1. Food

Tampa favorite Datz announces opening date for downtown St. Petersburg restaurant

Downtown St. Petersburg's wait for Datz is almost over. Owners Suzanne and Roger Perry, who are known for putting dreamy, snarky spins on American comfort food, have announced their second location will debut at 180 Central Ave. in May.

Neighbors with the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, the anticipated newcomer — the place was first announced back in 2017 — is a milestone of sorts for the Perrys, as it's the first Datz outside of their popular South Tampa flagship, which opened a decade ago.

"Once we set our sights on Downtown St. Pete, we knew that opening Datz's second location in this dynamic city was our next move," Suzanne said in a statement today. "Following the debut of our new concept, Dr. BBQ, we wanted to provide locals with the edgy and inventive comfort-food dishes they've loved since 2009."

St. Petersburg diners can expect menu staples from the original Datz at the new spot, like the Cheesy Todd (a 1.5-pound ground brisket and short rib burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickle on two bacon-jalapeno mac and cheese "buns"), cinnamon roll mocktails and Datchos (house-made sweet and salty chips with chili, cheese, blue cheese drizzle and jalapenos).

And about those signature chips: The restaurant goes through 500 pounds of potatoes a day to pull them off.

Local design firm Harvard Jolly Architecture will ensure the look of Datz No. 2 mirrors what its older sibling has going on, featuring everything from red brick and reclaimed wood to wine-bottle chandeliers built by Suzanne. The indoor-outdoor bar, which should be a nice complement to the patio area, is also decked out in the restaurant's signature orange hue.

Datz's second location joins the existing lineup of Datz Restaurant Group eateries. In 2012, Dough launched as a whimsical bakery next to Datz on MacDill Avenue in Tampa. Roux arrived down the road with Southern-inspired Creole and Cajun classics two years later.

It wasn't until last year that the Perrys became a part of the St. Petersburg dining scene, teaming up with Barbecue Hall of Famer and Food Network personality Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe to bring barbecue joint Dr. BBQ to the EDGE District.

Why open a Datz on this side of the bay?

"To some people in St. Pete, Tampa is out of town," Roger Perry told us in 2017. "We did a Facebook questionnaire and asked where people would like to see a second Datz. The overwhelming choice was St. Petersburg."

'Nuff said.

Contact Meaghan Habuda at Follow @meghabuda.