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A Tampa Bay bar is among James Beard Award semifinalists, but no restaurants

Orlando and Miami got a few nominations in the national food awards announced on Wednesday.
 
Webb's City Cellar at Green Bench Brewing Co. in St. Petersburg is a semifinalist for a 2024 James Beard Award in the Outstanding Bar category.
Webb's City Cellar at Green Bench Brewing Co. in St. Petersburg is a semifinalist for a 2024 James Beard Award in the Outstanding Bar category. [ Courtesy of Green Bench Brewing Co. ]
Published Jan. 24|Updated Jan. 26

The 2024 James Beard Awards semifinalists were announced today, and just one Tampa Bay spot is among them.

Webb’s City Cellar, a tasting room at Green Bench Brewing Co. in downtown St. Petersburg, is a nominee for Outstanding Bar. The spot serves craft beer, cider and wine in a cellar-like space right next to Green Bench’s main brewery in the city’s Edge District.

The award’s requirement for Outstanding Bar is “a wine bar, beer bar, cocktail bar, coffee bar, or any other business whose primary offering is beverage and that demonstrates consistent excellence in curating a selection or in the preparation of drinks, along with outstanding atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, and contributing positively to its broader community.”

Tampa Bay restaurants and chefs, however, were snubbed again. The last time Tampa Bay was recognized by the James Beard Awards was in 2019, when chefs Jeannie Pierola and Rachel Bennett were nominated for Best Chef: South and Rising Star Chef of the Year, respectively.

Orlando, Miami and other Florida cities made the list in categories including Best New Restaurant, Best Chef, Outstanding Bakery, and Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program. But the Florida total is about half of last year’s.

For a complete list of semifinalists, visit jamesbeard.org/awards.

Finalists will be announced on April 3. Winners will be announced at the James Beard Awards ceremony on June 10 in Chicago.