TAMPA — It’s been a busy month for the team at Cru Hospitality Group.
Last week, the company behind Tampa’s Cru Cellars debuted their highly anticipated champagne bar and restaurant Bouzy, in Hyde Park Village. Now, the group is launching two more new concepts at Water Street Tampa, the latest big-name openings to debut at the burgeoning downtown development.
Wine on Water, a wine and spirits shop, opened Wednesday, and Small Giant, a neighborhood tavern and restaurant, opens Friday. Both restaurants were designed by local interior designer Chris Rossi and occupy adjacent spaces on the bottom floor of the Cora building at 1011 E Cumberland Ave.
Those familiar with Cru Cellars’ wine program (Cru Cellars has locations in Palma Ceia, Armature Works and the Westshore Marina District) will find a similarly curated list at Wine on Water, which will operate as a neighborhood wine and spirits shop and small tasting room, with more than 250 selections and a focus on small-production wines. Though the shop itself won’t have much in the way of seating besides one tasting table, guests will be able to drink wine by the glass at the patio tables outside. Cru Cellars owner Jen Bingham said she hopes to use the Wine on Water space for private events and tastings, too. The shop will also feature an online ordering program with neighborhood delivery in the Water Street Tampa area.
At Small Giant, the focus is on Columbus, Ohio-style pizza, a style of pie popular in the Midwestern city featuring thin, flaky crust, cut in squares with toppings that extend to the edge. But the menu at the full-service restaurant will also feature a full tavern-style spread with smash burgers, beer, wine and a brown spirit-focused cocktail program.
Wine on Water is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Operating hours at Small Giant are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.