Tampa Bay restaurant and bar openings: Vantage Rooftop Bar, 3B’s, A Slice of Rome

Plus, a Peruvian spot comes to New Tampa and Wesley Chapel gets a Mediterranean grill.
Craft cocktails join crowd-pleasing tapas at the Karol Hotel's newly opened rooftop bar Vantage in Clearwater.
Craft cocktails join crowd-pleasing tapas at the Karol Hotel's newly opened rooftop bar Vantage in Clearwater. [ Courtesy of the Karol Hotel ]
Published March 10, 2020|Updated March 12, 2020



Part of the Bayside Bridge Plaza, 3B’s opened in February with a bee theme and burgers, bourbon and beer, breathing new life into the former home of English pub Grind House. Eight-ounce patties are the main draw. They’re served on brioche buns and offered nearly 10 ways, including as the signature 3B’s (Brie, Boursin and blue cheeses, grilled portobello, cherry bacon bourbon jam) and the Pollinator (cheddar cheese, bacon, crispy fried onions, honey bourbon barbecue sauce). Featuring plenty of seating and several TVs, this casual restaurant serves other dishes like Birds & the Bees, which tops two waffles with fried chicken breast, bacon, beer cheese sauce and honey aioli, alongside a selection of salads and snacks. 1500 N McMullen-Booth Road, Suite A13, Clearwater. (727) 474-7399.

Related: Before the Karol Hotel opens, Fred and Karol Bullard share their love story

Vantage Rooftop Bar

Looking for a new hangout closer to the clouds? Vantage Rooftop Bar is here. Craft cocktails and crowd-pleasing tapas drive the stylish Feather Sound gathering place, launched at the 12-story Karol Hotel on March 6. Although Vantage can accommodate as many as 122 guests, its 72 seats are first come, first served. “We fully expect Vantage to become the next big hotspot in the St. Pete/Clearwater area,” hotel general manager Adam Duffey said in a news release. “It will fit perfectly within this community and we can’t wait to show it off to locals and visitors alike.” Smoked chicken wings, pretzel bites and Asian-style barbecue short ribs are offered on the food side, backed by those cocktails and local craft brews poured at the “fire onyx bar” with an orange-red glow. At 2,027 square feet, Vantage also has views of the downtown Tampa skyline and the pickup line “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” in custom neon lights, a nod to how developer Fred Bullard introduced himself to his fellow Karol Hotel co-owner and wife Karol, whom the hotel is named after. 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. (727) 273-7850.

Views of the downtown Tampa skyline are among the highlights of Vantage, the newly opened rooftop bar at Clearwater's Karol Hotel.
Views of the downtown Tampa skyline are among the highlights of Vantage, the newly opened rooftop bar at Clearwater's Karol Hotel. [ Courtesy of the Karol Hotel ]

Lima Rotisserie Chicken & Peruvian Cuisine

Lima Rotisserie Chicken & Peruvian Cuisine has brought a taste of Peru to the New Tampa Center shopping plaza. Look forward to papa a la huancaina (a bed of yucca topped with Peruvian-inspired cold yellow pepper cheese sauce, boiled egg and lettuce) and lomo saltado (tenderloin tips sauteed in a wok with spices, sliced onions, fresh tomato wedges, cilantro, soy sauce and vinegar and served with french fries and white rice), in addition to more favorites such as rotisserie chicken meals and three kinds of ceviche. The restaurant offers it all in a casual setting. 19062 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa. (813) 304-0205.

Dig in to Tampa Bay’s food and drink scenes

Dig in to Tampa Bay’s food and drink scenes

Subscribe to our free Taste newsletter

Get the restaurant and bar news, insights and reviews you crave from food and dining critic Helen Freund every Thursday.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

A Slice of Rome

Roman-style pizza recently made its way to Clearwater Beach. Next-door neighbors with Caffeinated Bakery, this pizzeria from brothers Enzio, Danny and Michael Chiavatti focuses on the aforementioned pies, known for their light and airy crust with a crisp bottom, by the slice and half or full sheet. The house specialty arrives in traditional builds such as Nonna’s Garden (tomato sauce, roasted peppers and zucchini, mushroom, caramelized onions, mozzarella, olive oil) and Meat Monster (tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, bacon, Italian sausage, ham), according to the menu on A Slice of Rome’s website. The pizzeria also does sauceless pizza Bianca Roman style, as well as salads and focaccia sandwiches. 53 Baymont St., Clearwater Beach. (727) 281-3001.

Medilish Mediterranean Grill

Opened in February, Medilish Mediterranean Grill slings easygoing grub with Mediterranean flair. You order at the counter, taking your pick from the lineup of salads, wraps, pita pockets, bowls, signature entrees and tacos. Available in varieties like steak, chicken and shrimp, kebabs are primarily presented over basmati rice with ratatouille, hummus and Moroccan shlada (salad). Medilish patrons may add them to any of the four salads as well. Other highlights include the falafel pocket, in which the popular meat alternative accompanies ratatouille, red onions, pickles and lemon garlic tahini, and the mixed bowl showcasing thinly sliced beef and chicken, basmati rice, ratatouille, seasoned chickpeas and feta cheese. 5325 Village Market, Wesley Chapel. (813) 406-4968.

Other openings: Dead Bob’s Too (South Tampa), Graze 1910 (South Tampa), Mary Margaret’s Olde Irish Tavern (downtown St. Petersburg), McArthur’s Irish Pub (St. Petersburg), Sea Worthy Fish + Bar (Tierra Verde)

Related: St. Petersburg Hofbräuhaus posts ‘closed’ sign. Is this the end?



It looks like Hofbrauhaus has shuttered in downtown St. Petersburg. A sign that reads “Closed Until Further Notice” was posted last week to the German restaurant and beer hall, opened at 123 Fourth St. S in 2015. The city of St. Pete said it locked Hofbrauhaus’ account and shut off its water on Feb. 27 after the restaurant failed to pay months’ worth of utility bills. The owners of Hofbrauhaus, known for its paddle spankings and Bavarian eats such as bratwurst, have been in a dispute since the fall, when their landlord filed a lawsuit saying they missed rent over the summer.