What a great year 2018 was! I’m only kidding, of course, but the good news is that a symbolic fresh start is only days away, and that calls for Champagne toasts and hangovers, typically in that order.
I’ve come across a new spot that strikes me as a great fit for either occasion: Remedy, an ostensible patio bar to accompany Malio’s Prime Steakhouse — the two establishments share owners — located at the base of the Rivergate Tower at Downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
On paper, it seems an odd space for a bar considering that there’s no indoor component whatsoever. In fact, my first attempt at visiting Remedy was spoiled by some nasty weather, which caused the bar to shut down for two consecutive days.
In practice, however, the location could hardly be better — sweeping views of the Tampa Riverwalk, with the minarets and clustered palms of the University of Tampa rising up on the opposite bank.
The layout is simple and designed for maximum chill. Breezy and open air, Remedy has a great mix of sun and shade throughout it’s 100-odd seats, mostly café tables with a perimeter of sofas that require you to sit at a 130-degree angle to hit the back cushion.
On either side of this umbrella-shaded dining/lounge area is a long bar, flanked by a pair of TVs. A thin metal divider serves as barrier to Curtis Hixon on the other end, though the whole thing flows into its surroundings somewhat.
At night, there’s some bonus scenery by way of bright lights illuminating the Riverwalk trail and an old railroad drawbridge in the distance, and when it gets chilly — I’m looking at you, New Year’s Eve — there are plenty of umbrella-style space heaters to warm up under.
The theme for food is something like oysters and caviar meet flatbreads, but that’s not my department. I can tell you a bit about the drinks, which are fairly good, and perfect for some quality day drinking.
Of course, Remedy is a natural choice for brunch cocktails, which is something that is unfortunately out of the question for Jan. 1, as the bar opens in the evenings only on weekdays. On Saturdays and Sundays, however, you’re firmly in Mimosa and Bloody Mary territory, with a welcome addition of the classic Bellini to the mix.
Any other time, you’ll want to have a look at the house cocktail list. There are seven options, all trending on the light and refreshing side. Mules and bucks are there, like the Riverwalk Mule (Absolut, pineapple, passion fruit, lime and ginger beer) and The Remedy (Jameson, mint, peach and ginger beer), along with takes on the margarita (the watermelon-lime-infused Frida) and the tiki-style Rum Baba (Caribbean rum blend, Velvet Falernum, pineapple and lime).
These cocktails are visually gorgeous, brightly garnished and delicious across the board, from the Chihuly Crown (loaded with strawberry slices and an edible orchid) to the Bayshore Boulevard (a curious but tasty mix of Jameson Caskmates, Lillet Rouge, créme de cacao and lemon).
There’s also quite a lot of wine, including no shortage of bubbly. Stock me up with Korbel or Mionetto (both reasonably priced at under $10 a pour) and I’m good to go, but if you’re feeling generous, you can work your way up to bottles of Veuve Clicquot at just over $100 apiece.
Better yet, check the place out on New Year’s Eve, where a $150 ticket will get you five hours of Veuve, as well as an all-premiums open bar, lots of food, a DJ and, of course, really great Riverwalk views.
A laid-back outdoor bar on the Riverwalk isn’t a big surprise, given Tampa’s steadily growing population of hip and wealthy high-rise dwellers, but it’s a welcome addition nonetheless. Whether you’re hankering for a big party on Monday night or just in the market for some hair of the dog on an upcoming Sunday afternoon, you’ll find Remedy to live up to its name.
— [email protected] Follow Justin Grant at @WordsWithJG
400 N Ashley Drive, Tampa
(813) 223-7746 remedytampa.com
The vibe: An open-air wine and cocktail bar overlooking Tampa’s Riverwalk.
Food: Salads, $8-$10; flatbreads, raw bar and caviar, $15-$155.
Booze: Beer, wine and liquor. Beer, $5-$8; wine, $7-$22 by the glass and $30-$105 by the bottle; liquor, $8-$16 (and up, for some premium options).
Specialty: Remedy’s seven house cocktails are excellent outdoor sippers, ranging from the tiki-inspired Rum Baba (a blend of Caribbean rums, Velvet Falernum, pineapple and lime) to the bar’s namesake cocktail, The Remedy, which is a spin on an Irish whiskey buck. It features Jameson, mint, peach and ginger beer. Of course, Remedy also stocks plenty of bubbly.
Hours: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday-Tuesday.