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After 8 months closed, Tampa’s Skipper’s Smokehouse will reopen

The 40-year-old Tampa music venue and restaurant will return on weekends soon.
Skipper's Smokehouse, which closed in the fall of 2020, will reopen sometime this spring or summer.
Skipper's Smokehouse, which closed in the fall of 2020, will reopen sometime this spring or summer.
Published May 21
Updated May 21

One of Tampa’s most popular live music venues, Skipper’s Smokehouse, is coming back from the dead.

Owners had announced plans to sell the venue in September, citing the coronavirus pandemic and a desire to wind down. But in a statement Friday afternoon, the venue said it would soon resume operations as “Skipper’s Smokehouse 2.0.”

“We can’t believe this is happening, but we are THRILLED beyond measure to get back to serving the community we love so deeply,” the owners said in a statement. “Our hearts have been so warmed by the kind words and support we have received throughout this nearly insurmountable time in everyone’s life.”

Related: After 40 years, Skipper's Smokehouse owner looking to sell

The company that runs Skipper’s has received two federal Paycheck Protection Program loans to help keep it in operation — one for $190,970 in April 2020, and another for $267,350 in March.

There is no reopening date just yet. But when the venue does return, there will be changes. In the beginning, it will be open Thursday through Sunday with a revamped, smaller menu. Masks will be required when not seated, and there will be a “masked up safe zone” for people who want to keep their masks on during concerts.

“Shows are being booked,” the owners’ statement read. “New colors are on the walls everywhere you look. There will be so many improvements to our facilities and the way we operate — we hope that the community will come out and support this endeavor that they have cried out to have back in their lives.”