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Ybor brewery brings New Orleans to city

YBOR CITY—Ever since the days of Cafe Creole in Ybor, J. Paul Pepin noticed the historic city was missing Cajun food. So he combined his efforts with award winning brewer Paul Rutherford to open Zydeco Brew Werks, a new brewery that offers both hand-crafted beer and cajun food.

Zydeco Brew Werks took over the historic two-story building at 1902 E 7th Ave that was home to a series of different nightclubs for the last 20 years, and recently celebrated its grand opening on April 20.

But Zydeco aims to change the scene with its New Orleans-inspired brewery and restaurant. With the lights hanging from the two story building and the balcony, it provides parade and people-watching possibilities much like Bourbon Street.

The menu features signature New Orleans items like the famous Muffuletta sandwich, cajun boiled peanuts, shrimp and grits, cajun mac and cheese, gumbo with shrimp or chicken, jambalaya, crawfish, and other seafood.

But of course, its main focus is the beer.

Tampa's craft business is quickly expanding, but Zydeco stands out because its beer is never distributed. Zydeco brews all of it on premise and unlike other breweries its has a full liquor bar as well with cocktails and wine.

"My main focus is the beer but I understand that not everyone drinks beer," said Paul Rutherford, head brewer and co-owner.

"If you have groups of four to six people, one of them probably doesn't enjoy beer and it's only so often that they're going to go to a brewery. So, having the options of a cocktail, a glass of wine, or just some food makes it more common occurrence to visit."

The 13,000 square foot space has the ability to host parties or events on the second floor, which will also be used for more dining space and bar space.

Food prices range from $5-18 and for beer prices start at $1.50 for 4 ounce and can get up to $30 for a 64 ounce growler.

Zydeco operates from 3 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, and 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday to Sunday.

For more information visit or call (813) 252-4541.

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