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Tampa Bay restaurant and bar openings: Cigar City taproom, Clean Juice

Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics has also brought food allergy-friendly fare to Lutz, plus Chicken Salad Chick will take over an iconic building.
Cigar City Brewing's taproom at Amalie Arena in Tampa has launched with its signature craft beers and bar bites. [Courtesy of Scott Audette]
Cigar City Brewing's taproom at Amalie Arena in Tampa has launched with its signature craft beers and bar bites. [Courtesy of Scott Audette]
Published Jan. 14

NOW OPEN

Cigar City Brewing Taproom

Related: Tampa Bay Lightning taps Cigar City Brewing as craft beer partner

Amalie Arena welcomed the Cigar City Brewing Taproom with a public launch on Jan. 7 before the Tampa Bay Lightning faced off against the Vancouver Canucks. Under the Pam Iorio Parking Garage next to the arena’s west plaza, the pour house offers Cigar City signatures such as Jai Alai, Guayabera and Florida Cracker, alongside specialty and seasonal craft beers from the pioneering Tampa brewery started in 2009. Sandwiches, burgers and other bar bites also mingle with wine and cocktails. “We will work together to contribute to the Tampa Bay community and elevate the fan experience at Amalie Arena,” said Justin Clark, chief operating officer for Cigar City, in a news release. The taproom is open during events and on select non-event days. 375 Channelside Drive, Tampa. cigarcitybrewing.com.

Clean Juice

Related: Tampa Bay restaurant and bar openings: Clean Juice, Poppo's Taqueria

The latest Tampa Bay locations for the growing USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise have arrived. Jan. 11 marked the grand opening of a New Port Richey store, while the Safety Harbor area’s is scheduled to take place Jan. 25. Clean Juice is known for its fresh and cold-pressed juices, juice cleanses, smoothies and acai bowls. More health-minded munchies, including toasts slathered with avocado, almond butter and hummus, are on hand, too. Clean Juice debuted location No. 1 in North Carolina in 2015. Locally, there are stores in South Tampa, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel and St. Petersburg, with another coming to Tampa’s Hyde Park Village. 2516 N McMullen-Booth Road, Suite A, Clearwater, (727) 953-3719; 8924 Strength Ave., New Port Richey, (727) 264-6602. cleanjuice.com.

Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics

Established in Colorado Springs, Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics opened a spot in Lutz in early December. Look for it at the unassuming Van Dyke Commons plaza next to Mr. Empanada. Food allergy-friendly and organic ingredients drive the adorable bakery and cafe, which is billed as gluten-free and plant-based. Sweet Elizabeth’s also steers clear of soy, peanuts, tree nuts (with the exception of coconut), eggs and dairy. Sweets like doughnuts, cakes, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, brownies and cookies make up the menu, as well as casual fare like the parsley pesto sandwich and the rosemary garlic focaccia pizza. 17695 N Dale Mabry Highway, Lutz. (813) 609-3530.

Havana Creamery & Subs

Havana Creamery & Subs is a cozy ice cream shop that caters to both the savory and sweet crowd. In addition to milkshakes and waffle cones showcasing indulgent flavors such as cookie dough fudge and caramel toffee crunch, you can order sandwiches, burgers, coffee and smoothies under one roof. 859 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Brandon. (813) 654-4453. havana-creamery-subs.business.site.

Benedict’s Family Restaurant

This relaxed, down-home breakfast and lunch eatery has expanded to Largo. The newest Pinellas County location features a covered patio and plenty of indoor seating. Seven kinds of eggs Benedicts are up for grabs, among them corned beef hash and smoked salmon. Additional items on the straightforward lineup include country fried steak, a Reuben sandwich, egg skillets, a Philly cheesesteak and French toast. In business since 1995, Benedict’s also operates in Dunedin, Pinellas Park and Clearwater. 201 West Bay Drive, Largo. (727) 444-0371. mybenedicts.com.

