Tampa Bay restaurant and bar openings: Stones Throw arrives at Armature Works, Jubilee's replaces Rib City in St. Petersburg

Part of Armature Works in Tampa Heights, Stones Throw has opened on the northern end of the Riverwalk. [Stones Throw]
Part of Armature Works in Tampa Heights, Stones Throw has opened on the northern end of the Riverwalk. [Stones Throw]
Published July 29, 2019


Stones Throw

Stones Throw, the most recent arrival at Armature Works in Tampa Heights, is taking advantage of its casual, waterfront location on the Tampa Riverwalk. Counter service with an up-close view of the Hillsborough River? Yep. A playful yet familiar menu? You bet. An Urban Kai outpost where you can rent paddleboards and kayaks? Yeah, even that, soon. The outdoor pavilion bar and restaurant launched last week, billing itself as an "upscale seafood shack." Cocktails and a rotating list of oysters that changes weekly are the main draw. But a fun mashup (tots and tentacles) and a couple of munchies flexing global flavors (ceviche mixto and Singapore chili shrimp) are offered, as is the option to stuff a bun, bowl or taco with Stones Throw's featured fresh catch. And for specialty sippers, three made with gin and three showcasing bubbles accompany the wine and beer, plus there's the Pick Your Poison: a choice of tequila/mezcal, whiskey, gin, vodka or rum crafted into a cocktail for an extra $2. Seating is first-come, first-served. 304 W Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 328-3910.

Jubilee's Barbecue

Originally opened in 2002, the St. Petersburg location for Fort Myers-born barbecue chain Rib City has rebranded as Jubilee's Barbecue. According to a statement from owner Paul Peden, the switch was a long time coming. "We had been looking into enhancing the Rib City concept for the past few years," Peden said. Jubilee's Barbecue uses different woods, such as red oak, to slow-cook its signature chicken and baby back ribs, which are meant to be paired with mac and cheese, collard greens and more homestyle sides. In addition, the large lineup showcases salads, smoked dinners and sandwiches. Peden, who has owned and operated restaurants for more than 40 years, including 26 Rib Citys in Florida and around the country, went on to say that there are no plans to change Rib City. "It isn't going anywhere and is still a highly successful chain and franchise," he said. 1550 66th St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 343-1103.

Green Culture

This lovely little organic java and cold-pressed juice bar, in development since last year and soft-opened July 10, slings just that, alongside smoothies. The seven juices are geared toward boosting everything from digestion to energy. Plant-based eaters will appreciate the burgers, "chicken" bites and bowls (yes, even the acai variety), and most of the menu is gluten-free. 1420 Seven Springs Blvd., Trinity. (727) 375-2233.

Juice Factory

Juice Factory celebrated its grand opening in June. A wide selection of freshly pressed juices and smoothies are the focus at this sleek New Tampa arrival, which churns out salads, wraps, superfood bowls and toasts as well. Oh, and Wheatgrass Wednesday is a thing; half-off (wheatgrass) shots make it happy hour, but for health nuts. 6431 E County Line Road, Suite 110, Tampa. (813) 345-8884.

Caffe Connection

If you need a new place to fuel up with caffeine and grub, here's a cozy coffee shop that officially premiered July 9. Caffe Connection caters to the breakfast and lunch crowd, allowing straightforward dishes and a similarly simple selection of hot and iced coffee and tea drinks to join forces under one roof. Expect eggs, baked goods and waffles in the morning, and afternoon subs and salads. 4196 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. (352) 293-4199.

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Thunderhead Pizza

Last month, Capital Tacos founders Bobby and Kristel Heskett started getting adventurous with another cuisine. The speedy Thunderhead Pizza, where the Hesketts can finish a pie in their oven in six minutes, uses 15 "custom flavors" or creative pick-your-own toppings to build pizzas upon two kinds of fluffy, slightly tangy sourdough crust: regular (for thin-crust lovers) or "Thunder" (if you're a Sicilian-style devotee). You can even create a salad with the menu's custom flavors. The Hesketts turn the traditional pizzeria concept on its head with vegan and gluten-free choices and the option to order a half pie, too. Come August, Thunderhead Pizza's first pizza of the week — featuring crab Rangoon filling, minced red onion, house-made duck sauce, provolone, mozzarella, green onions and fried wonton strips — is slated to roll out. 6743 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes. (813) 428-6036.


Dinner is served. The restaurant side of Baba has debuted in St. Petersburg's Grand Central District, highlighting a full bar with signature cocktails and Mediterranean wine and beer as well as plenty of protective evil eyes painted by local artist Chad Mize. You're invited to chow down on a Greek-meets-Lebanese spread of salads, mezze and small and large plates, among them roasted beets and lamb confit, from owners Debbie and George Sayegh, who are also behind beloved St. Pete staple Bodega. Baba debuted breakfast and lunch service at its bakery and cafe in June. 2701 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 954-3406.


The Refinery

Well, it's almost closing time for Seminole Heights favorite the Refinery. Owners Michelle and Greg Baker have announced their pioneering restaurant, one of the first to bring farm-to-table eats to the region in 2010, will close after Aug. 3. The couple are set to open a catering and events hall, the Idyllwild, in the Refinery space. Leading up to the closure, the restaurant's final menu consists of dishes from its first year in business that the Bakers really dug. The Refinery offers first-come, first-served tables inside and out, but you might want to make a reservation. 5910 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 234-3710.

RELATED: Seminole Heights farm-to-table pioneer the Refinery to close Aug. 3



Nocturnal Hospitality Group and Top Chef favorite Fabio Viviani have taken to social media to reveal their latest culinary collaboration. Planned for the ground floor of the Element apartment tower in downtown Tampa, Shibui will launch with Asian fusion fare and a cocktail bar in fall or winter. The newcomer joins Franklin Manor, Osteria Bar and Kitchen and Mole y Abuela as the fourth member of Nocturnal Hospitality Group's family. North Franklin and East Cass streets, Tampa.