claimed the franchise’s first location in the bay area, but bonus: its website lists a forthcoming downtown Tampa location. 28152 Paseo Drive, Unit 160, Wesley Chapel. (813) 803-3749.

Bourbon on Main

Bourbon on Main debuted in August with lunch and dinner and after-hours appeal. The casual downtown New Port Richey restaurant does Florida and New Orleans fusion fare, primarily dividing its lineup by appetizers, wings, seafood, sandwiches and wraps. Live music fills Bourbon on Main’s digs on the regular, too. Wash down items like fried shrimp po’ boys and andouille sausage potato skins with specialty cocktails like the Sazerac and the Vieux Carre, or a pour from the whiskey selection, while enjoying the tunes. 6307 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. (727) 645-5801.

Run Away Pizza

Use five sauces, eight meats and eight veggies to create a pizza “your way” at Run Away Pizza, without racking up an extra charge per topping. The prix-fixe pies are a big draw, but this pizzeria also churns out house builds such as Excellence (pepperoni, ham, sausage, beef, onions, roasted peppers, mushrooms, black olives) and the self-explanatory Chicken Bacon Ranch. You’re welcome to pair them with everything from subs and salads to chicken wings and strips. 6823 State Road 54, New Port Richey. (727) 261-4641.

Other openings: Joella’s Hot Chicken (Seminole), Mr. and Mrs. Crab (South Tampa), Rocca (Tampa Heights), Shaker & Peel (Oldsmar) and Wandering Whisk Bakeshop (Pinellas Park)


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