CLOSED

The Lucky Dill

Related: Lucky Dill brand down to one restaurant after a death and closings

Launched just more than a year ago, the Lucky Dill recently shuttered its Tampa location across from International Plaza. The closure comes after partner Jason Mitow, who expanded the popular New York-style deli brand started in 1991 with many offshoots and projects over the past 20 years, was found dead in his home on Nov. 20. The Lucky Dill at 4606 W Boy Scout Blvd. was part of a massive enterprise that included next-door bar and nightclub NYKL, short for New York Kitchen + Lounge, which has closed as well. In Tampa, the Lucky Dill featured a long list of piled-high sandwiches and a bakery case filled with desserts. The brand’s long-running Palm Harbor location remains open. luckydilldeli.com.

COMING SOON

Chicken Salad Chick

Related: St. Pete’s old China City will become a Chicken Salad Chick, as chain expands in Tampa Bay

The fast-casual, Southern-inspired chicken salad chain is taking over the iconic China City building with yet another location. Franchisees Paul and Linsay Rohr are behind this Chicken Salad Chick outpost, which will be about 2,800 square feet and won’t offer drive-through service. The Rohrs, who also operate the locations in Palm Harbor and Seminole, plan to open later this year. Founded in 2008 in Alabama with other local stores in Tampa, Lutz and Brandon, Chicken Salad Chick carries a dozen chicken salad flavors, plus sandwiches, salads, soups, side items and desserts. The Trinity area will see the premiere of the chain’s next Tampa Bay location at 12096 State Road 54 on Jan. 20. 1221 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. chickensaladchick.com.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. The food is art at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, including this cookie that looks like a painter's palette. [Walt Disney World]
    The 39-day celebration of art, entertainment and food kicked off Jan. 17.
  2. Clockwise from left: Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Piña Colada Candy Apple, Candy Corn and Cheeseburger-On-A-Stick [Courtesy of the Florida State Fair]
    Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Piña Colada Candy Apples and more are coming to the Florida State Fair.
  3. The cans feature pups who are up for adoption at Shelter Manatee. [Motorworks Brewing]
    The beer, available for purchase in packs of four and cases of 24, will be available until they sell out, the brewery says.
  4. Kumquats in Dade City. [Times (2002)]
    Plus, St. Petersburg restaurant German Knodle made Yelp’s list of the top 100 places to eat.
  5. Beverage manager for the Tampa Yacht and Country Club, Kasia Nowakowska prepares a Milk Punch cocktail, the club's signature drink for Gasparilla. Milk Punch contains brandy, simple syrup, heavy cream, milk and is garnished with nutmeg. Nowakowska says the club will make more than 120 gallons of Milk Punch for the annual Gasparilla Parade of Pirates on Jan. 25 -- and most of it will be consumed by noon prior to the invasion. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
    There’s a lot of history pouring into the glasses along the parade route for the brunch (and even breakfast) cocktails.
  6. Catrinas Tacos and Tequila brought its tacos back to Tampa in a new location on Jan. 17. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times (2012)]
    Plus, the chains Shake Shack and Huey Magoo’s are coming to town.
  7. German beer accompanies a serving of currywurst and schnitzel topped with mushrooms and garlic fries at German Knödle, 951 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
    Nutella-stuffed potato dumplings and rave reviews put German Knodle on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. list.
  8. Turkey Meatballs with hummus and an herby salad [MICHELLE STARK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    It comes together so fast for a weeknight dinner.
  9. St. Peterburg's iconic restaurant the Belmark was known as an inexpensive spot to grab a meal. [Times (1982)]
    Expect an updated take on classic diner fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  10. Kumquats that are yet to be harvested in the groves at Kumquat Growers, Inc. in Dade City. The local agriculture business provides fruit for the annual Kumquat Festival to be held Jan. 25 in downtown Dade City. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
    After years of crop decline, there will be more fresh fruit at this year’s annual Kumquat Festival.
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