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  1. Restaurants along Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg sat quiet and empty in March 2020, during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants, bars and other food businesses that were hammered by the pandemic will soon be eligible to apply for up to $10 million in federal aid through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion tranche of relief approved as part of the American Rescue Plan.
  2. This pickle pizza is one of the new offerings at the Florida State Fair this year.
  3. Marilyn Diaz, center, and Hortencia Ramos, of Tampa, work on a batch of plantains on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at La Cabana Restaurant in Tampa. In some parts of Florida, restaurants are offering signing bonuses to new hires as they try to staff up after the pandemic.
  4. Smoked fish dip is served with toasted bread, lemon and hot sauce at the new and revived Corner Club at 1502 E Sligh Ave. in Tampa. The beloved Seminole Heights dive bar closed down last year and has reopened under new ownership.
  5. This pickle pizza is one of the new offerings at the Florida State Fair this year. From Angela's Pizza, it has a white garlic sauce base, topped with mozzarella cheese and dill pickles. Garnished with ranch and dill seasoning after it comes out of the oven.
  6. Lingr, the highly anticipated new restaurant from chef Jeffrey Jew, will open for breakfast and lunch in mid-May at 400 Sixth St. S in St. Petersburg.
  7. St. Petersburg vegan restaurant Lucy's will not reopen, the owner said Monday. The restaurant, which opened at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, has been closed since March.
  8. A royal joust performance will be among the features of the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. The popular medieval festival is moving this year from its longtime home at MOSI in Tampa to Withlacoochee River Park in Dade City. It runs weekends through May 23.
  9. Mad Beach Craft Brewing Co. will be opening a new restaurant on 4th Street North at the old Melting Pot location.
  10. Cabbage and chive dumplings are served at CORE, a vegan bistro and market in Safety Harbor.
  11. Tampaville Hot Chick'n burgers are served at 3 Dot Dash in Seminole Heights in Tampa. The restaurant, which specializes in vegan comfort food like chicken sandwiches and burgers, is helping to redefine the vegan scene in Tampa Bay.
  12. SeaWorld’s Aquatica opened Riptide Race April 3, a ride billed as the world’s largest dueling raft water slide.
  13. Amaro Montenegro brings a traveling Italian popup bar truck to Tampa Heights.
  14. Gene Knippers spent most of his life in the restaurant business. “He took an opportunity and made the most of it,” said Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham. “By doing that, he provided a lot of opportunities to a lot of other people, myself included.”
  15. Sauvignon Wine Locker & American Trattoria will open in April in the 200 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.
  16. St. Petersburg's Sophia's Cucina + Enoteca has closed.
  17. Berry Pavlova
  18. En Vogue will play the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival April 18. The group, which currently includes founding members Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron, as well as Rhona Bennett, most recently made a cameo appearance in Coming 2 America.
  19. For an oh-so-Florida Easter activity, kids can hunt for colorful eggs left by the Easter Bunny in Largo’s Southwest Pool.
  20. Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux will open a new spot in Midtown Tampa in 2021.
  21. Wat Mongkolratanaram Thai Temple Tampa has reopened as a Sunday drive-thru market with strict rules for safety precautions.
  22. Many restaurants are offering Easter meal packs to-go, such as this one from Metro Diner with a choice of baked ham or roasted turkey.
  23. There are about three times as many red snapper as previously estimated in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a study released Wednesday about the popular game and table fish over which recreational anglers and federal regulators have fought for years.
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