TAMPA — Joe Dodd knew his Seminole Heights restaurant King of the Coop would finally outgrow the small space on the corner of N Florida Avenue and E Knollwood Street.
Since opening his fast-casual restaurant, which specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken baskets and sandwiches, the spot has amassed a strong local following. Over the past year, Dodd has opened additional King of the Coop offshoots in Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg and Tampa (off S Howard Avenue).
Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the space where he launched his flagship chicken shop, which closed this week. But fans don’t need to fret — those fiery fried birds are moving to a much larger restaurant space just down the road.
On Thursday, Dodd and his business partners are opening Flocale, a joint restaurant and nightlife venue featuring food from King of the Coop and Westshore Pizza. A bar and expansive beer program is helmed by Ybor City’s Rock Brothers Brewing.
Dodd was inspired to embark on the hybrid approach after visiting similar restaurant and brewery pairings, including 6th & Peabody in Nashville, Tenn. — a collaborative effort anchored by Yee Haw Brewery and Ole Smoky Distillery with a large outdoor patio, live music and several food vendors.
“I just thought, this place would be awesome in Tampa,” Dodd said.
The new spot is taking over the space at 5910 N Florida Ave. — formerly home to the Refinery, the celebrated farm-to-table restaurant from Greg and Michelle Baker. Dodd’s business partners include Westshore Pizza CEO Travis Masters and Rock Brothers Brewing partner — and Cigar City Brewing founder — Joey Redner. The team is leasing the building from the Bakers, and the long-vacant restaurant and bar has undergone a full renovation in the process.
The yawning space includes seating for 180 people and features a long bar, a large dining room and a separate area for live music. Large-screen televisions are hung throughout and a 2,500-square-foot kitchen is shared by King of the Coop and Westshore Pizza.
Rock Brothers Brewing is running the bar, which includes 20 different beers and drinks on tap, including several beers from local breweries and coffee from Spaddy’s Coffee Co.
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For food, guests can expect the same menus found at other King of the Coop and Westshore Pizza locations: fried chicken platters and sandwiches, appetizers, salads, New York-style pies and cheesesteaks.
To start, the venue will feature live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Eventually, the team will add brunch, which will include either live music or a karaoke theme, Dodd said.
Colorful artwork decorates the space both inside and out, including two large murals by Puerto Rican muralist Jorge Roldan, who goes by Rojo the Artist professionally, and a large-scale Venetian plaster wall by Tampa artist Ron Francis. A mural outside the building will fund proceeds for a local charity featuring a rotating artist, which will change every six months.
Dodd hopes the venue will serve as a gathering place for people in the Seminole Heights community — a neighborhood spot that will encourage more local partnerships in the future.
Flocale is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with food service ending at midnight.
5910 N Florida Ave., Tampa. 813-232-2667. facebook.com/officialflocale.