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A guide to Tampa Bay food and drink events this weekend

The Tampa Bay Repeal Day Gala in Ybor City, Largo’s Death by Chocolate, canning classes at the Fairgrounds, St. Pete’s Plant-Based Popup Dinner and more.
The Tampa Bay Repeal Day Gala will bring its Prohibition-themed bash back to Tampa's Cuban Club on Dec. 7. [Times (2011)]
The Tampa Bay Repeal Day Gala will bring its Prohibition-themed bash back to Tampa's Cuban Club on Dec. 7. [Times (2011)]
Published Dec. 4, 2019
Updated Dec. 5, 2019


Started in 2010, the Tampa Bay Repeal Day Gala invites you to dress in 1920s or ’30s outfits to observe the Dec. 5, 1933, repeal of Prohibition. Celebrate with specialty cocktails at 11 bars across flour floors of Ybor City venue the Cuban Club, plus appetizers and some entertainment. Inspired by the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago this year, the throwback party promises aerial acrobatics, vaudeville acts and live bands. “Tampa Bay Repeal Day is the best annual celebration of the American ability to drink,” Repeal Day chairwoman Ingrid Shawn Rodriguez said in a news release. “It’s a celebration of the Volstead Act’s repeal and the artistry that goes into the cocktail scene in this country and its social significance.” The local chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild puts on the Repeal Day Gala, which has raised more than $130,000 for charity since its inception. Benefits the Cuban Club, Beat NB and the Museum of the American Cocktail. $100, VIP $150. 8 p.m. Saturday. 2010 N Avenida Republica de Cuba, Tampa. And if you can’t make the party, hit up the precursor, the Repeal Day Popup Cocktail Party, at Tampa Heights hangout Armature Works when food, unlimited drink tastings and music invade the south lawn. $30 and up. 8 p.m. Friday. 1910 N Ola Ave.


Who needs dinner? Try dessert samples from restaurants and other businesses at Death by Chocolate, pairing all the sweets with free glasses of Champagne. A wine and beer toss game, “Selfies with Santa” and a silent auction round out the highlights. Benefits Rotary Club of Largo. $20 in advance, $25 day of. 7-9 p.m. Friday. Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6793.


St. Petersburg popup restaurant Cafe Verde brings its second community-focused feast to Baum Ave Market. Hosted at a 24-seat high-top table inside the EDGE District foodporium, the Plant-Based Popup Dinner matches five to-be-announced drinks with five courses from Lokesh Vale of the Twisted Indian, which has a stall at Baum Ave, and Michael Young of Lucy’s, a former Baum Ave tenant that will soon share a space with Valhalla Bakery in the Grand Central District. Soup with winter squash, ancient grains and micro beets; falafel with pickled avocado, seared spaghetti squash and creamy tzatziki; and risotto with asparagus, sweet peas, greens and trumpet mushrooms are a few dishes on the menu. Las Niñas provides the live music, and floral attire is encouraged. $85. 6-10 p.m. Monday. 1113 Baum Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (813) 370-9954.

Cafe Verde will hold the Plant-Based Popup Dinner on Dec. 9 at Baum Ave Market in St. Petersburg. [MICHELLE STARK | Times]


Raise a glass to the Fat Rabbit becoming a licensed brewpub during the Fat Rabbit Brewing Co. Launch Party. The Tampa Palms neighborhood hangout plans to pour free tastings of its Transplant New England Style Hazy IPA. However, the beer is also available to buy on tap alongside the Oh My Gourd! Pumpkin Milk Stout. Free, drink additional. 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday. 16029 Tampa Palms Blvd. W, Tampa. (813) 252-3004.


Jug & Bottle Dept.’s annual tradition offers an all-day lineup of wine, cider, mead, sake and food samples as well as grub specials by on-site vegan kitchen 3 Dot Dash. But the main draw of Krampusnacht is the opportunity for photos from 2 to 5 p.m. with the half-goat, half-demon himself, Krampus. Free, food and drink additional. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. 6203 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 675-4522.


Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe co-owner Tegan Foster leads Wine Talks, a chill conversation at the Grand Central District gathering place, every second Tuesday of the month. At this installment, score tips about which wines are great for popping, and gifting, throughout the holiday season. Tickets include a wine flight. Call for reservations. $20. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday. 2927 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 800-2810.

Holiday wines will drive the next edition of Wine Talks at St. Petersburg's Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe on Dec. 3. [LUIS SANTANA | Times (2017)]


You’ve got two chances to learn the art of food preservation through home canning expert Mary Keith’s Canning Class. Keith leads a session on jam and pickles at 10 a.m. Thursday. Then at 10 a.m. Friday, salsa and fruit take center stage. $15, 11 and younger free. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 734-2810.


  1. People waited overnight to be the first customers at the new Jollibee Pinellas Park location. It opened Friday. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    Long lines, happy dances, hot Chickenjoy. Pinellas Park scores the chain’s latest restaurant.
  2. St. Petersburg restaurant Brick & Mortar serves dishes like this miso-marinated black cod with broth of coconut milk and ginger, baby bok choy, sticky rice and house pickled jalapeno. [Times (2015)]
    It’s called Sea Worthy Fish + Bar.
  3. Dishes from some of Tampa Bay's most iconic restaurants. [Times files]
    Join us for a happy hour event on Jan. 30.
  4. This July 31, 2019, file photo shows an Impossible Whopper burger at a Burger King restaurant in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File) [BEN MARGOT  |  AP]
    The promotion is available for a limited time only at participating restaurants nationwide starting today.
  5. A rendering of Frenchy's To Go, which Frenchy's Restaurants hopes to launch in Clearwater this spring. [Courtesy of Frenchy's Corporate/Klar and Klar Architects and Interior Designers]
    The new facility in Clearwater will fill delivery, walkup and carryout orders.
  6. Shake Shack, featuring burgers, chicken sandwiches, crispy, crinkle-cut fries, frozen custard, and, yes, shakes, plans to open its first restaurant at Midtown Tampa. (Photo courtesy the Bromley Companies) [Photo courtesy the Bromley Companies]
    It will be the popular burger chain’s first restaurant in the Tampa Bay area and is targeted to open in time for the Super Bowl in February 2021.
  7. The annual St. Pete Beer and Bacon festival will return to Vinoy Park on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of Brewed Life]
    A barbecue and blues fest hits Zephyrhills and Bonefish Grill’s original location in St. Petersburg celebrates 20 years, plus Red Mesa gets a liquor license.
  8. The Instant Pot Duo Nova model [MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    I was skeptical about my first Instant Pot. Then I tried the pork.
  9. Cigar City Brewing's taproom at Amalie Arena in Tampa has launched with its signature craft beers and bar bites. [Courtesy of Scott Audette]
    Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics has also brought food allergy-friendly fare to Lutz, plus Chicken Salad Chick will take over an iconic building.
  10. Kale Pesto Pasta [MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    It’s bright, it’s light, it’s a perfect weeknight meal.